Resolution solutions

by Karl Lenser

January is in full swing and I hope that your fitness resolutions are being adhered to and have not been discarded. Unfortunately, the majority of New Year resolutions usually fade into the sunset as the calendar progresses into February and March. However, there is hope on the wellness horizon.

Individuals who establish both short- and long-term fitness goals will generally have a greater chance of success, especially if they follow the S.M.A.R.T. principle of goal setting. Goal setting is tied into a key principle of health and wellness — motivation. Having a S.M.A.R.T. goal can create the motivation necessary to make some healthy changes in one’s lifestyle.


Make sure the goal is not hazy or too general in nature. “I want to lose weight” is a good example of how NOT to establish a goal. “I would like to lose 15 pounds by April 30” would be a more specific goal.


You should be able to objectively measure your goal. In the example above, the weight loss can be easily measured and is specific. A specific amount of pounds to be lost by a particular day is a great example of a goal that is clear, concise and measurable.


Both long- and short-term goals need to be realistic and attainable. “I want to drop 40 pounds by Feb. 28” would be very unrealistic. One to 2 pounds per week is achievable and is also a healthy goal. Don’t set yourself up for failure by being too aggressive and unrealistic.


Establish some sort of deadline in both your short- and long-term time frames. In terms of weight loss, one could create a goal of dropping 1 pound per week over the next six months (24 pounds in 24 weeks). One pound per week translates to 3,500 calories that would have to be negated in a seven-day period (500 calories per day through exercise and some caloric cutbacks).

Resolution Advice 101

If you have not done so already, write your resolutions/goals down on a piece of paper. Place in an easily visible location (bathroom mirror, work station, computer screen or refrigerator door). It will serve as a constant reminder that you are on a mission to succeed — not fail!

Record your workouts and/or food intake in a logbook, spreadsheet or on a fitness app. This is VERY critical if you are striving for fitness improvements and weight loss. The hardest part of this task is making it a habit and not forgetting to log in your data.

Get as much social support as possible. A spouse, friends and co-workers can be very beneficial in helping you with whatever resolution(s) you have. Stay positive and don’t allow minor setbacks to keep you away from your goal.

Reward yourself when you meet your goals.

Once you achieve your goal, you have to realize that you have to keep on doing what you have been doing to gain fitness and lose weight. Example: An anniversary or a wedding usually creates motivation to lose extra weight. Don’t make the mistake of slipping back into unhealthy habits after you have achieved your wedding weight or anniversary weight goal. Why go back to old habits and gain back the weight you have lost?

Motivation — everyone needs it because not much can happen unless you are motivated. Strive to find ways to keep motivated and excited about your fitness/wellness program and lifestyle. For example, if you have already participated in 5K distance events (walking or running), consider an 8K or 10K distance. Another tactic might include buying a new pair of jeans that are perhaps a size too small for your current weight, but they might be the carrot to entice you to keep losing weight so you eventually can fit into the jeans.

Have fun!