7 Tips to Reach Your Goals

New Years is here! There are two types of people: those who set New Year’s resolutions and those who don’t. If you are one who likes to set goals each year but feels like you fall short with your fitness goals, these tips may help you be a little more successful starting in the new year.

Set aside time for exercise. If you’re busy, don’t let it stop you. Set yourself up to succeed. Prepare your workout gear ahead of time. Pre-schedule your workouts into your day. When you wake up, you’ll have time set aside and clothes ready to go. If you have already made up your mind that you are going to workout, you don’t have to make that decision later.

Recruit help from friends. Life changes are much more comfortable with a group of close friends and family supporting you. If you know someone who’s already active, ask them for tips or be brave and join in with them. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you exercise, what’s most important is finding a way to exercise doing what you love and making it a part of your daily routine.

Set small, realist, and specific goals. If you decide to pick up jogging, start with running for 30 seconds and walking for two and a half minutes. The next week run for 45 seconds and walk for one minute. Before you know it, you will be running for two to three minutes until you take a short walking break. And if you have some setback, that’s OK. In the end, you’ll see success if you stay consistent.

Don’t overdo it. It is easy at the beginning of the year to have extravagant goals and jump all in. But significant lifestyle changes can be exhausting. It’s the same as lifting weights. If you start out too heavy, you will be so sore that you cannot do another work out for days. However, if you start with lighter weights and build up your strength, you’ll be lifting those weights in no time with few setbacks.

Do what you love. Maybe you enjoy rollerblading, perfecting your garden or snow skiing with your kids. When you enjoy exercise, you’re more likely to keep it up. You might want to try:

  • Walking with friends
    • Trying a new yoga class
    • Pick up snowshoeing or cross-country skiing
    • Joining a local recreation basketball or racquetball league
    • Going swimming in a nearby pool
    • Shooting hoops
    • Participating in a dance class
  • Biking around a local park with your kids

Put up reminders. Maybe you create a motivational fitness board in your bedroom, hang sticky-notes with reminders on your bathroom mirror, or set alarms on your phone to drink water. Having a daily visual reminder may be the push you need to meet your fitness.

Think for the long haul. Doctors recommend exercising for 30 minutes of moderate activity, like gardening or walking, at least five times a week. If that sounds overwhelming, build on small goals month by month. What else is the key to success? Stay patient and positive until you get there—and you will get there.

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