Make New Year’s Health Resolutions That Are Achievable and Sustainable

As surely as the crystal ball will drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, millions of Americans will resolve to improve their health in 2014. It’s an admirable goal we support at Mission Fitness, but it’s one that requires commitment and a smart strategy to achieve.

While toasting the old year and taking stock of their lives, many people determine that improvement is necessary. They may resolve to drop a certain number of pounds or give up a certain type of food or strive to eliminate something else from their lives. Goals are vital because they provide purpose and motivate us to push forward during those times when we don’t feel like putting in the hard work necessary.

Many gyms experience a surge in activity at the first of the year, but by February and March, it’s the “regulars” who remain. Why is that? We believe it’s because people don’t put enough thought into their goals from a big-picture perspective. And there’s no list of small, daily goals to meet to mark your progression. The result is frustration and eventually giving up.
We want you to stick with your personal improvement plan! That means creating lifestyle goals that help you change your habits one day at a time so you can build upon your improvement.

How to Set Permanent Lifestyle Goals

Lifestyle goals are sustainable and achievable milestones that provide rewards on a daily basis. These are not short-term goals (I need to lose 15 pounds by bikini season) that lack framework and specific details.

  • Determine clearly what you want to achieve, such as reaching a target weight and implementing more enjoyable physical activities into your life.
  • Think about your goal on a micro level by considering how your daily activities help or hinder you in reaching your goal.
  • Find a gym that provides a variety of physical activities led by professionals in a supportive environment where you are motivated to succeed through challenging workouts that never get boring. (We know the perfect gym for you.)
  • Analyze your eating habits to pinpoint “problem” times. Do you snack a lot before dinner? Before you go to sleep? What types of foods do you eat? Begin eliminating some of these activities or changing your diet. You don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey at the beginning; make small changes to build toward bigger changes.
  • Get creative. A friend of MF knows he needs to consume more vegetables, but he doesn't enjoy salads. So he washes raw vegetables, throws them in the blender with water and then drinks the concoction. He ends up taking in more veggies daily in less time. On a simpler level, take the stairs instead of the elevator every day.
  • Believe in yourself. You are stronger mentally and physically than you think you are, and that means you are capable of achieving greatness in your life. We know this about you, and so should you.
  • Give yourself some flexibility. Maybe it’s a cheat day to go out for burgers and beers with friends. Or maybe you just need to take a break with a day at the spa. Whatever it is, allow yourself some downtime every now and then without feeling guilty about it. Remember, you’re in this for the long haul.
  • Find the fun in the challenge. You’re not going to follow your path if you don’t like it. Make sure you’re engaging in physical activities that push you hard and provide some type of enjoyment. The hard work itself might be enjoyable to you. Or the specific activity or exercise. Maybe it’s the supportive people around you as you all work toward your goals. Find what you like and go hard because that’s how you’ll reach your goals.
  • Revisit your goals and alter them. When you get close to a specific goal, tweak it a little bit for a fresh challenge that provides extra motivation. It doesn't have to be related to body weight goals, though. You might want to increase your personal record for a max weight in lifting or achieve more reps in a particular exercise. Focus on these details and your larger goals become more attainable.

This year, resolve to maintain a healthy lifestyle through 2014 and well beyond. We’ll help you do it with support and advice at every turn. Our team of trainers is in this business because we know the power of setting and achieving personal fitness goals, and we want you to feel the empowerment that comes from commitment and discipline.
Contact us today, and let’s get to work!

About the author

Matt Mund is the owner and founder of Mission Fitness. He is dedicated to helping his clients of all fitness levels achieve their personal goals

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