As the countdown to a new year begins, excitement in the air grows! To many of us, a new year signals a time for new beginnings, a time for a fresh start. At this time of year, I'm often asked to give some tips on setting and keeping fitness goals. For many of us, it's easy to talk about our resolutions but much tougher to take action and turn them into successes. As a trainer to the stars whose careers often depend on their commitment to the roles they play and the physical transformations they need to achieve, I know what works and how to take a thought and turn it into an action. It begins by putting it down on paper. Seeing it in print and making it a binding contract with yourself or someone else makes it real. As someone who loves to write down goals and make plans, it's usually the first piece of advice I give. Writing goals down, making a plan, and journaling as you make progress helps you to stay committed.
A second tip is to make your plan public. You are held accountable when others know your intentions. I recently made a fitness resolution on Facebook where I promised my fans that I would work toward a goal of being able to do 10 pull ups on my own by summer. This goal will not be achieved without me practicing it every time I get into the gym. It's a goal that I will need to allow plenty of time to achieve -- at least six months -- and I will need to find ways to remind myself to train it. With any goal, making it a priority will allow you to achieve it. If your goal is to lose a reasonable amount of weight ("reasonable" being two pounds a week), then make this goal a priority in your week. Plan your meals and workouts and schedule social events carefully, as they can sabotage goals. Include friends, as training together or in group classes can be highly motivating and enjoyable.
Finally, measure and record your progress and reward your achievements. One of my favorite ways to reward myself after a week or two of hard workouts is to get a massage. If your goal is weight loss, then reward yourself with a new outfit or a fun fitness tool. Pedometers and heart rate monitors are terrific ways to stay on track.
The new year holds endless opportunities. Do it for you in 2013! Do it the 3-2-1 way by getting ready mentally, getting set physically, and going forward emotionally!
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