It’s that time of year again: time to make those New Year’s Resolutions. But let’s make this year different, really different, and actually keep your resolutions. For stick-with-em secrets, I went to Kelly Lao, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Mountainside Mesa and Chandler. She strives to make lifestyle changes for both herself and her clients rather than looking for quick fixes. To really turn your resolutions into a reality, you need to persevere and stay positive, says Kelly, and follow this 5-part plan…
Q: How can I make my New Year’s Resolutions a reality?
A: When setting New Year’s resolutions for myself and together with my clients, I follow the advice of goal guru George Doran and make sure the goals are “SMART”…
Specific: What exactly do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to do it? Where and with whom will you do this? The answers must be clear, leaving out generalizations or vague answers. Instead of setting a goal to become more fit this year, you may decide to increase cardiovascular fitness by running outside for 30 minutes, three times a week, and to increase muscular endurance by doing resistance training at your local health club for 45 minutes twice a week.
Measurable: What is your exact numeric goal? Decide the number of your goal weight, race time or caloric intake. Write this number down and track your progress. Every four to six weeks I check and record my client’s weight, percent body fat and circumference measurements. This way they’re able to see their progress and whether they’re on track to meet their goals.
Attainable: Is this goal realistic for me to reach? It’s important not to set yourself up for failure, but also to challenge yourself. If you’re not a running, don’t make a goal to run a three-hour marathon next month, but instead to finish a 10K in under an hour.
Relevant: Is this worthwhile to you? Does it match your other efforts and is it the right time for you? If you recently got over the stomach flu, it might not be the best time to run your first race.
Time-bound: When will I reach this goal? What will I do today/in one week/in one month to get there? Make a specific timeline that states not only your completion date, but also what you’ll be doing at each stage of the process. You might say that for the first month you’ll train 30 minutes twice a week, and in the second month up it three times per week.