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6 Ways To Conquer Fitness Goals

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2. Take Inventory


Once your mission statement is in ink (or stored on your hard drive), take some time to clearly look at your assets and liabilities: What do you have going for yourself, and where are you now, relative to where you want to be?

If you’re trying to change the way you look, take a “before” photo. If you want to finish stronger in your next 5K, use your heart-rate monitor’s stopwatch function on your next run and get a baseline. If you want to deadlift 300 pounds, get a clear sense of what your muscles can heft now.

While taking stock, consider not only your present physical condition but also what has worked for you historically. “A lot of answers can be found in your past,” says Linda Spangle, RN, MA, author of 100 Days of Weight Loss: The Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan (Thomas Nelson, 2007). So reflect on those periods when you’ve found success and enjoyment in your pursuit of fitness: Was it the era when you hit the gym every day before work? When you played on a team, worked out with a partner, trained for a competitive event?

It’s also wise to take inventory of any recurring injuries, pain and other functional limitations that might hold you back. Some of these problems might be obvious; others (like stiff hips or a tight back) might not be as evident, which is why doing an initial evaluation with a professional trainer can ultimately save you time and unnecessary setbacks. It can help you identify and remove any physical barriers to progress. “If a new client has movement or postural issues,” says Robertson, “I’d rather address that at the outset, before we jump into intense training.”

Finally, take stock of your available resources, including time, equipment and personnel: When do you have time to work out and prepare meals? Where can you find the necessary equipment? Do you need the support of a group, professional trainer or healthcare practitioner to help you get there? If so, who are those people and when can you see them?

At this stage, Karas also recommends that you “go public” with your goal: “Get your family and friends on board,” he says. That way they’ll do things like “bring you something healthy on your birthday instead of a triple-mocha cheesecake.”

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