With the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions.  Did you keep yours from last year?  If you did, excellent!  You are one of the rare few.  Statistics however, say that most people give up their resolutions by February, especially when it comes to fitness.

Too many people generalize their fitness resolutions, such as “Exercise more” or “Eat healthier.”  These goals are too open ended and possibly unrealistic (depending on what your have in mind).  With the training I have received from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), I can help you avoid becoming a statistic by passing on knowledge of goal setting that will help keep you on the right path.

You need to break down what you would like to achieve into a SMART goal!

S(pecific):  Make sure your goal is clearly defined on what the outcome is.  Know what is to be accomplished, when you would like it accomplished by, and what actions you will take to get there.

M(easurable):  You need a way to be able to keep track of the progress towards your goal.  If it can’t be measured, you are much more likely to give up.  For example, your resolution may be, “I want to look better” but a SMART way of wording it would be “Reduce body fat by 5% in 12 weeks.”

A(ttainable):  Whatever your fitness resolution, it needs to be challenging but not extreme.  If it is too easy, once you are done you may not set further goals for yourself to help you grow and further challenge yourself.  Too challenging, and you may give up completely and “try again next year.”

R(ealistic):  Your fitness goal must be something you are both willing and able to do.  You have to believe that it is a goal that can be accomplished.  Think about if you have made similar goals in the past, why you were successful or unsuccessful, and what you need in order to accomplish this goal.

T(imely):  Another trap people fall into is not setting a specific date of completion.  It should be realistic, and not too far into the future.  Set micro goals too, accomplishments that can be achieved by tomorrow as well as longer termed goals such as in 3 months.

Putting it all together (this is to be used as an example only), if your goal was to lose weight, change that to a SMART goal, such as “Lose 0.5lbs a week for 3 months.”  Your micro goals will be to go to the gym at least 3 times a week, and add more protein to your diet.  By 3 months, you plan to have lost around 6lbs. To get there, you will start keeping a food journal and an exercise log so you have a baseline for what you are eating/doing and then can work on improving from there.  You will also plan what expenses may go into this (gym membership fees, fitness equipment, groceries, etc.) and how much time is needed (30 mins. of exercise 3 times a week).

Make sure every so often you go back and re-evaluate your resolution.  How is it coming along, are you making progress?  Sometimes, changes need to be made to your fitness plan, and there is no shame in that.  Address difficulties you are having head on, you CAN do this!

Feel free to stop by 5 Elements MMA & Fitness in Costa Mesa any time to see what we are all about, what we can do to help you achieve your fitness goals, and how we can keep you on track.  I’ve recently created a “12 Weeks to Strength Program” for gym members that is perfect for bringing you new found strength, in a SMART way (see what I did there?)!  See you at the gym!

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Jasmine Elliott is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer working at 5 Elements MMA & Fitness in Costa Mesa.  She is also a Fitness Model represented through Fitness Star International and a Bodybuilding Competitor (Bikini Division).

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