Like most people, January marks a new time for healthy changes.  Whether it is a commitment to exercise or diet, make sure you set up realistic goals.  If you have never exercised don’t decide to start at 7 days a week.  This might be an unrealistic goal that leads you to throw in the towel.  Start by marking your calendar for 2-3 days a week, and then build up from there when you see that it fits into your lifestyle.  Otherwise, just stick with your goal of 2-3 days a week.

Using techniques such as SMART goal setting will allow you to be successful in 2019.

  1. Specific – This is the key to success.  “I will run a 10K this year” is a very specific goal. “To be healthier” would be an example of a vague goal.
  2. Measurable – This is how you will reach your goal. Making your goal measurable gives you a way to obtain the goal.
  3. Attainable – This can be tricky, you must choose a goal that is attainable, but still challenging.
  4. Relevant – Set a goal that is currently important to you now.  Also, make sure that it will work into your lifestyle.  Perhaps, you know a group of people who run after work.  This would make a running goal easier to fit into your lifestyle.
  5. Time –  Give yourself a deadline. For example, if  your goal is to run a 10K sign up for one now and plan your training schedule leading up to the date of the race.

Please remember there are many fitness options: cycle studios, boot camps, running clubs, yoga, pilates, and dance studios.  There are also many fitness apps, DVDs, as well as  YouTube that can provide amazing workouts.  Please don’t forget about adult recreation leagues, it’s a great way to exercise and meet new people.

As with exercising and healthy eating, don’t go with the “all or nothing” approach.  It is ok, if you don’t eat well one day or work too late to exercise.  The most important thing is to not give up!  Find what works for you and your lifestyle and stick with it.

Stay Strong in 2019!

Kim O’Brien MS
ACE, NASM, NASE, RYT-200, Schwinn Spin


American Council on Exercise: SMART goal setting guide; November 2016