How to Create the Perfect Fitness Plan

How to Create the Perfect Fitness Plan

Every year, nearly a quarter of all adults resolve to lose weight and live healthier lives. Most of them will fail. Research suggests as many as 97% of dieters will not lose the weight, or will regain it once they do. Fitness is about more than willpower and healthy eating. It also requires you to get your emotional house in order. One of the easiest ways to do this is to develop a workable fitness plan that helps you track your progress and see how sticking to small goals will help you reach larger ones. Here's how to do it without losing your mind.

Set clear, reasonable goals

If you want to achieve your goals, you need to know what they are. Resolutions like “lose weight” and “be healthier” are useless because they are so vague. Instead, set clear, specific goals. Of course, if your resolution is to become a size zero Victoria's Secret model, you're doomed to failure, so your goal should also be reasonable. Start small, then build upon your successes by progressively setting more challenging goals.

Break your goals into manageable steps

Losing 10, 20, or 30 pounds can feel daunting—until, of course, you break your goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. If you're trying to lose weight, for instance, commit to losing a pound every week or two, then check off your goals as you achieve them. Small steps lead to big results, but you'll never get those big results if you're not willing to sit down, pen and paper in hand, and set clear monthly, weekly, and daily steps for achieving these outcomes.

Start slowly

Particularly if you've been sedentary or unhealthy for a while, start slowly. It's better to achieve a small goal, like stretching for 10 minutes each day, than it is to fail at a bigger one, like jogging a mile. With each small goal, you achieve, set slightly larger goals, steadily building on a mounting pile of successes.

Reward your progress

Many dieters fail because they crave a reward, and food seems like the best option. Try a different approach that still allows you to feel rewarded. For instance, if you exercise five days this week, put $10 in a savings account for a vacation. What feels rewarding varies from person to person, but come up with something that makes you feel good about your choices so that you can continue making them.

Make it fun

Being healthy shouldn't be miserable, and if it is, you're doing it wrong. Find ways to make your goals fun. If you love stationery, you might create a comprehensive fitness plan in a gorgeous binder covered with inspirational stickers. If you're the outdoorsy type, commit to doing your workouts under a glorious sunset. The key here is to find something that motivates you so that you have an incentive to keep going even when fitness is the last thing on your mind. 

CATEGORIES: Diet, Working Out, Reaching Goals, New Year's Resolution, Exercise Plan, Fitness Plan, Weight Loss Goals