Monday, January 13, 2014

Nice Try! - Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Goals This Year

"Do or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

As I arrived at the gym a little later than usual last weekend, I was instantly reminded of the "Resolution-ers" who would be disrupting gyms around the country this month. I felt myself tense up a little when I reached the locker room and realized it was full of women just hanging out, gossiping, and texting. By the time I got dressed and made it out to the workout floor, I had lost a little bit of my energy but I was ready to start training.
Although I enjoy exercise very much, it is also serious business. I have a certain routine that I maintain. The gym was packed this first Saturday in January. Newcomers filled the gym and seemed to be taking over. One new member removed my towel and drink from a machine and handed it to me! I gently told him that I was using the machine. He was nonplussed by this information and proceeded to   do his set. For a second, I was infuriated but then I began to laugh to myself. It was so rude, and he was so clueless. There was no point in arguing with him. So, my flexibility proved useful during this workout, and I adjusted my routine accordingly.

As I proceeded with my workout, I realized that I needed to find the humor in the overcrowded gym. Otherwise, I would be chronically angry and irritated and that just isn't me nor is it worth it. After all, I need all of my energy to train well!

I, also, wondered what these newcomers needed to know in order to succeed with their resolutions. I have previously written about the "Do's and Don'ts" at the gym, but perhaps a reminder about etiquette is in order.
  • Avoid texting or using your cell phone anywhere in the gym.
  • The locker room is not a place to "hang out" gossiping.
  • Wipe down the equipment when you are done using it.
  • A towel on a machine indicates that someone is between sets. Find something else to use or ask to "work in".
  • If you don't know how to use something, please ask a trainer or someone more skilled than you.
  • Watch where you are going and be alert to your surrounds at all times. If you bump into someone during a set, it can be dangerous for both parties. Weights are involved!

Truth be told, the vast majority of these individuals will fail at their fitness and weight loss attempts as I am sure they have many times. (Marti Hope Gonzalez, a Psychology Professor at the University of Minnesota, points out that 80 percent of those who make New Year's resolutions fail by early February.) As I walked around the gym, I could mentally hear these people telling their friends and family that they had "tried" to lose weight and get into shape this year.
It is very common for individuals who make resolutions to begin to lose sight of their goals as the year progresses and time slips by. They begin to rationalize their resolutions away. "Well, at least I tried." “Maybe I’ll try again next year.” “My resolution wasn’t realistic anyway”. Or, “Nobody keeps their New Year’s Resolution!”

New Year’s Eve is, arguably, the worst time of the year to set “resolutions”. It would be preferable to assess your goals
on an ongoing basis throughout the year and look forward to achieving new goals in the New Year.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely - in order to be achievable. Put your goals in writing and reevaluate them continually. It is perfectly okay to tweak your goals if they no longer serve
you. Keep a planner, stay organized, and track your progress!

So, there is no "try". Either Do It or Don't Do It! Please avoid the temptation to torture yourself with another resolution that doesn't have any "meat" behind it. Although New Year's resolutions are usually not effective, it can be very useful to take time to think about the year ahead. What do you want to accomplish? What is working well in your life, and what needs to change? What steps are you truly committed to taking to reach your goals? What would achieving these goals mean to you and your loved ones? What would it feel like?

When you are ready to commit to your new goals, make sure you have a strong support network in place. Rely on your friends and family for moral support. If necessary, consult a professional (e.g., hire a life coach to help you maintain focus and enhance your confidence as your reach for your goals).

As a Life & Wellness Coach, Psychotherapist, and Personal Fitness Trainer, I work with clients to redesign their lifestyle habits. I can work with you to evaluate the habits that are working for you and those that are simply ineffective and unhealthy. I will help you set goals and develop action plans to attain them. Those who decide to make physical exercise and healthy eating a "must" reap benefits in all areas of their lives — they become more energetic, look better, feel more confident, and become more effective in all
they do! Contact me at 732-842-3515 or visit


No comments:

Post a Comment