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New Year's Resolutions

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New Year's Resolutions

For many who are observing the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, it is a time to reflect spiritually and emotionally about the year that's been, and about the kind of individual we want to be moving forward. Many also take this time to consider how the New Year can allow them to become the best possible version of themselves, and this often involves incorporating exercise into their lives. Statistically, exercising and fitness consistently ranks at the top New Year's resolution (Source: yougov.com). While people often have the best of intentions to commit to exercising, these plans often fall short due to lack of focus and direction on how to best tackle their goals. This results in resolutions collapsing with three months, because individuals become discouraged by the progress they are not making.

To combat this trend, it is important to effectively set goals when embarking on your own fitness journey. When I begin coaching my clients, we first work together to establish SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. Goals should be as specific as possible so that you can determine what exactly you want to change. For example, what does "get in shape", really mean to you? More energy? Less body fat?  It should be measurable in some quantifiable form, like energy level on a scale of 1-10, weight loss in pounds, or running a certain distance. You should associate a specific attainable action with your goals.  If you're a novice cyclist, work towards a 40k charity ride, not a gran fondo(160k). To be motivating, the goal must be realistic, something you believe you can actually do. For example, a goal of losing 25 lbs of body fat in six weeks is neither realistic nor safe. Every goal you set should have a time sensitive date associated with it.  The time frame can be long term, short term, or a combination of each.  For example, if someone wants to lose 40 lbs of body fat, a long term goal might be ten months, but a short term goal of losing 5-7 lbs of fat might be six to eight weeks.

Even when these goals are in place and a plan has been put into action, it still can be difficult to stay on track, or the program may need to be modified. That's why I will evaluate my client's progress, reassess, and update the fitness program to account for changes that occur.  It also becomes important to recognize when a maintenance program needs to come into play once initial goals have been achieved.

Setting SMART goals is the best way to insure that you safely address your New Year's resolutions. A qualified fitness professional can work closely with you to help establish those goals and keep you focused. 

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year.

 


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