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How To Set Realistic Fitness and Weight Loss Goals

Nearly everyone would like to be as healthy as possible.  While some of us might have five pounds to lose, others may have over one hundred to drop, along with issues such as high blood sugar and dangerous cholesterol levels.  One strategic approach to improving your health involves creating reasonable and practical goals.

Goal setting can help give you a specific and measurable objective to strive towards.  When people say they want to become healthier or lose weight, this is a fantastic intention, however there needs to be a tangible target to be reached.  Follow the tips below to assist you in achieving the things you really want:
•    Put it in writing.   Sit down with a nice cup of tea, a piece of paper and a pen, and take as long as you need to really figure out what it is that you are hoping to accomplish.  Write it down on paper.
•    Be specific.  Rather than say "I want to lose weight," declare "I want to lose twenty five pounds."  Instead of "I want to be a better runner," state "I would like to be able to run a 5k in under twenty-five minutes."  Do you see the difference?  Now you know exactly what you are striving for.  
•    Be realistic.  Take a close look at where you are now with your fitness and nutrition.  Be honest with yourself.  If you have not exercised in ten years do not tell yourself you will go jogging for an hour every day.  Start off small and rational.  This goes for diet too- rather than making a major dietary upheaval, select a few personal habits that you are comfortable tweaking.   Once you are at ease with your small goal, then take it to the next level.  
•    Set a time frame.  Pick a date that coincides sensibly with your goal.  You can even include an action plan in which you can list detailed steps to take that will facilitate reaching your goal.
•    Post it up!  On the fridge, on your mirror, as a screen saver, or anywhere else where you will often be reminded of you aspiration.  Having the words in a highly visible location will keep the message fresh in your conscious mind which will help keep you motivated.

Although it can be helpful to have a definite goal to strive towards, remember that in actuality once that goal is reached, it is not necessarily the end.   Maintenance of your new and improved lifestyle changes must be sustained.  Therefore, ensuring that they are realistic is crucial.  Ideally your goal was reached with healthful changes in your life that have now become enjoyable habits.  As in life, it is not the destination that matters so much as the journey.  Find joy in the experiences you encounter working towards your goal and focus on being present in your day to day life rather than wishing for attainment of your goal.  Be patient and be present and know you will get there.

Corinne Goff is a Registered Dietitian who is absolutely passionate about food, health, and nutrition. Corinne has a BA in Psychology from Salve Regina University and a BS in Nutrition from the University of Rhode Island. As a nutritionist, her objective is to help people reach their health goals by offering a personalized holistic approach to wellness that incorporates natural foods and lifestyle changes. She works together with her clients to develop daily improvements that they feel comfortable with and that are realistic. She believes that the focus on wholesome, nutrient-rich, real food, is the greatest possible way to become healthier, have more energy, decrease chances of chronic disease, and feel your best. For more information, please visit her website at RI Nutrition Housecalls.com.

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