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Resolutions to Results
Photo: Joseph Dilag
Every January gyms and health clubs are filled with new members vowing to make this the year they will stick with their resolutions of exercising regularly and losing weight. But by the time February rolls around many of these resolutions are already broken due to excuses such as lack of time, boredom or not seeing any results.

Heather Hall, a certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist, offers the following tips for achieving success with your health and fitness goals:

First, ask yourself WHY. Why do want to do this? Be honest with yourself as you ask, “Why is it so important to be healthy?” Is it because you’re tired of feeling lethargic? Tired of buying bigger clothes every year? Are you concerned that if you don’t do something about your health you may lose it entirely?

Next, ask yourself exactly what you wish to accomplish. Just saying you want to “lose weight” or “tone up” isn’t specific enough. You need to set clear, measurable goals. Having specific goals will help you stay motivated.

Third, make a plan and stick with it. We know the saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Make your health a priority. Write down your goals and commit to following through with them. Schedule your workouts, just as you would a meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Take time to pre-plan healthy meals for each week.

Finally, devise ways to track your progress. Although it can be challenging in the beginning, this step is important to your overall success. Weighing yourself is one means—though not the best. The numbers on the scale can be deceiving because they measure your body as a whole and do not differentiate between fat weight and lean muscle mass, organs and bones. A better method is to notice how your clothes fit. If your clothes are looser, you’re losing fat. For some people, the best motivator is taking pictures of themselves and comparing those over time.

If you stick to your plans, when the New Year rolls around again you won’t have to start all over with resolutions – you’ll already be there.

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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