goal [gohl] noun  1.the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

So, it’s January and you’ve made it your goal to both join a gym and start working out, or to re-commit yourself to working out. Did you know fifty-percent of people who join a gym in January quit within six months?

You may wonder how you can stay committed to your fitness goal, whether it be committing to gym workouts, finally completing P90X, running that marathon you’ve always wanted to, or beginning the practice of yoga. Below are some suggestions for never looking back once you’ve set new goals.

  1. Set attainable goals. If you’re a novice at a regular fitness routine, don’t aim to run a marathon this year, rather, try something that you can easily accomplish, such as a 5k, first.
  2. Partner up. The hardest step in working out is getting out the door. Studies show that a gym partner helps to keep you on track. Take a friend or spouse to the gym with you; even if you don’t do the same work out, you are motivation for each other. One of my goals this year is to do a Mud Run. Fate stepped in by way of a Groupon for a local mud run and I asked a friend to do it with me. I will cross that goal off my list come April!
  3. Try at least one new class. Until two years ago, I was not a big fan of group fitness classes because I preferred to do my own workout. On a whim, I decided to take a Les Mills BodyPump class offered at my gym. I now consistently go to BodyPump classes on a weekly basis. I’ve since discovered BodyAttack, BodyCombat and Zumba. I went from zero group fitness classes to four! In the process, I’ve become stronger, feel more powerful and best of all, I have made some wonderful friends. In fact, I met one of my best friends through a group fitness class.
  4. Support groups. I was a competitive runner in my younger years but gradually distanced myself from the sport that I once loved. I’ve missed it and resolved to start again after several failed attempts. My gym advertised a running club towards the end of year, which caught my eye.  As I read more about it and the club’s philosophy, I knew I wanted to try it out. I’ve since met some new people and a group of us are now training for a 5k in this spring. The club provides support via weekly emails to keep us on track and we meet twice a week to run together. Having a set time to meet helps to hold me accountable for attending the group runs.
  5. Hire a Personal Trainer. Trainers can be expensive but they have a wealth of knowledge about nutrition, how our bodies work and how to get your body lean and strong.  They are worth, at minimum, the free complimentary sessions you (usually) get when you join a gym. Ask questions and soak up their knowledge. I spent six months with a trainer last year and gained valuable insight into how my body best responded to working out. My trainer also set cardio challenges at the end of each session with him, which I recorded and use to this day. It makes the end of my workouts fun and I enjoy challenging my spouse or workout partner to one.
  6. Reward Yourself. I’ve saved the best for last. For each goal you attain, reward yourself. Perhaps stepping into a gym or attending a certain number of classes is your first goal. Maybe it’s completing a 5K, half-marathon or triathlon. Reward yourself with something you’ve wanted – maybe it’s new athletic gear or something as simple as a manicure.

Always discuss your goals with your doctor to make sure you are cleared to embark on your new fitness path. Happy trails!

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7 Responses to There’s No Rear View Mirror Here!

  1. Stephanie Casey says:

    Great advice. I think group classes hold me more accountable. It’s easier to slack off when you’re working out on your own, but working out with 20 other people in the room makes it obvious when you aren’t putting in 100%. Getting to the gym is the biggest battle for me, but afterward, I never regret going.

  2. Michelle Fleer Michelle Fleer says:

    Stephanie, I agree. There are days I feel like being more slack but once I am in that class, my competitive drive kicks in and I put it my full effort. If I am on my own, I can talk myself out of it. They say the hardest step is out the door and I believe that!

  3. Dana Reinertson says:

    I finally gave in and got a personal trainer, and I’ve never worked out so hard in my life! That, and having a couple gym buddies have really helped me get in shape. I just wish the gym wasn’t so crowded in January from all the resolution people…

  4. Great tips! I too hired a personal trainer a year ago and it has changed my life. Definitely gets you into a routine so that you don’t give up.

  5. Courtney Hannah Courtney Hannah says:

    Rewarding yourself is so important. I am glad you mentioned that. Exercise should be fun, not a chore.

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