Set a goal to help overcome barriers to a healthier you

Set a goal, get committed, learn the necessary steps, take action and get help.

There are little things about my house I would like to change.  The walls could use a fresh coat of paint, the carpet downstairs could be replaced, and the bathrooms could use a facelift.  I could go on.   We’ve been talking a bit more seriously about taking action- but no decision has been made (either to start the renovations, or to decide to keep the house as is) and by default nothing is getting done. Here’s why:

• We have never renovated before and don’t know much about it.

• We don’t know where to start, and what needs to be done in what order to get the project done.

• We don’t have anyone to coach us through the process to make sure we’re on the right track.

When I think about it, I realize that my struggles with renovating my house are similar to the struggles our clients experience before they get started on a program.

The three most coming problems people experience when trying to get fit (either for the first time, or when they have tried in the past but slid back to old unhealthy habits) are:

• Not having the knowledge of how to put a complete program together

• Not having an action plan.

• Not having a support network to keep accountable to reaching goals.

Before you can even start thinking about putting a program together, it’s important to know what you want.  You need to set a goal.  Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.  For example, a home renovation goal could be to change the downstairs flooring by February 10th.  A fitness goal could be to complete a 5K run in less than 30 minutes by March 1st, or to be able to do 10 full push-ups, or to lose the five pounds gained over the holidays.

The next step is to find out why your goal is important to you, and how committed you are to your goal.  For example, you may want to get fit and lose weight to alleviate health concerns, or to feel better about yourself.  For serious results, commitment level should be a 10 out of 10.

After you’ve set a goal that is important to you and decided that you are committed to your goal, it’s time to tackle the three most common problems, listed above.

Putting together a complete program may take some time and research.   Make sure your program includes resistance training, cardiovascular training, flexibility exercises and sound nutrition, and is geared to reaching your goal.

Once you have a program, create a schedule of your workouts for the weeks to come.  Book your workouts into your calendar and take the necessary step to make sure you stick to your plan.

Finally, rally up a support network to help keep you accountable to your goals.  Perhaps a friend can become a training partner, or your spouse can help you plan meals.  Having coaching and support will greatly increase the likelihood that you will reach your goals.

Whether you are renovating your home, or your body, the steps remain the same.  Set a goal, get committed, learn the necessary steps, take action and get help.

Tanja Shaw is the owner of Ascend Fitness Inc., a private training studio.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness professionals work to inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  For more fitness tips go to

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