A SMART Plan to Achieve Your New Year's Fitness Goals

Every year, millions of people make health- and fitness-focused New Year's resolutions.

Whether those goals include losing weight, hitting the gym more, training for an upcoming event or just eating healthier, so many people start off strong only to have their resolutions dissolved into nothing after a few weeks. They sit on the couch, watching the "Biggest Loser," and feeling guilty.

The excuses are always good, too. Let's review a few:

  • There isn't enough time
  • I'm too tired
  • I don't need to work out
  • Working out is boring
  • I don't like going to the gym alone
  • It's too expensive
  • I don't know what to do

Do these sound familiar? How do these make you feel?

Certainly not happy or motivated to reach your goals. But every person has used at least one of these excuses at some point in his or her life. You're not alone.

How do you pick New Year's resolutions that are attainable and will keep you motivated well past the first two weeks?

Make your resolution and goals SMART and you'll be one step closer to achieving the greatness you deserve.

S: Specific: Have a detailed goal in mind. A perfect example would be, "I want to lose 25 pounds in four months and participate in a fun run."

M: Measurable: By making your goals measurable, you'll be able to track (and see) your results as you go. Take your measurements (chest, waist and hips) at the beginning, middle and end of the timeframe you choose. Write them down.

A: Attainable: Set yourself up for success. Create an attainable goal that you know you can reach.

R: Realistic: Make your resolutions realistic. If you are just starting an exercise plan, create a resolution that will be realistic for your body. "I want to lose 25 pounds and complete a 5K fun run in less than 45 minutes," is a realistic goal.

T: Timely: Make your resolutions timely so you don't lose focus. By setting a deadline you provide yourself with an end to your means. "I want to lose 25 pounds and run a 5K fun run in less than 45 minutes by March 31, 2015."

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