Top 3 Things For Fitness Newbies To Remember

We all know that fitness newbies arrive in droves at the gym in January, eager to try out new fitness routines in order to finally get into shape. This is the year. This is always the year.

But then like clockwork, unfortunately many of these people don’t stick with their new plans beyond the first month or two.

Why does this happen? Why does everyone disappear from the gym in February when they were all so gung-ho on the healthy train just a few weeks ago?

There are many reasons why this might happen, but often it’s because of the simple fact that sticking with a new fitness routine is hard, and without the right support and expectations it can be a heck of a lot easier to just not do anything at all. However, if gym-newbies try to remember a few key things, staying consistent with their new healthy routine might be that much easier.

Heck, if everyone remembers these three important things, the gym might just be a happier and healthier place overall.

1. Everyone Started Somewhere. This is the most important thing to remember when first starting out at a gym. Everyone, even the fitness freak doing handstand pushups in the corner, and the gym-bro bench pressing 350 pounds. Yes, there was a time when he bench pressed for his very first time, and guess what, his numbers probably weren’t that impressive. The girl with the six pack abs, full make up and perfectly done hair? Well, she was also the new girl at one point, and she probably had her fair share of sweaty, red-faced days in which she didn’t look quite so perfect or effortless. (Let’s save the full makeup/hair debate for another post).

It can be really easy to get intimidated by people at the gym who look like they think they know everything about fitness (they don’t), or look like they’ve been working out every day for years. It can be really intimidating to see people who know the personal training staff all by name, and who seem to be the “cool kids” at the gym. But honestly, there are no cool kids. Everyone is there working toward their own goals, and if someone goes out of their way to make you feel like you’re not a cool kid, then you have full permission to not so subtly remind them that they, too, started out as the “newbie” at one time.

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This guy thinks he knows a lot about fitness. Trust me, he doesn’t. 

2. You don’t have to “kill yourself” every time. I would say the biggest reason most fitness programs fail is because people tend to go way too hard, way too soon. People who start fitness programs generally want to see results fast, and they think that the key to that is absolutely demolishing themselves during every session. We are a society of instant gratification —  we want what we want, and we wanted it five minutes ago. People want to see physical change from their fitness routine right away, even though that attitude is only going to lead to disappointment in the gym, where change takes time and a whole lot of patience.

“Go hard or go home” does not apply to every person during every workout. Do you want to push yourself so that your body adapts to new demands and becomes stronger and faster? Of course. Do you want to end up a non-functional pile of sweaty goo at the end of every workout? No, that is not necessary, and in fact is (or should be) discouraged. In fact, if you are working with a trainer who won’t let you leave the gym unless you’ve reached muscle failure during every single workout, your main concern should be finding yourself a new trainer.

Going too hard all the time can lead to injury, especially in those who are just starting out with a new program. And even for those who manage to avoid injury, this “go hard” mentality can very easily cause you to burn out and stop working out all together. So what can you do instead of going 100% hard, 100% of the time? Work with a trainer who understands your goals and who understand the necessary steps to get you there. Follow a program that helps you to see progress and reach goals, without unnecessary pain, sheer exhaustion, or overwhelming soreness. This is the type of program you can stick with, and this is the type of plan that your body will respond to in the long run.

What good is a workout plan that is just too much for your body to handle, causing you to give up after just a few short weeks?

3. You can’t out train a bad diet. I won’t go for the cliche “Abs are made in the kitchen” here, because I do believe that it takes a careful combination of both diet and exercise to reach body composition goals. That being said, it is not possible to out train a bad diet, and what you put into your body will absolutely be reflected in your results.

How many times have you heard of people who put in a great work out, and then go home and over eat because they “earned it”? Listen, I’m all about indulging sometimes, and I’m a huge supporter of “everything in moderation”. But if you are seriously trying to lose body fat or otherwise improve your body composition, your diet needs to play a primary role in achieving your goal.

Fat loss is much more complicated than just calories in, calories out, but the honest truth is that to lose fat, their must be an energy deficit. There must be, overall, less calories consumed than expended. And once you really get down to it, calories are a heck of a lot easier to consume than they are to burn. That cookie from the bakery that you “earned”? That’s 300-500 calories that will take you about 2 minutes to eat, and there goes the caloric deficit that you’ve been working so hard for. Like I mentioned before, moderation is the key here, but losing body fat does require that this type of indulgence is kept in check the majority of the time.

And while we’re on the subject, this unfortunately goes for alcohol as well. Alcohol all but halts your fat loss, so indulging in adult beverages several times per week, while fun at the time, can keep your progress at a standstill at the very least.

4. Bonus. I know the title of the post said 3, but I’m going to give you a little gem of a bonus here. Never, ever, use the good girl/bad girl (hip adductor and abductor machines). Just don’t.

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Readers: What do you remember most about when you first started going to the gym? What would be your top piece of advice for gym newbies? 

2014: Year In Review

I seriously can’t believe that we’re already here at the end of 2014. I feel like I’ve just gotten used to writing “2014” on things, and all of a sudden we’re on the verge of ’15?! Maybe the year flew by simply because that’s what happens as you get older, but maybe it was also because it was one heck of a year for me. My year was pretty much split right down the middle by our wedding — everything up until July was pretty  much a blur as we were in the final planning stages for the big day. After that though, time did not slow down. Work seems to be as crazy as ever, although I was able to get away and relax a bit on our mini-moon and our amazing honeymoon a few months later.

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[Wedding photos courtesy of the AMAZING Rachel Darley Photography]

So where am I compared to last year? First of all, I feel as though I should be looking forward, not comparing myself to the past, but that’s what we always do, isn’t it? To be honest, I feel a little bit defeated looking back on my goals from last year. I am a far, far cry from those lifting PR goals — but a 3 month hiatus from heavy lifting due to post concussion syndrome can account for that.  Looking at it from another direction though, I may not have met my lifting goals, but I did complete something that previously seemed impossible and unimaginable — I trained and completed a seven mile race.

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The morning of the Falmouth Road Race in August

I know that seven miles doesn’t seem like a whole lot to many people, but for a non-runner like myself, it was a challenge that I wasn’t sure I would be able to complete. But I did it, and you know what? I really enjoyed it. And as Amy pointed out to me not so long ago, I’ve been running quite a bit for someone who doesn’t like running! So I guess I can thank 2014 (and New Balance) for being the catalyst for that change. Running may not be my strength, or my favorite fitness routine, but I have certainly found a place for it in my life and have learned to appreciate it more than ever before.

Don’t worry — I am not abandoning strength training, just allowing myself to broaden my horizons a little bit. 🙂 I actually miss it, I miss it a lot. I miss the feeling of an awesome dead lift PR, and I can’t wait to get back to that. I was finally able to get back to some decent lifts at the end of this year, so I’m excited to keep going with that progress!

So what has changed for me in 2014? Well, to be honest, I am not sure that much has changed on the outside. I still live in the same place, I still work at the same job, and I still love strength training, kettle bell workouts, and hill sprints. But when I really get down to it, life, although chugging along, is different these days. I’m a wife now, maybe I’ll be a mom in the foreseeable future. I’m at a point in my career where I could see myself making some major changes — and it could be time on this blog that I start making some changes as well. I’m not exactly sure what this year ahead will bring, and I’m not exactly sure where I want it to take me, but I am sure that I’m loving the process of figuring it all out.

I feel like without a list of goals today, I’m breaking some sort of blogger rule. But really, what’s the point of starting new goals on January 1st anyway? I think goals are awesome and I think they’re imperative for change, but I also believe that the day does not matter. Thursday is no different than Monday, January first is no different than July 7th. I have goals, and I’ll get around to posting them here, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary to do it today, and I think others should feel the same.

I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to start anew on January 1st, and when those goals disappear a few weeks later, we’re left to feel like failures. Instead, work on things you really want to work on, but don’t feel the need to come up with something monumental to change about yourself just because it’s the New Year. If you need a little bit more time to come up with some good, realistic, attainable goals, then do so! Your ability to set goals does not start and end on New Years Day, you have that ability every day of your life.

For now, I’m just going to have myself a darn good time tonight with an awesome group of friends, and try to wrap my head around writing 2015 on things. The goals will come in time, and when they do, I’ll be sure to let you all know what they are — because if I didn’t, what kind of blogger would I be?

Readers, do you set New Years Resolutions or goals? What was your goal from last year that you are most proud of meeting? 

Advice For January Gym Joiners

Since I work out in the gym of the college that I work at, I’m just starting to see the January Joiners (resolutioners, if you will) this week. The students just got back to campus, which means that our gym now has the influx of New Year fitness buffs that many of you have already been seeing for the past couple of weeks.

As I was looking around during my lift yesterday, I saw a handful of people who came in, looked around with a puzzled (and terrified) look on their faces, and then proceeded to just stand there with that same look for at least 10 minutes before doing anything.

I get it. The gym can be a very scary place if you’re not used to going, especially if it’s a new gym that you’ve never been to before. But my gym is about as un-intimidating as gyms can be; it’s fairly small, it’s almost all students, and the weight room is very separate from the main fitness floor. But still, people stand there amidst a sea of treadmills, ellipticals, and Life Fitness machines, without the faintest clue where to begin.

As someone who has gone through this gym-paralysis before, back when I was in college, there are five main pieces of advice I can give to these people to help make the experience a little bit more terrifying, and a little more enjoyable.

1. Just try something. If it’s your first day in a gym in months, years, or ever, start out small and do more as you become more comfortable. Maybe that means today you just walk on the treadmill or ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes. That’s ok, that’s something. Doing something easy is better than just standing there, and it will help make you feel a little bit more comfortable in this foreign space, I promise.

2. Don’t be afraid to walk around and look at things. In other words, don’t just stand there. If you’re not familiar with your gym, how are you going to know what your options are if you don’t walk around and look at things? It’s easy to walk in and hop on the first piece of cardio equipment that you see, but it’s also easy to take 5-10 minutes to walk around to get yourself oriented. No one’s going to look at you strange for doing this either. Trust me, most people at the gym are far more interested in what they are doing than what you are doing.

3. Take it slow. As with big changes in diet, big changes in your fitness routine (like working out for the first time… ever), should be made with baby steps. If you throw yourself into a super intense circuit training on your very first day there, not only do you run the risk of hurting yourself (or someone else, God forbid), but you also run a huge risk of burning out way too soon. Start easy, and go from there. Like I mentioned above, pick something that you know you can do — riding a stationary bike — and then build on it. Maybe do some planks and some body weight squats and lunges. It’s better than nothing, and it’s a good way to get your body moving after not doing so for some time.

4. Talk to an experienced professional. I kind of think this goes without saying, but if you walk into the gym and truly have no idea what to do with yourself, your best bet is probably to spend at least one session with a personal trainer.  At the very least, they will be able to show you the different equipment that the gym offers, and help you with your form on some basic exercises. Use this time well, and don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. It is their job to help you on your fitness journey, and trust me, you are not the first person they’ve seen who has no idea what they’re doing.

5. Focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t do. A lot of people stay away from the gym because they’re petrified of all of the scary looking equipment, both in and out of the weight room. Sure, you may not be able to squat like the guy in the power rack, but I’m sure that with some proper cues, you’ll be doing body weight squats like a pro in no time. This goes back to tip number 3 of taking it slow. Who cares if you have to start with body weight squats, stationary bike, and wall push ups? Everyone has a starting point, and the only way you’re going to get better is to recognize yours, and work your hardest to improve.

Jumping in over your head and getting frustrated because you can’t do a push up will not help you improve. Learning how to increase your strength gradually, working towards someday doing that first push up is what it’s all about. Focusing on the negative only reinforces the belief that you aren’t good enough, which is probably what kept you out of the gym in the first place. Instead, focus on what’s getting better — maybe your body weight squat suddenly feels too easy and you can add in some dumbbell weight — now that’s progress!

Just remember, your experience is yours and yours alone. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing or how fast you should be doing it. Sure, let a personal trainer push you a little bit, but don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be doing this weight lifting program or that running program. The important thing, when starting a new fitness regimen, is just sticking with it. Consistency is key, and hopefully after a little while you’ll actually start to enjoy yourself.

Readers: What is your biggest piece of advice for gym newbies? What scared you the most when you first started going to the gym?

Goals: Then and Now

Looking back over the past year, I can pretty easily say that 2013 was a memorable one for me. I got engaged (!!!), got attacked by an immersion blender, fell 8 feet off a wall and subsequently was saved by Superman, moved to a new apartment, and got rid of my car (welcome to the world of city dwellers with no cars!). There was a lot more, including pretty significant growth of this little blog, but these are the big things that stick out in my mind right now. I also realize, though, that New Year’s is not really about looking back but about looking forward, and thinking about how I can better myself in the new year.

NYE1My New Year’s Date! 

I’ve told you guys a long time ago that I don’t believe in resolutions. I don’t believe in picking one day per year to make up an unrealistic vision of the person that you want to be. I do, however, believe in setting specific and measurable goals that you can track throughout the year, setting new ones when you reach them. Yes, I say when you reach them, because while goals should be ambitious, they should also be attainable. What’s the point in setting goals you can never reach? Sounds pretty non-motivational to me.

I think I did a pretty good job of last year’s goals, even considering some extenuating circumstances that made a few of them pretty difficult. Let’s take a look at my old goals, how I did, and what are my plans for 2014.

Last Year’s Goal: Lifting PRs: I set goals last year of achieving a 200 lb deadlift, a 100 lb bench press, and a 170 lb squat.

Outcome: Well, two out of three ain’t bad! I actually surpassed a couple of these, recently hitting a 230 lb deadlift and a 125 lb bench. Considering there were about two months this year when I couldn’t grip a barbell, and another few months where I was out of heavy lifting all together, I would love to see what I could have accomplished if I had been healthy! Not hitting the squat goal is no surprise though — after my bike accident last year, and the other ankle injury in June, I’ve only just started back squatting again. It will take a while to get back up to where I was lifting previously, but I have no doubt that I’ll get there eventually!

New Goal for 2014:  Bench – 140 lb; Deadlift – 285 lb; Back Squat – 170 lb. Lets Go!!

Last Year’s Goal: Networking in the fitness world, as well as getting assessed at Cressey Performance, which is close to Boston. I would love to get to know them, as well as network with some of the other bigger names in fitness and strength training.

Outcome: Neither pass nor fail here. I have started communicating more with others in the fitness world, but I still have a lot of room to grow and improve. I also put off my assessment at CP, simply because of all of my ridiculous injuries which really limited my lifting abilities.

New Goal for 2014: Continue putting myself out there and reaching out to others in the fitness/strength and conditioning world as much as possible. Networking is key in this field, and I know that there are a lot of great resources out there for me! Also, I do still want to visit CP at some point. It’s kind of a splurge that I can’t afford right now, as I am trying my hardest to save for the wedding, but hopefully by the end of the year.

Last Year’s Goal: Start working on my forever-in-the-background dream — writing a book.

Outcome: Ehhhh I have lots of ideas, some of them written down, some of them not. I wouldn’t say I have anything tangible, but the potential is there.

New Goal for 2014: I think that this needs to go on the back shelf for a while. It is still a goal of mine — eventually — but I think I have too much on my plate right now to pressure myself about this. Maybe it will happen, maybe I’ll start with an ebook and go from there. But I don’t want to make any specific goals, because I don’t feel any rush to stress about this.

NEW Goals for 2014:

  • Stay relatively injury free. I’d like to think that last year was a fluke. I know I don’t have control over everything, but I will do everything in my power to stay healthy this year. Mobility work, foam rolling, regular sleep, etc. These are things that I can control, and that can make a huge difference in training and health.
  • Update my blog. I really need to make some visual updates to the blog, and that will definitely happen this year, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m not sure that self hosting is in the cards, but a major update is 100% necessary at this point. Stay tuned!
  • Expand my brand. I’ve been throwing around the idea of running an outdoor fitness group or bootcamp type workout when the weather gets warmer. This will need a lot of planning and organization, but it’s something that I would really love to do. Again — stay tuned — I’ll give you all more details when I figure them out myself! I’ve got some other ideas as well, but I think I’ll keep those under wraps until I think it’s the right time 🙂

…. That’ all for now! I’ve got some other life goals that really have nothing to do with nutrition or fitness, so I’ll leave those off of here, for now at least. I hope everyone had a marvelous New Year’s Eve, whether you hit the town or stayed cozied up in your jammies on the couch!

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Happy New Year, blog world! Here’s to 2014! 

Resolutions Are For Suckers: Part 2

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: Resolutions are for suckers.

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Read here for my explanation of this statement.

But if you’re too lazy to click on that link and read the old post, here’s the gist of it: Resolutions are wishy washy bullshit that are easily broken. Goals have specific end points  and are easily measurable so that you know exactly where you stand. I don’t set resolutions anymore; I set challenging goals that I can keep track of, goals that will keep me on track for the bigger things I want in life. So heading into your new year, do yourself a favor and set some specific, measurable goals so that you will know exactly when you’ve reached them.

If you don’t know when you’ve reached your goals, what’s the point in setting them?

So without further ado, here are the things I would like to accomplish in 2013:

Deadlift/Squat/Bench: In 2013, I want to get stronger. I want to get my DL up to 200 lb, my back squat to 170 lb, and my bench to 100 lb.  I know I can do it! I think the most challenging one will be the back squat,  just based on my experience this year. But I have a lot of confidence that I can accomplish these because I also want to…

Have someone else do my programming: I know a decent amount about strength training and fitness (but I’m no expert). I know a lot about nutrition and sports medicine, so I should be able to just train myself, right? Wrong. Someone on the outside can often see weaknesses that you don’t see, can often pick out faulty movement patterns that you might not even be aware of.  There’s something holding me back on progressing my back squat (and I have a feeling it’s my poor hip mobility), but someone on the outside can probably do a better job at corrective programming, because they’re seeing me with a totally objective eye. I would LOVE to get assessed by Tony Gentilcore and get a program from him, so I’m thinking that will be something I splurge on in the near future. I read Tonys blog all the time, and with him being a local guy, how could I not want him to do my programming, or at the very least an assessment? We’ll see if he has room in his schedule for little ol’ me. 😉

Continue running strong with The Tribe: I’m sure by now we all know how much I hate endurance running (for myself). But if you remember a while back, I wrote a post about running stadiums on Wednesday mornings with a group called the November Project. Well, since I started going,  I have become absolutely addicted, and have become obsessed with improving my times each week. There’s just something intoxicating about the positive energy of the group that keeps me coming back for more. I know that it’s stalling my strength progress a little bit, but I love doing it so much that I think it’s worth the trade off, at least for now. My goal is to make it to every single Wednesday morning November Project run in 2013  (with exceptions for travel, work conflict, serious illness, or injury, of course) And NP, if you’re reading, you can consider that my #Verbal. 

And to give myself an even more specific goal on that front, I want to get my “full tour” (running all 37 columns of the stadium) down to under 37:00. (My best time right now is 40:58.)

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Dream Big: I’ll elaborate more on this in the very near future, but I’ll give you a little teaser now. A big dream of mine is to write a book, and I vow that the process will start this year, in 2013. I’m not saying I’m going to complete it this year, because that’s completely unrealistic. But the ideas are there, the dream and the will power are certainly there, and the only thing left is to just do it.

Talk to my family more: When life gets hectic, I tend to get sucked into a black hole of work, writing, and other things and I don’t always talk to those I love enough. I try to talk to my mother at least once per week, but there have been several times this year where it has slipped by to 2-3 weeks in the blink of an eye. In the wake of the recent Newtown tragedy and my own accident weeks before that, I have really started to think about how very important it is to talk to loved ones regularly, and let them know how important they are. I will call my mother at least once per week, and I will call my sister more often too. It’s easy to take family for granted, but really, without getting too morbid, you never know how much more time you have. Sometimes months can go by before talking to my sister, and that’s just not right. Let’s fix that NOW, while we still can.

Stop being such a pansy and start reaching out to some of the bigger strength and conditioning blogs that I read. Some of those people would make me seriously star struck if I met them (Hello, all of the Girls Gone Strong), but I’m not sure what it is that makes me think that I’m not their peer. Yes, I’m a newer blogger, but I’ve got a lot of good ideas and I need to stop telling myself that I can’t get to their level. I can get to their level, I just have to put a lot of hard work in, and start networking like crazy.  So I have set the goal of reaching out to at least one new blogger per month, via email, and start making some connections. Boom! Done.

These are my bigger goals for 2013. Hopefully I can remember to check back in every few months or so to monitor my progress, but I think I’ve given myself some challenging (but realistic) things to work towards. 2012 was a big year for me, and I must say I worked my butt off to make it that way. If I keep working hard, 2013 could shape up to be just as big, with just as many milestones. Only time (and hard work) will tell!

What about you? What are your biggest goals for 2013? Have you ever thought about writing a book? Do you generally meet your New Years goals or do you forget about them by February? 

The Year In Review

Well, it’s that time of year again isn’t it?

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That time when people look back on the year that has just passed and take stock of their life then vs. now.

Basically, there are two categories of people at the end of December. There are those who had set goals in January and reached them, and then there are those who set goals or resolutions and failed miserably to achieve them (usually within the first couple months of the year). I suppose there are also those who don’t set any goals at all, so they find another way to measure the year they’ve just had (or they don’t take measure at all), but that’s neither here nor there.

Looking back, I realize that I set a few lofty goals for myself back in January, one of which that was realistically beyond my reach. But I did accomplish two out of three, and although I didn’t quite reach the third, I tried my damnedest to. I will say this: even though I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to, I’m very proud of the goals that I did reach, and it only makes me hungrier to keep working towards those other goals in the future.

Since most of you didn’t know I existed way back in January, you can go back and read my original New Years goals post here, or you can just stay right here and I’ll give you the quick version. The following are the goals I set for myself at New Years 2012, followed by a few words about how I fared, when I completed it, or what went wrong if I didn’t.

Goal 1: Complete my MS in Nutrition.

Outcome: DONEZO! I completed my coursework last spring and graduated in April from my Master’s program. It felt amazing to be done after 2 years of grad school combined with working full time, and it was something that I had set my sights on long before I started.

Goal 2: Take (and pass) the CSCS exam from the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association).

Outcome: BOOM. Crushed it! I took this on December 1st and found out 2 weeks later that I had passed. A lot of people have asked me why I took this exam; was I trying to get a new job? And the answer is no, I was just trying to make myself better. So I did. And I will continue to. So there.

Goal 3: Back squat 200 pounds

Outcome: Womp womp. My PR on my back squat this year stalled at 155, and I haven’t even hit that in a while. I’ve been down around 135, and I have a sneaking suspicion what the culprit is.

What went wrong: I added in a decent amount of conditioning work throughout this year; daily bike rides to and from work, as well as stadium runs 1-2 times per week. Although conditioning is great, if you’re training strictly for strength gains, it can zap your progress. I’m still working out the right balance for me, and we’ll revisit this when I tell you guys about my new goals for this coming year!

Not too shabby, huh? And even seeing that one of them wasn’t even close to being met, this doesn’t discourage me in the least. As I said above, it only makes me want to work harder to achieve that 200 lb back squat in the future. I know now that it was unrealistic goal, but at this point it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the process and the work that I have to keep putting into it to one day reach this goal. Maybe it will be in 2013 (although probably not), but I will get there.

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I think that this is an important process for everyone to go through even if you don’t believe in setting New Years Resolutions. If you have any goals at all, it’s essential to go back and revisit them every once in a while with an objective eye. That way, you can either see what you need to work harder on, or you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Of course at that point, it’s time for some new goals to work towards. Because as I’ve learned very well in my line of work, if you’re not looking forward, working towards a goal, you’re just staying the same at best. And I truly believe that no matter who you are, no matter how good you are at something, there’s always room to Be Better. 

What about you? How do you measure up to the goals you set last year?  Which accomplishment over the past year are you most proud of?

I’ll be back on Monday with my new goals for 2013 and some new ideas about the blog. Until then, have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the last few days of 2012!

Resolutions Vs. Goals

Resolutions are for suckers.

Ok, let me back up a little bit. No, I don’t think ill of you if you made some New Years Resolutions a few days ago, but I would think ill of myself if I did. Reason being, I’m pretty sure I have never stuck with a New Years Resolution, so why keep making them? Remind me of the definition of insanity again…

So instead of resolutions, this year I have Goals. What is the difference, you ask? Well, lets look at the definitions:

Resolution: noun. The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. A resolve or determination.

Goal: noun. The result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

Now don’t get me wrong. Having determination to do something is imperative in reaching your goals. But it is the ultimate achievement that I want to work towards. I want concrete, measurable goals that I can eventually say “Yes! I’ve done it!”

So this year I’ve got a few goals in mind with measurable endings:

1. Finish my Master’s Degree in Nutrition. This will be done in March! Hoo ray!

2. Study for, take, and of course pass the NSCA CSCS exam. (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist).

3. Squat 200 lb. Right now I’m at 145 for reps, so I know I can get there!

I also have several other goals that will not have endings in the near future, such as my goal to continue learning as much as possible about nutrition, sports medicine, and strength training. Just because they will not have end points however, does not make them some silly resolutions that I can brush off when things get a little busy around February. These are parts of myself that I consider engrained into who I am, and what I do.

That being said, I really do need to get better at staying in touch with people…

Did you set any resolutions this year? Can you normally stick with them for longer than 5 minutes?

image via Calvin and Hobbes