Thursday, January 5, 2012

F Your Resolutions

(Unless you resolved to set some goals!)

I love New Year’s Eve! From the parties, to the tacky rock shows on TV and everything in between, it has always been one of my favorite nights of the year. I suppose it’s because New Year’s Eve usually forces us to look back at the past year. We might assess what we accomplished with a smile or resolve to do something differently next year. If you’re like me, you probably chuck a little bit into each column.

The problem, however is that most of us only make resolutions with no follow through plan. Of course resolutions to make a change are awesome, but they should only serve as a first step. You need to set specific goals in order to achieve your resolutions.

Let’s take the classic example: “I’m going to lose weight this year and get healthy!”

Awesome, right?

Well, if you’re reading this blog, you probably know exactly who I’m talking about. In fact, you probably saw them there with us on January 2nd, up on the treadmill, in my spin class, chilling out over at the triceps machine and even in the hot tub. They looked excited, engaged and ready to work didn’t they?

So why won’t we see them come Valentine’s Day? They’ll just disappear! What went wrong? How can so many people fill up the gym in January only to vanish a month later?

It’s because their resolutions were not goals. They had nothing to measure against an no idea what success would look like.

Don’t Fall into this trap. Use these tips when setting goals for your 2012. We’re focusing on fitness here, but these tips apply to all aspects of your life. If you need some help with your fitness goals, ask you’re an instructor, trainer or other professional at your health club!

Goal Setting Tips for 2012

Make your goals SMART!

SMART is a cheesy acronym, and one of the few things I learned back in my college days. Here’s what it means:
  • Specific –Your goal needs to be specific, “I want to lose weight” is only a start.
  • Measurable –Can you measure what you want to do? “I want to lose 10 pounds” is starting to sound better
  • Actionable –Is there an action you can take? “I want to lose 10 pounds by adding 60 minutes of cardio work to my day, 3 days a week.”
  • Realistic –Is this a goal you can achieve? That doesn’t mean setting the bar low, you want stretch, but “I want to lose 20 pounds in 5 days” is not realistic.
  • Timely –You need to set a time in which you will accomplish your goal. “I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1, 2012. I can accomplish this by adding 60 minutes of cardio work to my day, 3 days a week and maintaining a 1600 calorie diet.” Now, that’s a goal!

  • Make your goals, YOUR Goals

    Guess what, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds because your wife wants you to lose 10 pounds…it ain’t gonna happen! You need to set goals for you and align the expectations of others. That’s not to say you shouldn’t let others help define your goals for the better or encourage you to stretch, but at the end of the day you need to set goals for you.

    Write your goals down

    Guess how many goals get accomplished when they’re not written down. That’s right, it’s 0! A goal is not a goal until it is in writing. Keep your goals in a journal, notebook, or post it note at your desk. Just be sure that it is written down and you refer back to it on a regular basis.

    Keep these tips in mind as you look ahead to all 2012 has to offer. If you havn’t already made resolutions for the year, resolve to set goals! Once you do, define them for all aspects of your life including your physical well being, financial situation, career, home life and more.

    Make 2012 the year YOU WIN!


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