As the New Year rolls around, good intentions empower many people to make fitness resolutions. The likelihood of sustaining those resolutions and achieving a successful outcome – well, that’s up to you. Just remember real change takes time, effort and patience. Here are some tips to help you be successful.
Take Inventory: Make sure you are prepared, both physically and mentally, to start a fitness program. If you’re not used to regular exercise, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regime. Mental readiness refers to your degree of confidence in your exercise capabilities. If you lack confidence, direction or motivation, seek the help of fitness professionals.
Set Goals: It’s best to start with challenging but achievable short-term goals. Use the SMART concept: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely when setting fitness goals. A good example of a SMART goal is to resolve to walk two miles three times a week for three weeks.
Why: Consider why fitness is important to you. People are more motivated when they pursue goals with personal meaning. The more specific you can make your goal, the more vivid it will be and the more likely that you will stick with it.
Be Consistent: Think of your resolution as a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Good fitness is built over weeks, months, even years, and to be successful you need to be consistent. By using the SMART approach you can remain focused and committed simply by changing one habit at a time.
Celebrate Your Progress: As you begin to adopt new fitness and lifestyle patterns, adjust and reset your goals. Enjoy the process. Improving performance on a regular basis is a great motivator that will encourage you to keep going. Be sure to celebrate each small victory as a step on the road to continued success.
In my next blog, I'll discuss the importance of Functional Fitness and how your muscles can work together to prepare them for daily tasks.