How to Make Your Fitness Goals Real



As we settle into the new year some of us are really working hard on keeping up those resolutions. A quick peek into my neighborhood gym tells me that so many of us have health and fitness goals. Yay us! I know a lot of regular gym goers complain about this time of year when the new gym folk descend upon their sacred space, but I always feel inspired by those giving fitness a chance.

I hear the same rhetoric every year from my fellow gym buddies- “They will be gone by March and we can go back to business as usual.” Hearing this makes me cringe. I always pull for the newbies because I remember when I was a newbie too. I do realize that everyone won’t stay, but I do think there is something magical about being brave enough to try. I too was once one of those waxers and wainers. Reinvigorated by a new year, birthday or upcoming event, I would go all in and then loose steam. In my book I shared that I knew there was an inner athlete lurking somewhere inside of me. I would catch glimpses of her now and then but she never hung around long.

For me the key was that I was never afraid of beginning again, which is kind of my MO, but I hit my fitness stride about 6 years ago and haven’t looked back. Here are a few things you can do to stay on the fitness path and make your goals a reality:

Create a plan-joining a gym is great but it isn’t enough. Plan to join a group, take a few classes to find something that resonates with you, and plan out your gyms days. I actually plan my gym days and pencil them into my calendar each week. My calendar doesn’t always work out exactly the way that I planned but I try to stick with my calendar and adjust accordingly when needed. There is something about scheduling that time that really makes it clear how important your workouts are. You deserve to be on your own calendar!

Switch it up-if your exercise routine isn’t a good fit don’t be afraid to try something new. I love to switch up what I do even if I love it.  I will go all in with yoga or cycling and then move to a bootcamp or kickboxing program. It helps to keep me invigorated and challenged. I love trying new things so this works for me. Instead of giving up I switch it up.

Eat conciously-a lot of times people give up their fitness routines because they aren’t seeing the weight loss that they desire. I’m going to remind you of a well known fact-you simply can’t out exercise a bad diet. I know it hurts to hear that but it is true. You can eat your whole day’s worth of calories in one of those yummy sugary pretzels from the mall or a slice of decadent cake at a restaurant. Those things are fine in moderation but know what you are eating. If you choose to indulge do it consciously not unconsciously. There are great apps out there like My Fitness Pal that help you track your intake. What I love about them is that you actually learn about what you are eating. Viewing the nutrients and caloric value of your meals is eye opening. If weight loss is your goal, actually seeing results will help you stay committed.

Find a cheerleader-having an accountability partner is a great way to stay committed to your workout. I actually like having a partner or two for pep talks and check-ins but I don’t like to only work out with one other person. Whenever I do the work out partner thing I find myself canceling workouts if the other person can’t make it. I like to think of my partners as cheerleaders not team members. We encourage each other and sometime we share a workout but we work out individually too. Find a few people who have similar goals with whom you can talk about your workouts and get and give both advice and encouragement.

These are all things that have helped me maintain a consistent workout regimen for the past 6 years. I still haven’t perfected everything but I think I have a good plan and routine in place.

I’d love to hear what you have planned to help you meet your health and fitness goals. Good luck!


Until Next Post,

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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