Go for the Goal
Resolutions come and go, but real change has no season. An Equinox exercise physiologist's top tips for setting achievable goals.
Self-help guru Anthony Robbins says that human beings must constantly challenge themselves in order to be happy. Goal-achievement expert Bob Proctor agrees, arguing that our lives are always either in a state of "creation" or one of "disintegration" — and the choice is up to us.
So why is it so hard to change, challenge, create and grow? Whether you want to slim down, eat better or get stronger, here are a few essential steps to making — and keeping — a fitness goal that I've learned along the way:Decide what you want
This sounds self-evident, but if you have no idea what the target is, it will be impossible to know if you’ve hit the bulls-eye. Spend some time thinking about what's currently bugging you about your life. What is it that is holding you back? Not satisfying you? What areas do you want to measurably improve?
Want what you want
See what you want
Virtually all self-improvement and human potential experts say the same thing: To have something in your life, you must first visualize it. Imagine achieving your goal in all the detail you can muster. Who’s around you as you celebrate that moment when you know you've made it? What do they say to you? What do you say to them? Where are you? Fill it in with enough rich detail as possible — and run that "movie" over and over in your mind. Not only will you have the joy of experiencing your dream in advance, but you will begin (on some level of your consciousness) to believe it’s real and on the horizon.
Share what you want
Support what you want
Identifying, visualizing and articulating your ultimate goal will keep you motivated, but focusing on behaviors that support that goal will be the key to your success. When you’re only thinking about the outcome, it’s easy to imagine you’ll make changes … later. When you’re committed to doing what it takes to reach that outcome — whether it’s exercising at least five hours per week, taking yoga twice a week or mixing cardio classes and conditioning workouts every weekend — it’s much easier to hold yourself accountable.
Take daily steps toward what you want
We've still got a whole 11 months of possibility, so carpe diem. Or, better yet, how about we carpe the whole year?
Geralyn Coopersmith is the director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, a proprietary education program for personal trainers. She has a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology and frequently appears on "The Today Show," "The CBS Morning Show" and "The Dr. Oz Show."