West Cobb Magazine

Health & Fitness – August

TrainerSETTING S.M.A.R.T. GOALS by Bill Sonnemaker

You’ve made the decision!  You are going to improve your health by becoming more physically fit. Great! Where do you begin?  To be successful you need to have a plan.  My late maternal grandfather taught me, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”  Your goals make up your master plan.  Begin by developing your plan of action, i.e. setting S.M.A.R.T. goals:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time relevant.

For example, let’s say your high school reunion is in four months and you want to try to look your best by shedding some extra weight.  Setting the number of pounds makes it Specific and the ability to track your weight loss makes it Measurable.  Keep in mind it must also be Attainable and Realistic.  Perhaps eighty pounds wouldn’t be, but twenty would be.  Your Time frame is set at four months.  Defining a time limit for your goal helps you to stay focused and increases your probability of success.  Now continue with the process by asking yourself the following questions.

Begin by determining how often you plan to exercise, and how long will each session be.  What form(s) of exercise will you use?  Where will you exercise?  Be sure to ask yourself “why” to most of your answers to confirm the five components of each goal are intact.  You’ll be surprised at how it will refine your plan of action and keep you on track. That clarity will also help you identify whether the motivating factors are extrinsic or intrinsic.  Finding your true purpose is very important   In this case, the extrinsic motivating factor would be that you want to lose weight for the reunion.  The intrinsic motivating factor would be that you want to walk into the Reunion with stronger confidence by feeling and looking your best.  You’ll also feel more successful in front of your peers.

The plan is to lose twenty pounds in four months. You decide to exercise a minimum of three times per week for one hour each session, at the gym, doing a combination of core, balance, resistance and flexibility training.  You also say you will walk your dog every day for 30 minutes providing you the necessary cardio-respiratory exercise. 

What else can you do to ensure your success?  One thing is to actually schedule your personal exercise time just as you would any other important appointment.  Exercising in the morning ensures that it gets done, and it puts you in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day.  Another helpful hint is to look at your diet.  Are there some changes you could make that would assist you in loosing the weight?  You should know that exercise alone is usually not enough.  Keeping a food journal will guarantee you greater success; no more guessing games or easy cheating.  “A recent study found that people who keep a food diary enjoy twice the weight loss of those who rely solely on dieting and exercise.”  (Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine)  Next, are you getting enough sleep?  If something has to “give” in your daily routine, don’t let it be your exercise time or getting enough sleep. Don’t forget to drink enough water. Be sure to keep connected to your support system.  There will be days when you don’t feel like exercising and you’ll make any excuse in the book to avoid it.  A good support system will help you be accountable, stay on track and be successful.

About the Author: Bill Sonnemaker has won numerous awards including; 2007 IDEA International  Personal Trainer of the Year, 2007 NASM Bill Sonnemaker, MS, PES, CES, CSCS is CEO of Catalyst Fitness. Bill is recognized as one of the top Personal Trainers in the U.S. He has published numerous articles oBill Sonnemaker 2n health and fitness Pursuit of Excellence Award Winner 2005, 2006, 2007 Voted Atlanta’s #1 Personal Trainer IDEA Master Trainer, NASM, NSCA, ACSM, ACE, CanFitP ro He can be reached at 770-499-9143 or  bsonnemaker@fitnesscatalyst.com.. Catalyst Fitness is located at 3939 Royal Drive Suite 125, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144. To learn more about Bill and his company go to www.fitnesscatalyst.com or  http://www.fitnesscatalyst.com

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