Many people decide to make a change in their lives when the new year rolls around. Typically, this change usually involves some sort of health-related decision or weight loss goal. However the majority of these good intentions usually fizzle out within a few weeks. Here are some suggestions on how to "stick to your guns" when creating fitness goals this year.
Join a club. Not just a gym or health club, but a club that organizes workouts, has events, and creates connections with other like-minded individuals. These "comrades" hold each other accountable while providing support and guidance. Some examples (which were readily available in an internet search) are the Annapolis Tri Club (www.triannapolis.org) or the Annapolis Striders (annapolisstriders.org).
Start off slowly. There is always a tendency to do too much too soon. This quickly leads to burnout, overuse, and injury. Start off by doing 3 workouts a week for 4 weeks, then begin building from there. This will ensure workouts are fun, refreshing, and not a chore. Remember, the goal is a lifestyle change for the long-haul, not a short term weight loss for the summer.
Write it down. Putting a goal on paper and mapping out the steps makes it more real and tangible. It also allows time to put the goal in perspective, ponder it, and decide how to go about reaching it. Seeing a goal in writing every day also helps with accountability, as everyone in the household will see, be aware of it, and know if the goal is not reached.
Consult a professional. There are personal trainers everywhere who know what they are doing. They can motivate you, encourage you, offer advice, and set up goals for you. Also, if some cash is dumped into a personal trainer it stings a little more to give up without "sticking it out.".
This new years, create a fitness plan that will challenge, motivate, and refresh. The ideas above will help focus energy in the right areas while avoiding the pitfalls many people make in the new year. Happy Training!