I’m a big fan of setting goals. Especially at the turn of a new year. I realize not everyone shares my deep affection for New Year’s Goals. By February most people are all, “Goals? What goals? I didn’t set any goals. Let’s get a chocolate babka!”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean, babka goodness notwithstanding, you can set and achieve meaningful and attainable fitness goals for 2013!
And then maybe REWARD yourself with babka.
You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What have I tried in the past and how did it work? I’ve tried some eating plans where I lost weight, but felt weak, fatigued and hungry. I’ve tried working out at 5:30 am and discovered I much prefer to wake up slowly with a cup of coffee, then work out after breakfast. If you tried Weight Watchers and “it didn’t work,” be honest about the “why.” Was it the point counting? Or was it lack of follow-through on your part?
2. How much time do I have to devote to this? Time is a huge factor for most people. Realistically, if you can only afford 30 minutes a day to exercise, don’t join a gym. It will take you that long to drive there and back.
3. Where am I physically right now? You can only start where you are. I know…profound. If your goal is to have ripped abs in 2013 (that’s kind of a dumb, short-sighted goal, by the way) and you currently weigh 250 pounds, I’m sorry, but this may not be your year. Be realistic about where you are today. At 250 pounds, a realistic goal may be to wean yourself off fast food or soda and walk 3 times a week.
4. What’s caught my attention recently? Do you always stop and watch the P90X infomercial? Has your best friend gotten great results with CrossFit? Did your co-worker reverse her diabetes using a plant-based-whole-foods diet? Look into the things that look interesting to you and see what they’re all about.
5. How much will this cost? Hiring a personal trainer costs money. Joining a gym costs money. Zumba classes cost money. Frozen, pre-portioned meals sent to your home cost money. Educate yourself about how much all this costs and then determine what you can afford. If you can’t afford to direct any money toward your fitness goals, there are lots of free and cheap ways to get into shape.
6. What is my season of life? Do you have babies at home? Are you working 60 hours a week? Are you a single parent? Are your kids in school? Are you an empty-nester? Do you cook for a huge family? Some programs and activities are better suited for certain seasons than they are for others, simply due to the time commitment or the physical toll they take on the body.
7. What do I already have on hand? Do you have a cabinet full of unused workout DVD’s? Do you have a treadmill? Do you have resistance bands or hand-weights? Maybe you can create a new and exciting routine with equipment you already have.
8. What do I like? What do I hate? If you love being outdoors, then I don’t recommend working out in your dark basement every day. If you don’t like eating meat, then perhaps going on a Paleo diet plan would make you gag (not that I’ve tried that, or anything.) Consider the things you already love and start there. You will never stick with something you don’t enjoy. Unless you enjoy self-punishment.
9. What do I want, really? To be a smaller size? To have more energy? To see more muscle tone? To wean off prescription meds? To lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? To complete a marathon? The goals you set should flow directly from what you want.
10. Am I prepared to make some changes? If you expect your body or your health to change then you must be prepared to do something different. You may need to change what’s in your pantry. You may need to change what time you go to bed or get up. You may need to change the intensity of your workouts or your nightly routine or the way you prepare meals. If you are not prepared to make changes, then save yourself the trouble and go buy the chocolate babka now.
Q4U: Have you thought about your fitness goals for 2013? Let’s chat!
Linking up with Jill Conyers for her Fitness Friday Blog Hop!