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Fitness Blog- Making your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions Stick

Dr. Rick Douglass, PT
National Director of Education
Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

The beginning of a new year lends an opportunity to reevaluate, prioritize and make changes. A New Year’s Resolution is a promise that we make to ourselves to do an act of self-improvement, to identify new ways to reach our personal and professional goals. Many of these resolutions revolve around Fitness. This is the time of year when many of our patients and clients are resolving to eat less, drink less, exercise more and get a better night’s sleep. Today Matt Smith, from FYZICAL Fitness in Fort Myers is here to share some tips about setting smart, realistic fitness goals for 2017 and making them stick!

The Problem

Nearly 1/2 of all Americans make New Year’s Resolutions but only 8% actually follow through and accomplish their goals. So how do we keep our ambitious fitness goals from dissolving into a feeling of self-defeating thinking and disappointment?

The Solution

  1. Find your, Why?  Author Simon Sinek defines your “Why” as the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.  At FYZICAL Fitness we ask all of our clients to create a “Why Statement” and then we ask them to write them down on our “Why board” for all to see.   A Why Statement is one sentence that provides you with clarity, meaning and direction.  As we make our New Year’s Fitness resolutions it is easy to come up with the what and the how.  To make those resolutions stick, start with Why!
  2. Find the Truth in your starting point. To begin the process of creating change you must start with an honest acknowledgment of where you are with regards to your current health and fitness level. This may require consultation with your physician if you haven't already done so. After that, a fitness professional can help you to establish the baseline from which you will work from. At FYZICAL Fitness we utilize the state of the art BODYQ for innovative benchmarking of your body’s performance from which we can create specialized fitness routines. See for details.
  3. Set Smart and Stretch Goals. Too often we fail at our fitness resolutions because we set goals that are unrealistic or unattainable. We set ourselves up for failure by creating goals that seem nearly impossible to achieve. On the other hand, while setting fitness goals that we can accomplish quickly might give us a sense of accomplishment, that “mood repair” will be short lived and is hardly a path to better health and wellness. Instead, author Charles Duhigg suggests that the best strategy is pairing SMART and stretch goals. Your Stretch goals can be pretty much what they sound like, far reaching goals that might initially seem impossible to achieve. Your SMART goals help you to get there. If your Stretch goal was to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, get off of all medications and lose 30 pounds you can break that down into a series of SMART goals to assure that you never lose your way and that you always know what to do next. SMART stands for:

Specific: “I am going to walk for 30 minutes, 3 times this week”

Measurable: I will use an activity tracker or a fitness app on my phone to measure my performance

Achievable: I have the time set aside and good walking shoes and my course all mapped out!

Realistic: I am physically able to walk this distance, there is nothing standing in my way!

Timeline: I am going to walk from 7:30 to 8:00 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week!

Pairing of Stretch and SMART goals allows you keep in mind your larger ambition while also creating consistent sense of accomplishment. This is a system that rewards your brain over time!

Other suggestions for making it Stick!

  1. Keep a Journal:  Write down your stretch and SMART goals.  Keep track of your progress.  Write about how it felt to accomplish your specific goal for each day.  Consistently remind yourself of your WHY!
  2. Find a Buddy:  Exercising with a friend creates a sense of competition and holds you accountable.  Find someone with similar goals and at a similar starting point and plan, together to reach your goals!
  3. Make it Fun!:  Find what is fun for you!  Some of us enjoy exercising in groups or as part of a class, others enjoy the solitude of an early morning walk on the beach.  Whatever it is, find what is fun for YOU and make that the biggest part of your daily routine

Click on the link below to see Matt Smith from FYZICAL Fitness in Fort Myers present these ideas on our Fitness Friday spot on Wink News! Please share on your social media sites!!!