Each year after the last of the Halloween candy has been eaten, the stuffing and pies have been polished off, and the potato pancakes, eggnog and cookies have been consumed, people look forward to starting the New Year with healthier habits. "Getting Fit" is consistently one of the top ten New Year's Resolutions made by individuals. Those of us who do venture into a gym in January see the familiar sights of packed fitness classes and lines of eager participants waiting to use cardio machines in order to transform their bodies. If you still happen to be around the fitness club in February, you will notice a significant drop in population and the availability of exercise equipment.
Statistics indicate that 30% of the people, who make resolutions, don't follow through in the first 30 days and by 6 months 80% have stopped. The good news is that studies have shown people who keep their commitments for the first 30 days, will continue with them long term.
So, how can you be one of the 20% committed to a healthy fitness lifestyle?
One of the simplest ways is setting S.M.A.R.T goals.
S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-based, timely, tangible, track-able
Most people will say "I want to get in shape" or "I want to lose weight". These are very general goals, each lacking a plan of execution. To be more specific in your goal setting you may say "I want to lose 12 pounds by March. I will take 3 strength classes a week and do cardio 3 days a week plus reduce my weekly caloric intake by 200 calories". This is a specific, realistic, measurable, attainable goal.
Motivation, results-oriented exercises and accountability are key components to a successful fitness lifestyle. However, for some, it may be challenging to find the time to work out, much less create a safe and effective work out program. You may need to seek some professional guidance to give you a jump start. A personal fitness trainer can develop a goal specific program to fit your needs and offer diverse exercises to keep you challenged and motivated.
Perhaps a gym membership and personal training are not in your budget. You may want to consider partner training. Working out with another person has its benefits. You will be motivated through friendly competition and will work out harder. While you may want to make excuses to keep from working out, your friend will be counting on you to be there. So here is your accountability.
You can find a personal fitness trainer that will come to you offering a safe, effective program tailored to your individual needs. When sharing the cost with your friend, the price goes down significantly. You can get a 12 session package which would get you through the first three months of your New Year's Resolution and make you one of the successful 20%.