6 Tips For Keeping Your Goals On Track This Year

Saturday, December 31, 2016. Author Dr. Dan Reardon, Dr Nathan West, Paul Rose and Martin Cheifetz

You've made a commitment to yourself, your friends, and your family that 2017 is the year you are going to get fit and stay healthy, or lose weight, or build muscle, or get lean, or get an enviable beach body. Saying that is easy. Doing it is slightly more difficult, so here's 6 solid tips to get you off to a strong start.

Step 1.  Establish your specific, measurable, achievable, and time bound goal.  Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight”.  It is far better to say, “I’d like to lose 10 pounds in 2 months” because it is easier to track progress, measure results and stay on course over a defined and realistic time frame.  Obviously, the more realistic the steps, the more likely you are to succeed, and success is always a great motivator to keep the momentum going.  It also helps if you know what type of specific diet or exercise is going to help you achieve this goal, and that is exactly the type of program FitnessGenes offers.

Step 2. Write down 5 habits you must change to achieve your goal.  For example, I need to exercise intensely at least 3x per week; I need to cook all my own meals so I can control the ingredients and portions; I need to reduce the amount of refined/processed foods in my diet; I need to get 7-8 hrs of sleep (yes, this helps with weight loss!), and I need to treat my workouts as a non-negotiable appointment.  Make these habit changes realistic and achievable.  If you eat a tub of ice cream every night, completely eliminating ice cream is going to be incredibly difficult.  Instead, limit yourself to two spoonfuls of ice cream every night for the 1st month and one spoonful of ice cream per night for the 2nd month.  Same with alcohol or any other junk food…make the cuts realistic and achievable and further reductions will become self-motivating based on the positive results you will observe in the mirror.

Step 3: Ensure that at least 3 of the 5 habits or changes are adhered to every day and track these changes and accomplishments on a calendar.  As the saying goes, “Don’t complain about the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do.”  Making a calendarized checklist keeps you accountable and gives you a visual reminder of what you have achieved and the work you still need to do.  You don’t need to do all 5 things every day.  Ideally you should, but start with 3, get some momentum, and then keep refining the process.  You didn’t become overweight in a week, and you’re not going to become lean in a week either, so be patient, and measure (and enjoy) your progress. 

Step 4. It also may help to have photographic evidence, so print out a picture of the person who has the body you would most like to achieve and print out a picture of yourself in the same pose.   Put the pictures side by side on your fridge, pantry, and all the mirrors around your house, as this will remind you of the work you have to do.  However, you may find it easier and more rewarding to use pictures of yourself vs someone who has a marginally better physique than an exponentially better one.  In other words, if you are a very heavy and out of shape, it may be demotivating to compare yourself to a supermodel or Olympic athlete.  Instead, find a picture of a woman who is a few steps closer to the goal than you are, and compare yourself to her.  When you achieve that goal, find a new target woman and repeat the process.  However, you should always keep a picture of your “Before” physique as that will motivate you to keep moving towards your new target, one step at a time.  Be sure to photo-document your journey each step of the way so you can see how far you’ve come!

Step 5.  Track your weight loss, but don’t get hung up by the numbers on the scales.  You are aiming for improvements in body composition (i.e. the proportion of your body that is lean muscle vs fat).  Muscle is denser than fat and therefore weighs more, so the scale is just a guide.  After all, you’d be very surprised to learn how much those Olympic athletes with “zero percent” body fat actually weigh!  It’s far more than you think!   This is why our previous suggestion of taking progress pictures is so important.  If you feel better, your body is firming up, and your hips and waist are shrinking, who cares what the scale says?

Step 6.  Don’t waste time:  Make sure you are doing the right type of exercise and getting the right type of nutrition for YOUR body. Just because your friend or brother/sister/personal trainer is doing X, Y, or Z does NOT mean that same program or system is going to work for you.  Everyone is different and each person’s body will react differently to foods, exercise and recovery.  Our single biggest tip for achieving success is to get a FitnessGenes DNA analysis and a personalized exercise and nutrition plan.  By analyzing your genes, we will be able to tell you exactly how to exercise and exactly what you should eat to achieve your body composition goals.  After all, if you don’t really like going to the gym, but know that you really need to work out at least 3x per week to hit your targets, wouldn’t you like to see great results for the effort you put in?  Doing 3 poor workouts isn’t going to change anything…. however, doing 3 great ones that are tailor made for your specific genotype will!  


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