Meeting 2016 goals

Susan Dawson-Cook

Susan is an AFAA certified fitness professional and has worked for Vital Moves (850-4089) since 2006.

At New Year’s Eve parties people excitedly chatter about everything they’re going to achieve or do differently. Two months later, many are back to the same bad habits they vowed to break. If you want to succeed at meeting your 2016 goals, consider writing down why you didn’t achieve your goals before. Then write down what you plan to do differently to improve your chance of success.

Below are some reasons people fail to achieve goals and some ways to turn failure into success:

1) Lack of clear definition. Many people vow to lose weight. When goals are vague, momentum is quickly lost. Nail down the goal. How much weight do you want to lose? By what date? Will you call on the help of a nutritionist or follow a physician-supervised program? The same structured protocol should be followed for new exercise programs. Saying to yourself “I’m going to work out more next year” is doomed to fail. Instead, write down how many days a week you will exercise and the time, day and type of activity. For example, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 a.m. I’ll swim for an hour. Call on the help of a personal trainer if you’re new to exercise and not sure what will be safe for you. Putting your new program into a day planner will remind and reduce the potential for coming up with excuses.

2) Lack of commitment. What was the excuse you used not to exercise last year? That you don’t have time? That life’s too short to do something you dislike? Remind yourself that many full-time workers manage to squeeze in an hour a day of activity and that if you try different modes of activity you are bound to stumble on something you enjoy. The bottom line is this. You have to decide if health is a priority or not. Regular exercise and healthy eating can play a major role in maintaining health and may prevent illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

3) Too much discomfort. The diet requires you to be constantly hungry or to eat terrible tasting food. The exercise program involves intensities that leave you breathless or dizzy or features activities you hate. If you are dieting, find a program that works for your lifestyle. Not all weight loss programs require participants to choke down tasteless food. Exercise programs should match interests and current level of conditioning. Don’t be afraid to try some new things. Swivel your hips in a Zumba class, dive in the pool for a swim or take a lesson to brush up on your stroke or join the hiking club.

Forming new healthy habits can be challenging, but once established will yield big payoffs including more energy, a more positive outlook and a better functioning body. I have every confidence you can succeed. Have a great 2016!