Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series about setting fitness and diet goals for the new year and how to be successful. The second article will highlight more specifics on how to tackle the fitness and diet goals, while today’s article is about tips on being in the right mindset as one works toward starting those goals.
A new year has begun, and for many people this means wanting to start a new way of life or setting new goals, whether that be for a healthier lifestyle, to lose weight or to doing something else with purpose.
For those who are interested in changing their way of life, the key is to set smaller short-term goals which might lead to a larger, long-term finale, said Josh Vogler, exercise physiologist and director at the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Wellness and Aquatic Center.
“The average resolutioner lasts in the gym three to four weeks, then after three weeks they are gone never to be seen again,” he said. “One goal is to be realistic. A lot of people set unrealistic goals, wanting to lose 60 pounds in six months instead of losing four or five pounds in a month.
“Try to set more short-term goals rather than long-term,” he said.
Another recommendation he had was for those making resolutions to share them with family and friends who can help keep the resolutioner accountable for their goals. “Then if you want to relapse and have a big piece of that cheesecake, they can remind you of your goals and help hold you accountable,” Vogler said.
Being sure to provide rewards while still working toward those goals is also a good idea, he said. “I like the idea of when you set goals have something in mind, so if you meet the goal go out and reward yourself. Maybe not with a big box of chocolates, but buy those new workout clothes you might not have been able to fit in before.”
But overall, Vogler said patience is imperative. “Most important is to be patient and try to stick with it,” he said. “If you’re trying to do a resolution, remember fitness is not a quick fix. If someone is overweight or out of shape, they didn’t get that way overnight. They are not going to get out of it overnight.”
He also said not to be too hard on one’s self. “Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not losing 10 pounds a week,” Vogler said, noting that any progress is good.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.