New Year, New Goals

Jessica Duff Bio Page
It’s that time of the year again. A new year rolls around and everyone frantically decides what they’re going to do to make this year better than the last. More times than not, those goals include one of the following:

• Eating better or creating a diet plan
• Exercise more or, for some, the first time ever
• Saving money and creating a budget plan

I can’t count how many times I hear a friend say “this year I’m going to lose 15 pounds” or something like that. And then, less than two months into the New Year, that plan has gone out the window.

But I’m here to tell you that there are some realistic ways to keep those goals you set in the New Year. And that’s the key word – be REALISTIC! I’m not saying my advice is perfect or the only way to go. It’ just some thoughts based on personal experience from my own life as well as some pretty influential people in my life.

Let’s start from the beginning. What are your goals this year? Is losing weight one of them? Then, let’s be realistic with what your goal weight will be. If you’ve typically had trouble in the past when it comes to losing weight, don’t set your goal too high. Try smaller increments over a longer period of time. If you set a large goal from the get-go and don’t achieve right away, it’s easy to become discouraged and not want to keep on trying. So why not try to lose a few pounds every month or every other month?

What if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, where losing weight isn’t too difficult, but you don’t know what you should choose as your goal weight? Then look at it this way, is there a certain size you’re looking to fit into? Make that your goal. Sometimes losing inches can be a stronger motivator. But remember; be realistic about when you want to fit into that smaller size. If you’re trying to drop more than two sizes, don’t expect to do it in a month or two.

Another common resolution has to do with exercise which often goes hand in hand with losing weight. A key factor with losing weight isn’t just based on what you eat; you must also get out and exercise! Spending the bucks for a gym membership isn’t the only way to go. And sometimes, it’s not the easiest way to stay motivated.

Here’s one of the easiest ways I’ve found to make an exercise plan stick – get a workout buddy. When you partner up with someone, you end up pushing one another to make sure you achieve your exercise goals. You can easily create a workout plan that coordinates with you and your buddy’s schedules and check off various workouts when you go to the gym.

But, like I said earlier, you don’t have to go to a gym for that workout. There are plenty of things you can do for free! Check out a local park to go for a walk, bike ride or even roller blade! Yes, that’s right roller blading. It’s an amazing workout for your legs! There are plenty of bike and walking trails around central Arkansas – free of charge. And there’s a fabulous workout waiting for you in Pinnacle Mountain. Whether you hike the mountain itself or just the base trail, you’re sure to burn quite a few calories all the while enjoying the great outdoors.

If the great outdoors or an organized gym workout isn’t your thing, try joining a group activity. There are plenty of options these days. Here are some that come to mind: Zumba, yoga, Crossfit, kickboxing, etc. Personally, I’ve been involved in mixed martial arts for nearly three years. As a woman, it’s incredibly exhilarating to participate in a sport that involves so much physicality. It’s not for everyone, believe me, but it’s just a suggestion if you’re looking for one heck of a workout and an amazing confidence builder.

But I digress… when it comes to working out the best thing to do is find something that you enjoy. Don’t force yourself into a workout plan that doesn’t make you happy. Just like a diet plan or weight loss goal, it doesn’t take much to make you veer off course. Keep it simple, enjoyable and realistic.

Lastly, those financial goals for 2013… Well, I’m more of a sports and health nut than I am a financial guru. But here’s some quick advice (and I credit my parents for this one): start a budget. Find a program that can help you with this. There are some free ones out there, but most will cost (oh, the irony) between $20 and $50 depending on how fancy you get. Plan that budget based on categories where you spend the most (example: dining out, gas, groceries, shopping trips, etc.). The hardest part – stick to that budget! If your friends are going out for a night on the town, but you’ve already maxed your limit on “bar-hopping,” then it’s time to take a rain check. Who knows, your friends may follow suit.

So here’s to a Happy New Year filled with attainable, realistic New Goals! Good luck. Can’t wait to hear how you succeed in 2013.

Click Here to check out the iGadgetGeek review of the FitBit.

Tags: , , ,