By Kristy Osborn, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness CenterJanuary 26, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The key to success for any New Year's resolution is to set realistic goals.
Be realistic about the time needed to accomplish goals. Re-evaluate goals whenever necessary to stay practical. Use baby steps, and set smaller goals inside the main resolution to reach that final goal.
If the goal is to lose 30 pounds in six months, set six small goals of losing 5 pounds per month. If after three months, 20 pounds have been lost, re-evaluate the goal and set a higher target. Without small goals, even people with the best intentions and great willpower will stumble.
Don't be discouraged if you didn't make it to the gym every day this past week. Remember, quality is better than quantity. Just showing up at the gym every day doesn't count. To make progress, move your body more, increase heart rate and exercise new muscles.
Gradually improve your fitness levels to ensure your own safety. If a goal is to compete in an endurance event, such as a half-marathon or sprint-triathlon, increase your base fitness level slowly to a point where you can safely start a training program. This way, you'll avoid injury and allow time for muscle recovery.
If you're not sure how to get started on your new goal, or if you've already fallen off the wagon, you can always meet with one of the personal trainers at the Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness Center, who specialize in exercise programing and/or sports activities.
A personal trainer can also help people set realistic goals and keep them focused on each short-term goal, because the goal to success is being realistic.
Set yourself up for success with a goal that's within your reach ... and go for it.
(Editor's Note: Fitness Facts is a standing column that runs in the Hawaii Army Weekly, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's post newspaper. View more Fitness Facts columns at http://www.hawaiiarmyweekly.com/news/category/fitness-facts.)