By Josh Sample, BA

Have you ever wanted to accomplish a fitness goal (or any goal really) and felt that you’ve had all the motivation in the world and have no plan of attack? Or perhaps you’ve got a plan and lack motivation? Maybe you’ve even started a path in the past, or you’re in one now, and just get burned out? My advice is to start at the beginning. Before working towards the goal, before planning and prepping, before starting at all, we need to take a look at ourselves–in the mirror specifically. 

While I admire the concept of New Year’s Resolutions, many of us do not follow up. According to Forbes, approximately 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Of that 40%, it’s estimated that only 8% follow through. While these New Year’s Resolutions may cover all areas of life, I want to focus on health-related resolutions or goals. 

My first piece of advice for those trying to accomplish a goal is this: Be honest with yourself. If you do not workout or haven’t for awhile, how realistic is it that we set the goal of “Starting Monday, I’m going to go to the gym everyday.” I guarantee by Thursday you’re at home with an ice pack (if you’ve even made it to Thursday). A more realistic goal would be: “I’m going to go to the gym 2-3 times next week.” You want to start out small and work your way up. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

My second piece of advice would be to not make too drastic of a change. Your body needs time to adjust to new things and scenarios. If you’re trying to lose weight and decide to cut calories, cutting 1,000 calories overnight might not be the best way to go. Rather, try cutting 100-200 calories a day. This won’t be enough to be noticeable to your hunger cravings, but over the course of a few months could account for several pounds of weight loss. Along with this, try not to be too restrictive. You gotta let loose every once and awhile. I recently saw that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hasn’t eaten candy for 10 years. Even I had m&m’s in my trail mix while I wrote this! You can’t be too hard on yourself.

My last piece of advice is make it a goal you’re excited about! If you’re going to dread going to the gym everyday, then take a walk to the park. If you’re trying to incorporate more protein into your diet but don’t enjoy eating beef, have chicken instead. My best advice is to have a plan you can actually see yourself following through on. Each day should be an opportunity to get better and take another step in the direction of your goal. Choose a goal you’re excited to accomplish, with a plan of attack you know you’re going to crush. Your first step has already been made by establishing a goal, now look in the mirror and get serious!