SMART Fitness Goals for the New Year

Almost 40 percent of all New Year’s resolutions are weight-related. When asked more than 5,000 Americans about their resolutions for 2016, the second and third most popular responses included living a healthier lifestyle and losing weight.A healthy lifestyle improves wellness and body positivity. However, too often living a healthier lifestyle remains equated with weight loss. While eating a balanced diet and increasing exercise might lead to weight loss, resolutions should not be made that align eating right and exercising with the goal of shedding pounds.
As individuals, we all represent many different shapes and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and no perfect cookie cutter molds that everyone must fit into. Before making any new year’s resolution that focuses on fitness and health, first resolve to appreciate and accept individual body shape and size.
Don’t try to change the body, don’t try to mold it like a malleable piece of clay. Instead decide to make the body strong and healthy. See what it can do. What it can accomplish.
Focus on positive, not negative. Then resolve to treat the body right. Eat nourishing foods that promote wellness and move the body to increase strength and flexibility. Set smaller goals within the larger goal of improving health. Start with eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim for a serving with every meal. Try apples with peanut butter with breakfast, a banana in cereal, or different fruits mixed into a smoothie. Push the taste buds to try new foods.
Eat less red meats and more lean meats like poultry and fish. Skip refined sugars and replace them with honey or agave nectar. Drink water instead of sweet drinks like sodas or flavored teas. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is preferred, but the rule is that the body need between two and three liters of any fluid each day (every beverage doesn’t have to be water, and men need more than women). Just drink more water. Start by replacing one sweet beverage with water.
Treat fitness the same way as food. Start small. Don’t set ridiculous goals… like trying to run two miles a day when those running shoes have never hit pavement. Walk a half-mile. Just walk. Be good to the body, treat it kindly. Build up to running.
For a relaxing and meditative workout, try yoga. The postures of yoga practice – even the easy postures for beginners – help tighten the core and build strength. Yoga’s focus on breathing also aids in relaxation. Don’t push for a session every single day. Aim first for one or two days a week. Then increase the frequency as the body demands.
Measure success in progress, not pounds. Use a pedometer to track steps, and gradually try to increase that number. Make a goal to learn a new yoga posture each week, or a new exercise. Make mini fitness goals weekly and provide rewards for hitting those goals.Yes, give rewards for meeting goals. Fun rewards. Rent a movie online. Buy a new album. Download a new game. But give rewards for a job well done.
While so many Americans set resolutions for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss, only about eight percent of individuals who make a resolution for the New Year actually keep those resolutions. Be realistic about resolutions and the body. This year, resolve to reward the body with fitness and good health. Focus on a positive resolution, and be one of the eight percent.


Tara Heath is a health professional and works as a freelancer writer in the evenings. Her writing focuses mainly on health, such as skincare and how to live a healthy lifestyle overall. She lives in Burbank, Ca.


*Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Zensorium.




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