Avoid These Critical Mistakes…and Get Off to a Rip-Roaring Start This Year

Happy New Year!

As I sit here typing, I’m thinking about my goals and plans for this
year. And I have already taken action this morning to get me moving
toward several goals in important areas of my life.

I know I feel better when I get off to a good start, be it the
beginning of a day, the beginning of a project….or the beginning
of a new year. In that spirit, I would like to share some thoughts
to help you get off to a great start this year: the 5 most critical
mistakes people typically make when starting a fitness or weight
loss program.

And, more importantly, I will tell you how to avoid these.

These mistakes commonly derail fitness programs, leaving the person
with a feeling of failure and frustration. This in turn makes it
that much harder to get going again.

The good news: these mistakes are avoidable. Avoid them and you’ll
find yourself on the fast track to radiant health and fitness.


When it comes to planning and beginning an exercise program, most
people don’t focus on what they really want. They know they need
to “lose some weight” or “get in shape”. They may have been
encouraged (or even warned) by their doctor to get more active, eat
better and lose some weight.

But most folks do not take the next step to set a specific goal,
or set of goals, that will attract and energize them.

Instead, they set off on a “get into shape” program without
identifying what exactly that means to them. Consequently, they
meander through various routines and diets. They often jump on the
latest fads.

They may lose a few pounds, but the pounds invariably pile back on
as they lose motivation.

Does this sound familiar to you? If so, don’t feel bad.

The same thing has happened to all of us at one time or another.

When this happens, you lose out on the feelings of achievement,
success and vibrant health that come from a rationally structured
fitness routine.

Having a specific goal or set of goals is the critical starting
point to a successful fitness regimen.

It’s best to focus on one major goal. This should be the one
thing above all that, if achieved, represents true success to
you. For example, your primary goal may be to lose 20 pounds
by the end of the year.

Then articulate two to three minor goals that support your major
goal. For example, you could set interim weight loss goals you
wish to achieve at the end of each month. Or you could set
activity goals, such as building up to walk or run for 30 minutes

Write down your major and supporting goals and review them
frequently, preferably every day. This is a key point. There is
tremendous power in seeing your goals in writing and saying them
out loud to yourself on a regular basis. This keeps them top of
mind and helps you stay focused.

Once you have established your goals, create a general plan for
how you will achieve them. Decide which activities you want to
focus on, such as walking or running, lifting weights or doing
bodyweight exercises, and so on. Also decide on which days per
week you will train, and at what time of day.

Be specific on this, but also be prepared to make course corrections
along the way as you assess how your plan is working.

A big boost to the success of your fitness program is to record
your activities.

Keep a simple log of your workouts and what you eat. Record not
only what you have done (the process), but also your results,
such as recording your weight once per week.

Recording your activities and progress helps you maintain focus and
momentum. It’s very satisfying to record a successful day during
which you completed your planned workout and followed your nutrition

Documenting the less successful days is also important. This helps
you identify trends in your behavior. For example, you may find
yourself missing workouts every Friday for three weeks in a row.
You realize that, by Friday, you are usually tired and worn out
from the hectic week. You are coming up with excuses not to work

Realizing this, you can take action. You can make Friday a recovery
day (a day when you don’t work out). This allows you to follow your
own natural rhythms, and sets you up for a successful and energetic
workout on Saturday or Sunday.

When reviewing your progress and setbacks, keep in mind you are
only competing with yourself, not with anyone else – and NOT
woth anyone else’s idea of what you should be doing. Progress at
a pace that makes sense for you. You’ll enjoy the process more
and will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can achieve.

Mistakes #2 and 3 will be coming along in my next blog post.

You Can Do It!


“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013

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