Here we are, poised at the starting line of a brand spanking-new year and with it comes a host of new possibilities. I am doing something new by having my first guest blogger on The FABulous Journey. I would like to introduce you to Shelly Stinson. Like me, this Shelly is also interested in helping others live fitter lives by setting workable and achievable fitness goals.
Shelly Stinson is a freelance writer based out of Denver, Colo. She enjoys digging into the city’s food scene, writing about fitness and health topics, and skiing and snowboarding. You can find her on Twitter under the handle @shellystins.
With the hope and excitement that the New Year typically brings, it’s easy to get sucked into creating fitness goals that are just a little too lofty to reach. It doesn’t help when the Internet is loaded with ads for programs and products that claim to help you “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days Without Exercise” or “Drop 3 Inches Off Your Waist in Just 30 Seconds a Day.”
However, it’s important to remember that these are just claims. Sure, they may provide some short-term benefits, but that’s exactly what they are…short term. If you really want to this year’s fitness resolutions to be long-lasting, you must set workable and achievable fitness goals.
In order for a goal to be workable, you should be willing and able to take the actions necessary to achieve it. In other words, the goal has to fit into your lifestyle or you’re likely to give up on it when it starts to feel too hard.
For example, you create a goal to work out every night from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. because you’ve heard that exercising at this time burns the most calories. Yet, you often have to work overtime, which makes it impossible to hit the gym during this exact timeframe. Well, this isn’t a workable goal. It essentially sets you up for failure before you even start.
It’s best then to come up with a fitness schedule that works for you and the way you live. This is a strategy that works at every stage in life, from the new student looking to avoid the Freshman 15 to the busy mom who’s trying to take care of her teenage kids and get healthy at the same time.
Take a look at your life right now and think about where you could make room in your schedule for fitness-related activities. Would you be more likely to do them in the morning, midday, or evening? Pick a time that works for your life and you’ll find that your exercise commitment is easier to keep.
Some health experts push you to set lofty goals that are difficult to reach, so you end up going outside your comfort zone to give them your all. However, others warn that this approach often results in frustration and emotional pain when you don’t reach your goals because they were too difficult or inflexible. Ultimately, this can cause you to give up on them all together.
Instead, by reachable goals, you set yourself up for success by inspiring and motivating yourself to keep working toward your goals all year long. This equals long-term results that you can enjoy as much at the beginning of the year as you do the end.
Part of setting achievable goals is understanding that the healthiest weight loss occurs at the rate of 1-2 pounds a week. And if it’s more muscle that you’re after, then it’s important to know that you can only realistically gain roughly 2-3 pounds of muscle mass each month.
Think about the fitness goals you want to achieve this year and honestly ask yourself if they are realistic. If they are… great. Set them and work towards them. If they’re not, how could you make them more realistic? Don’t look at any modifications as a failure, but rather as a sign that you are smart enough and strong enough to take the longer, yet typically more successful, route.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to make this year your year? It can be as long as you remember to keep your goals workable and achievable. Do this and it will be your best year yet!
Guest Post by Shelly Stinson