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8 Steps to a Successful Resolution

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? I TRULY hope they are going well, I mean it is only January 5th. But, according to a commonly cited statistic only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. No wonder we “repeat” our resolutions year after year. That percentage will NOT move us to the next grade! Today I wanted to share some tactics, tips, and advice on how to create a resolution (or goal) and set yourself up for success. It’s not enough to just state, “I want to lose 30lbs this year” we need to dig deeper. So, here are some steps to take

Step 1: Create SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound).
ex. I will  spend less time on devices when with my kids. My SMART goal is:
“I will designate specific times during the day to check social media/email (6-8am; nap time; after 8pm) AND will only be on it during those times to do designated work (after 8pm I can mindlessly scroll). I will put a note with these times on my computer and phone and will keep devices out of reach.”

*notice my goal is an “I WILL” statement. write yours this way as well

Step 2: Add a WHY to the Goal – the why is our motivation and what will help keep us on track. My Why for the above goal is, “I want to set a good example for my children; I want to be intentionally present while I’m with them; I don’t want to miss out on these potential memories; and I find I can keep the house a little tidier when I don’t waste time on social media all day.”

Step 3: Write a Contract – Print out your SMART goals (I WILL statements) and your Why; sign it; and hang it somewhere you will see it everyday (bathroom mirror). This way you can check in daily to make sure you are on track. 

Step 4: Find an Accountability Partner: You may need to find a few people to keep you  accountable. First, you want someone with similar goals to work parallel to you. Second, you want a person who will be supportive, but will also be honest and let you know when you are slacking. Third, find someone to act as a mentor; someone who has accomplished the goal (can even be someone online via a blog, video, etc.). Fourth, find a community associated w/ that goal; the sense of belonging is comfortable, safe, and motivating.

Step 5: Believe in Yourself – you need to believe it’s possible for it to actually be possible. On the contract from Step 3 write motivating statements such as: “I can do this,” “I WILL do this,” “I deserve this,” “My family deserves this,” “I BELIEVE in myself.”

Step 6: Choose Goals that Fit Your Life – we all have different capabilities and realities. Just because Jane down the street; who doesn’t work or have kids, hired a trainer for 3hrs everyday, had a personal chef, and went on a weight loss retreat for a month; lost 50lbs last year that’s likely not your reality. Be practical about your goal and plan for how to accomplish it. Take small steps and build upon that.

Step 7: Create a Habit – practice your goals and stay consistent. This will soon turn the actions into a habit and will not just be something you do, but will be a part of who you are. If you slip on a goal, don’t let that be the be-all and end-all. Just jump right back into it. We ALL slip at times. It’s not a matter of how many times you slip, it’s how many times you are willing to get back up!

Step 8: Reward Yourself – while building that habit, be sure to reward yourself for every little success. This will help keep you motivated to continue with the goal until it does become habit and you no longer have to think about it. Have a goal to work out consistently? Why not treat yourself with a chocolate square after each workout (once it’s habit you won’t need the chocolate to motivate you). Or, pamper yourself after a week of great workouts (massage, hair, nails, new clothes, etc.)

So, what are your resolutions / goals this year?

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Setting Up a Workout Routine

What muscle groups should I work? How often should I lift or do cardio? Can I lift two days in a row? These are questions I hear a lot. And the answers will vary greatly depending on your goal. But, I find that for the majority of people (at least the ones I work with) their goal is general strength and fitness. In my opinion the general worker outer is putting too much stress into what to do, when to do it,  how to get it done, etc. and this can often overwhelm them.

It’s great to have some guidance though, so here is a quick guide to general fitness goals:

  1. MOVE: find a way to add more movement into your daily life:
    • Daily walks – 20+ minutes in am, lunch, or after dinner
    • Walk to errands – grocery store, Walgreens, the Park, or park in furthest spot of parking lot
    • Take an extra trip up the stairs each time you use them. Use the stairs instead of elevator
  2. FIND WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY: If you like your workout you are more likely to stick with it. Could be:
    • Working with a personal trainer (this is a great way to
    • Group classes
    • Workout videos
    • Working out with a friend
  3. SCHEDULE IT: Have your workouts/movement in your calendar as standing appointments and treat them like a dr. appointment or work meeting. They should be a priority
  4. LIFT: Strength training is so important and so good for you. Lift 1-3 times a week (depending on how often you can realistically do it).
    • Compound movements – work multiple muscle groups to help build strength and get your heart rate up. Plus, it works more muscle groups in less time! This is a great option for a quicker workout and a great way to burn more calories and fat.
    • Work with a trainer or physical therapist at least once to find out what muscle imbalances you may have and what exercises you can do to improve those
    • Work all muscle groups: chest, back (upper/mid/lower), shoulders, bicep, tricep, abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves.
    • Work in all planes of motion: frontal (side to side), sagittal (forward/backward), and transverse (rotational)
    • Challenge yourself: once you’ve established a base try going a little heavier or faster or doing more reps/sets.
  5. Cardio: in addition to daily movement try getting in 2-3 cardio sessions each week. This can be 20 min. of mindful walking, elliptical, cycling, stairs, running, a dance or kickboxing class. Again, find what you like doing.
    • Bored with cardio? Add intervals, do sprints, do it with a friend, take a class, listen to a podcast or motivating music, watch TV.

Everyone’s ideal week will look different and your ideal week may change depending on what life has in store for you at the moment. Generally, for me an ideal week would look like this:

  • Monday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Tuesday: 20-60 min. cardio (either at 5am, during kids nap, or after they go to bed)
  • Wednesday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Thursday: walking stairs (60-100 flights) during son’s weekly appointment
  • Friday: rest or long walk (with daughter in stroller, or during nap)
  • Saturday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (usually in basement while husband feeds kids breakfast)
  • Sunday: rest or additional cardio session (long walk with family on way to park)

Need help planning your perfect week? Let’s talk – hahnfitness@gmail.com