Dream big, start small for New Year’s fitness resolution

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Fitness: TreadmillsIn 2018, I’m going to…

As we draw closer to the new year we often reflect on the year past, enjoying memories of life’s events, and sometimes wishing we had done things better. When the firework smoke clears and the haze of New Year’s Eve steadies, we move forward into 2018 with new purpose.

What will we pursue in 2018? It is a big question with thousands of possibilities. Whether you want to save more money, do more charitable work, or get in shape – you are making a choice to make hundreds of small decisions – all at once.

Last year Sarah wanted to lose 40 pounds, and she did! Her journey, however, was not as straightforward as you might think. What does it take to lose 40 pounds? On the surface, Sarah knew she had to move more and eat less, but there was so much more that needed to be done.

We developed a baseline – what is Sarah currently doing and what is her current status? Sarah was not exercising, but felt that she walked a fair amount and was on her feet at work. Despite moving around throughout the day, Sarah was still overweight. We asked about her diet – she often skipped breakfast and picked up lunch before eating a normal dinner.

From here, a battle plan was created – Sarah was going to exercise in some fashion everyday of the week and focus on eating five small meals throughout the day. It felt good to have a plan, Sarah knew what she needed to do, and I felt that I had communicated my expectations clearly. After the first few weeks, Sarah saw these results: nothing changed.

When I consulted with Sarah, here’s what I found out – going from eating twice a day to five times a day proved such a lifestyle change that it stressed her out and she ended up continuing her previous path. Sarah hadn’t been exercising so having her exercise five days in a row exhausted her body and could not recover or progress from her activity. We had bitten off more than we could chew.

I suggested to Sarah that I become her coach – I would check in with her daily and develop a strategy to slowly implement our previous goals at a more progressive pace. The next few weeks went great. Instead of asking her to eat five times a day, I asked her to eat breakfast. We began exercising two times a week, making sure to work different muscle groups and include sufficient rest in between days to let her body recover.

In the following months, Sarah began losing weight at a rapid pace. We had moved from eating twice a day to including breakfast and healthy snacks in between. Her workouts remained the same, but she started to walk the neighborhood as an active recovery method in between her workout days.

In the end, Sarah is now 40 pounds lighter and she eats five small meals per day and exercises every day of the week. Sarah’s goal of losing 40 pounds was the big choice – but deciding to start exercising over watching TV, eating breakfast instead of snoozing in the morning, and making hundreds of other small decisions with her big goal in mind is what made all the difference.

As we move forward into 2018 and set our goals, keep these things in mind:

Choosing a goal is the equivalent of making hundreds of small decisions at once.

Assess yourself to see where you are currently in relation to your goal.

Consult a coach to help you create a path to success.

Find others who share the same goals and work together towards reaching it.

Set small goals throughout the year that give way to achieving your big dreams.

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Brandon Hebert

Brandon Hebert

Brandon is the Training Manager of Anytime Fitness Destrehan and has extensive experience working with athletes young and old. After beginning his career at Elmwood Fitness working with individual clients, he started working with high school athletes and running outdoor boot camps. While working with The Fitness Principle at EJGH under Mackie Shilstone, Brandon worked with NFL and MLB athletes…

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