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Smart Goals = Success

By now, some of you may have already strayed from your New Year's resolutions. Don't feel bad: New Year's resolutions rarely work. Sudden changes in your routine can be very difficult to maintain. Another reason your resolutions may have already been kicked to the curb is that you did not set S.M.A.R.T. goals before embarking on your new program. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and have a Time frame for completion.

For example, a lot of new clients come to me wanting to “tone up” and lose a few pounds. These goals are vague and do not give you anything specific to work on. A better strategy would be as follows.

Specific: to lose 10 lbs of fat

Measurable: take your measurements and weigh yourself

Attainable: you cannot change the shape of your body; you must work within your genes.

Realistic: losing 10 lbs in one week…need I say more?

Time frame: healthy fat loss is usually 1 to 2 lbs per week. Therefore, losing 10lbs would realistically take up to 10 weeks (this may vary by individual).

If your goal is simply to lose 10lbs at some point this year, you might find yourself making the same resolution next January. Be S.M.A.R.T.

Becoming healthier will require that you incorporate all the components of fitness into your program. A well-rounded program will include cardiovascular exercise, strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance and agility training. A Personal Trainer will be able to devise a program containing all five components that will meet your individual needs. Consider investing in a few sessions with a trainer at your local gym or community centre.

Your nutrition will account for 50-60% of your success. Follow the Canada Food Guide or contact a Registered Dietician. Whether you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle or just feel better, you need to take a close look at what you eat and when you eat it.

Making gradual lifestyle changes is the key to sticking to your program. If you are currently sedentary, aim to start exercising 2-3 times per week. By going to the gym 6 times per week, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Pace yourself. The same principle applies to your nutritional habits.

Be prepared for setbacks. The most important thing is not to allow these setbacks to hold you back. If you miss an exercise session every now and then, don't beat yourself up. Do your best to be consistent most of the time. One last suggestion: schedule your workout sessions into your day planner at the beginning of each week. This will give you a greater sense of commitment to your routine.

Have fun!


Marsha Regis,CPT


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