Yes, 2013 is almost over. Now is the perfect time to look back over the past year and evaluate what you've accomplished and what you may have missed out on.
How important was health and fitness to you in 2013? Where will it rank in 2014? Luckily, you still have a few weeks to make plans for what could be your healthiest upcoming year yet.
Find your fitness success in 2014 with the following tips.
Grade yourself. Think back to your fitness goals for 2013. Did they include weight loss or improving your nutrition? Are you healthier now than you were a year ago? Grade yourself on your efforts. You get an A if you improved your health, a C if you maintained, and an F if you knowingly let your health worsen. Your grade should not discourage, but rather tell you where you need to go in 2014.
Acknowledge your weaknesses. If you made progress over the past year with your health, congratulate yourself and be proud. But, if you slid backward or know there are bad habits you need to get under control, identify them and understand why they are keeping you from reaching your goals. Do you lack motivation to get to the gym, or turn to food when stress hits? If you know your weaknesses, you can build a plan to change them.
Find your motivation. Maybe you have an annual physical coming up in a few months, or you're taking a vacation and want to look and feel your best, or you just want to be around longer for your grandkids -- whatever you use as a motivator, make sure it truly means something to you. It must keep your focus when things get tough.
Set a new goal. If you never hit your goal in 2013, it wasn't a good goal to begin with. Either it was too challenging or not nearly as motivating as you thought it would be. When setting a goal, be realistic. "I want it all and I want it now" is not the best philosophy if you plan to set yourself up for success. Pick a goal that's challenging and requires focus, but one that doesn't burn you out in the first month. If you have a weight loss goal of 30 lbs. for example, break it up into three manageable goals of 10 lbs. Give yourself adequate time, and set secondary goals along the way to keep you moving forward.
Get help if you can't do it on your own. Don't be afraid to talk to friends or family about your fitness goals for 2014. Maybe others have similar goals and you can pair up and receive some much needed motivation. Also, by making your intentions clear to others, you will feel a sense of accountability around these people and to yourself. Additionally, personal trainers and wellness coaches make a living out of helping people reach their fitness goals, so if you've struggled in the past, it may be time to talk to a professional as well.
Make 2014 the year you finally lose weight and stay healthy for good. For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit our website at GetYourPush.com for links to our Facebook and Pinterest pages.
• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.