New year, new you, right? Wrong. Well, sort of. While a lot of people talk about weight loss and getting in shape when it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions, most also have a secret. They’ve been thinking about getting in shape for a lot longer than you might realize, but simply needed the motivation to get started.
It doesn’t matter if you set your mind towards becoming healthier in January or July. All you have to do is make sure you are setting realistic, achievable goals. Here’s how.
Look for Realistic Numbers
Let’s say you weigh 200 pounds and want to weigh 140. That’s a total loss of 60 pounds. It’s totally doable, but the faster you lose it the more likely you are to gain it back. Most people lose larger amounts of weight in the first week or two, and then taper off to something more maintainable. The average rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Seriously. There’s nothing wrong with that. Faster is OK, if you are acting in a healthy manner. But don’t be surprised if the numbers stay on the low end.
Be Kind to Yourself
We live in a fast-paced society where we think things should happen a lot faster than they actually do happen. So let’s say you lose 5 pounds and then only lose a half pound. Does that mean you should stop trying altogether; or give up? Of course not! It means you need to assess what you did the last week and then make a plan for the week moving forward. Progress is progress, no matter how small the increments.
Understand Your Body
This is especially important for women. I highly recommend women do NOT weigh themselves daily, especially during menstruation. I’ve seen women fluctuate pounds in a day, simply because of hormones. I personally like to weigh myself once weekly. I weigh at the same exact time every day – first thing in the AM. This gives me a true sense of where I am and the one week where I know I’m retaining water I sort of shrug off because the scale always seems to even back out the following week. Don’t stress. Embrace your body and your hormones. And never stop moving forward because you’re frustrated about what your hormones are doing to you!
Fitness Buddies and Fitness Tools
Grab a fitness buddy, if you can, and work out together at least once a week. You don’t have to do every single workout together, but one will keep you motivated to workout alone between sessions. If you can’t find a local buddy, get some sort of fitness monitor. You can see the video about the new Fitbug Orb online; the FitBit is great; and Garmin has tons of great products. There are dozens to choose from, and many have online community support forums so you can actually buddy up with others – just virtually.
The key in setting realistic goals is to be kind to yourself. It’s OK to fall off the wagon, have a couple of bites of a sweet treat now and then, or even skip a workout. Just don’t do it often, and jump right back on the bandwagon instead of giving up!

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