With the birth of a new year come the fitness goals for self-improvement, empowerment and better living. However, as January carries on, you may find yourself feeling a little less sure about your ability to achieve the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself.

fitness goalsThose fitness goals may start to sound too daunting, time-consuming or draining.

It’s an extremely common thing that you shouldn’t feel bad about, especially with these tips to help you stick to your fitness goals in 2012.

#1 Schedule Your Workouts

In fact, schedule them for the first thing in the morning and don’t let anything distract you. One of the biggest ways people fail to keep their fitness goals is by continually making excuses or mismanaging their time.

You’re not as likely to have matters to attend to early in the morning as you are in the evening. Besides, your energy and testosterone levels are at their best when you first wake up, meaning you’ll have more productive workouts.

#2 Stay Realistic

A lot of people make the mistake of choosing fitness goals that are too lofty or unrealistic. If you’ve spent the majority of your life being sedentary, overeating and consuming junk food, it’s highly unlikely that you’re suddenly going to make a complete turnaround from your previous habits overnight.

People who try often fail. The key is to be gradual. Begin making small changes to your habits and behaviors like going for a short daily walk, eating a salad with each meal or getting rid of your junk food stash. The recommended place to start, however, is with more exercise. All the dieting in the world won’t help if your metabolism is sluggish from a lack of physical activity.

Reducing calories without exercising keeps you from building muscle and leaves you with a skinny-fat, flabby appearance. You should also make sure that your weight loss goals are reasonable. Don’t shoot for 10 or 15 pounds a week. Losing weight so quickly requires you to exercise excessively, starve yourself and in some cases, take harsh diet pills.

The average amount of weekly weight loss that is considered healthy is about one pound, so aim for a safer and more practical loss of 5 or 10 pounds per month.

#3  Don’t Weigh Every Day

Having patience is a must for anyone trying to get fit. One common mistake people make when they start exercising is expecting instant results. They weigh themselves religiously each day, hoping to see even the tiniest change. When they don’t see any despite their best efforts, they may feel discouraged and give up.

What these people don’t realize is that weight loss takes 2 to 3 weeks to start showing up on the scale and in their clothes. It takes your metabolism a little while to catch up to your efforts, so limit weighings to once per week, starting a couple weeks into your fitness regimen.

#4  Reward Yourself

In addition to setting detailed fitness goals, think of something you’d really like to have and set it as your reward for meeting those fitness goals. For example, if you’ve reached your goal of losing 10 pounds in a month, treat yourself to that sexy new dress you’ve been wanting.

It’s also helpful to consider how your rewards are linked to your fitness. Using food as a reward isn’t recommended because it reinforces the idea that eating will make you happy, which it won’t. Base your rewards around something that can be related to your fitness resolutions such as a trip to the spa, a salon visit or some new jewelry.

Clothing is also a good option for a reward, because by the time you’ve reached your fitness goals, you’ll look great in your new outfit.

For extra large or long-term fitness goals, consider making your reward something more grand and worthy of the hard work and subsequent transformation.

Instead of stopping at just a new outfit, go all out and get a makeover for yourself and your wardrobe. You don’t have to spend the year feeling bad about yourself for not achieving your fitness goals if you follow these tips.

Be patient, be reasonable, stay diligent and give yourself a pat on the back once in a while and you should have no trouble creating the new you!

Tyler SpraulTyler Spraul is a recent college graduate who is embarking on several online ventures. His work involves helping people save money with a Car Insurance Comparison and also promoting fitness through Weight Training and healthy living.

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