By: Jeremy Robinson, Certified Personal Trainer
The New Year is upon us. What are your goals? What are your desires? What do you want to accomplish this year from a health and wellness perspective? All of these questions are important but none of them can be answered without first answering the most important question which is, what is your plan.
Too many people go into the year wanting to get fit or become healthy, but they never develop a plan before actually going into the New Year. How can anyone achieve success is there is no clear path leading to it? This is why resolutions are often abandoned within the first month of the New Year. It’s not because the process is too hard or you don’t have the time. It is simply because many of us have not formed a plan to get us to where we want to be.
A plan is crucial because it keeps us accountable, reminds us why we started this process and provides us with a certain level of stick-to-itiveness. There are very few things in life that can be successful without a plan. Getting in shape and being physically fit isn’t one of them. A plan should consist of the following: why, how, and when.
The why is probably the most important part of your plan. Without a reason to do something many of us just simply won’t do it. Your why has to be impactful and meaningful to you. You can’t simply say, “I want to lose weight”. Why do you want to lose weight? You want to lose weight to be healthier, to be able to complete a 5k, or even live long enough to be able to play with your kids or grandkids. Whichever it is, it has to have substance and be strong enough to pull you back in when you’re thinking about giving up.
The how must lay the foundation and guidelines by what means you will achieve your why. There are more than enough resources for you to be able to glean from that will help you establish the steps needed to reach your goals. The how should be mapped out in increments of weeks so that you ae not looking too far into the future and not stir-crazy by volatility of the day-to-day.
The when must be measurable. Again, simply saying I want to lose weight is not going to cut it. “I want to lose 20lbs by March 31st,” is better because the amount of weight and the time horizon can both be measured and sets an end date of when you want to achieve your results. You must put it in your mind that your goals have a maturity date and if you don’t achieve the results you want but the date you set then you have failed yourself.
Lastly, the best piece of advice for formulating your plan is make it practical. Don’t try something because you’ve seen someone whose been working out for years do it. Know your limitations and fitness level and take small strides in reaching your goal. Remember, you’ll have to win the small battles in order to obtain the larger victory.
Jeremy Robinson is a certified (NASM) personal trainer and fitness instructor. He trains clients all over the Southern NJ region in their homes, gyms, and outdoors. Follow Jeremy on his website www.jayinspires.com or at @gods_son_jay, @j_fitness4u, or @JFitness Jeremy Robinson.
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