Christian Living


Formulate Your Fitness Goals for the New Year

It’s that time of year once again. The holidays have come and gone, and if you’re like most Americans, you’ve consumed your share of holiday treats at office parties, family meals, and church or club functions. The calories have added up and now you have the extra pounds. Ready to make that annual New Year’s resolution to exercise and lose some weight? Few follow through. But you can make this year different. Begin a regimen of exercise that continues throughout 365 days, not just a few.

The staff at your fitness facility wants to help you have success. Be sure to take advantage of all the support they offer. Start by understanding the reasons most of us have a difficult time committing to our resolution: Lack of motivation, no one to hold you accountable, scheduling conflicts, no specific goals established,and no deeper spiritual motivation in your weight loss and fitness quest.

Lack of Motivation

Let’s face it: exercise is not always fun and easy. It takes time, effort, and discipline to maintain a regular exercise routine. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would look and feel great. Do you need to change your mindset when it comes to exercise? People often look at the negative aspects to exercising and working out. They think about the time it takes to get to the gym, have a bad attitude about the effort required, and crave foods and sweet treats even before they cut back on them.

Instead of thinking about all the negatives associated with your New Year’s resolution, focus on all the positives instead. Any accomplishment in life comes with a price and involves a sacrifice. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, focus on all the benefits that sticking to your New Year’s resolution will provide. You will look better, feel better, have more energy, find greater meaning and value in your life, get more done at work and at home, and feel good about your accomplishments.


Don’t have anyone to hold you accountable? That’s about to change!Accountability is a dual responsibility that rests with both you and your facility. You need someone to keep you accountable. Your fitness facility has systems in place to help. If you are a new member or if you’ve never done it before, be sure to participate in your facility’s “newcomer orientation”. Typically it involves a tour of the facility and two or three sessions to start you on a fitness program. You should also seriously consider hiring a personal trainer for at least one month to help you get you’re program started well. A good trainer will keep you accountable, encourage, motivate, and educate you. If you can’t afford any of the trainer options now, at least identify someone at your fitness facility to keep in touch with you, monitor your progress, and keep tabs on you. Think about your choices and then ask them right now.

Scheduling Conflicts

You need to take your gym visits seriously by scheduling your workout times each week. You schedule your important appointments: doctor visits, work schedule, family activities, meetings, errands, and more. Your workout times should be no different. They should command the same respect and priority that every other important appointment has in your life. Schedule your weekly workout times in advance and write them in your weekly planner.

Establish Specific Goals

Goal setting is vital to reach your ultimate destination. Too often we look at the big picture only. Let’s say for example that your New Year’s resolution is to lose thirty pounds. You can’t just set your sight on losing thirty pounds. Instead, set smaller goals along the way. Use the SMAC formula for goal setting. SMAC stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Committed. Your goals need to be specific. If your goal is to lose thirty pounds, then set a weekly weight loss goal of three pounds. This goal is measurable and realistic (most medical experts recommend losing no more than 2.5-3 pounds per week). To complete the SMAC formula, commit your goals to writing and keep a record of your progress.

Find a Deeper Reason to Do It

Perhaps you’ve seen the television commercial where football legend Peyton Manning says that unless you’re young or an athlete you shouldn’t worry about trying to get rid of the fat on your waist—just wear a larger shirt. We laugh but it is true. Most people see losing fat as their only purpose. Do some soul searching and identify the deeper reasons you want to make changes in your life. Find some quiet time and give it some serious thought. Commit to your goals, write them down, seek a qualified fitness expert to assist you, and seek deeper wisdom to follow thorough. You can be a source of inspiration and motivation for others to adhere to their own New Year’s resolution.

From Faith & Fitness Magazine August/September. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © Faith & Fitness Magazine and Lifestyle Media Group. Faith & Fitness Magazine is a lifestyle resource to build physical and spiritual strength. It helps readers make connections between the Christian faith and the fitness lifestyle. To contact the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Brad Bloom, for reprint permission, e-mail brad@faithandfitness.net.


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