By Tim Hlivia | For Weekender

For the Health of It: REAL-istic goal setting in 2016 and how to succeed at it

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    It’s that time of year again, to start working on your new year resolutions.

    I can hardly say those three words without cringing nowadays. But, instead of dreading it, conquer it once and for all.

    Often, resolutions people make are so out of whack with real life that they often fall by the way-side halfway through January.

    This we know.

    What people might not know is how to set goals that are actually attainable.

    For example, setting goals like:

    • A seven-day a week fitness plan when you aren’t currently exercising
    • A 30-day detox paired with your new hardcore fitness DVD
    • Signing up for a fitness competition in May and a triathlon in August

    These “resolutions” are admirable, sure. Realistic … maybe not.

    What happens when real life kicks in? These resolutions don’t factor in sick kids, overtime or even everyday life issues that come up.

    The all-in approach rarely works which is why resolutions often fall apart.

    Instead, build flexibility into your newly made resolution. After you take care of the kids, get home from work and take your car to the mechanic, your day is still salvageable and you can still work on your goals.

    Here are a few tips from some experts you can use to stay on track despite life obstacles:

    1. Check-in with yourself daily — Wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal to review your goals/resolution. Plan your day so that you set yourself up to be successful and you don’t self-sabotage by being unprepared.

    2. Eat protein at breakfast — Include protein at every breakfast. If you don’t like or eat eggs, no worries. Protein comes in many other forms. Bottom line is to eat some form of it.

    3. Bring a snack and lunch you’re excited to eat — Grabbing random snacks as you run out the door isn’t any fun. If you do this often you’re likely to force yourself to eat what you have, even if it sucks. If you continue this pattern, chances are you won’t be sticking to your plan.

    4. Move about the office — You’re busy, I get it. But sitting too long will lead to a host of problems. Walk around after lunch even if it’s just for 5 minutes and you’re less likely to feel like snoozing mid afternoon.

    5. Hit the gym directly after work — Create a habit. Yes, maybe you used to go home after work to rest before going back to the gym. But, what a time waste! Don’t give yourself a reason to skip.

    6. Eat at the table — Typically, most people eat dinner in a rush, then runoff to the next activity (soccer, coaching, etc.). Try making a conscious effort to sit down and slowly eat the meal, so you can actually remember tasting it.

    7. Exercise whenever, wherever, and however possible — Never choose the closest parking spot. Take the stairs not the elevator. Do squats at your desk. In other words, adopt the habits of successfully fit people.

    8. Aim for “a little better” instead of “perfect” — It’s not about being perfect. It’s about gradual and continuous improvements.

    9. Get all sorts of support — Social support can make or break your fitness success. Use friends and family and even new gym buddies to help keep you accountable. Tap into these valuable resources.

    10. Show up again the next morning — Show up each day and do what you can on that day. Don’t jump ahead. This is not a race. It’s not a diet. It’s your life.

    Tim Hlivia is a trainer at Leverage Fitness Studio. Need help getting started on fitness? He will be happy to take the time and sit down with you and talk. 570-338-2386.

    By Tim Hlivia | For Weekender

    Tim Hlivia is a trainer at Leverage Fitness Studio. Need help getting started on fitness? He will be happy to take the time and sit down with you and talk. 570-338-2386.