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How can I make a strategy to help me reach my fitness goals?

Say motivating things to yourself. In their book Motivational Interviewing, William Miller, PhD, and Stephen Rollnick, PhD, explain how counselors can use motivational techniques to help people reach goals, such as quitting smoking or losing weight. While working with a counselor can be powerful, there are powerful ways to talk to yourself as well. Ask yourself: Why does reaching this goal matter to me? How will I feel when I reach my goal? How ready am I to do what needs to be done to get the changes I want? Just accept your answers; don't judge them. Your inner self is already moving closer to your goal. For more motivation, post encouraging notes or images where you'll see them often. Or set up motivating reminders on your cell phone or mobile device.

Start thinking of yourself -- and picturing yourself -- as a fit person. This may take some positive self-talk at first, but if you see yourself as fit, you're more likely to eat right and exercise, even when temptation strikes. Meanwhile, you’ll be well on your way to truly being healthier and having the body you want!



Start by putting together a realistic strategy that will enable you to reach your goals. Determine what will be realistic for you to accomplish. Can you exercise two days per week? Can you make time to prepare your own meals everyday? Create a plan to accomplish your goals and include who and what you will need to succeed. For instance, list how many days per week you can commit to physical exercise, what types of physical activities you enjoy, and what you will need to perform those activities. Once you have done that, make a daily, weekly, and monthly plan that includes those activities you listed and the time allotment to participate in them on that given day.

Understand that every strategy will have setbacks. Sometimes a road block is unavoidable. But how do you limit your obstacles? One method is to stop making promises you can't keep. Be realistic about your strategy to get fit and accomplish your goals. If your schedule doesn't permit you to make it to the gym every day, then don't tell yourself you will. Instead, tell yourself that you will walk the stairs instead of using the elevator at work, or schedule a ten-minute walk during lunchtime. Make commitments to yourself that you can keep.

The best fitness strategy is one that fits into your lifestyle. If you are not a runner, don't take up the activity to accomplish your goals. If you like to run, then great, go ahead; but if you hate running, don't bother telling yourself you are going to run every day. Chances are you won't keep it up. The same goes for controlling your diet. If rice cakes are not your idea of a delightful snack, then why include them in your eating plan? You won't stick with something if you don't find some enjoyment in it. Many people may find that they don't like lifting weights or going to the gym. Does that mean they won't be able to accomplish their goals? No. They may have to maneuver their fitness strategy a bit to find an activity that will help them accomplish their goals, but chances are, when they find what works for them, they'll stick to it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.