How to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

By: Mollie Shauger | Friday, December 20, 2019 | Healthy Living

A woman works out in a group fitness class. Credit: iStock

Note: This blog has been updated from a previous version.

If you’ve set out to improve your physical fitness and well-being, you probably know it’s not a small feat. Finding the motivation and time can be challenging.

Part of the key to success is starting small and creating goals that you know you can achieve. Here are some more tips to help you accomplish your objectives.

1. Make goals realistic and small

“For example, saying ‘I want to lose 20 pounds by next month’ will set you up for failure,” says Cathy Scutti, fitness and wellness director at the Wayne YMCA, a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. “Weekly goals of 2-3 pounds are much more attainable.”

2. Make goals SMART 

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. This way you can track your progress and more specific goals give you a clearer path to success.

3. Get moving

Build in time for light to moderate exercise at least three times a week.  Make time for yourself by putting exercise in your planner. Join a local YMCA and take advantage of the gym and fitness equipment, as well as a wide variety of fitness and wellness classes for adults and children. The Y also offers access to personal training and wellness coaching to help you create goals and stay on track.

4. Practice healthy eating habits

  • Rid your fridge and pantry of foods filled with sugar and fats. With the temptation out of the way, it makes it easier to stick to healthier options. 
  • Read food labels and try to stay away from added sugar and white flour. 
  • Don’t eat in front of your computer or TV. This is mindless eating and will most likely cause overeating. If you need to do this, make sure you use portion control and don’t go back for seconds. 
  • Eat more vegetables and drink lots of water.

5. Get a buddy

Strength is in numbers. Ask a friend or co-worker to help you on your healthy lifestyle journey. Are you a YMCA member? You can refer a friend or relative, and both you and your new health partner can save 20 percent on the standard membership rate.

7. Relax and be patient

It takes eight weeks to make a lifestyle change in both exercise and nutrition, Scutti says. Fad diets don’t work and most of the time the weight is put back on. 

To learn more about how the Y can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, visit us online or stop by your local branch. Because the Y is for all, financial assistance is available to eligible families and individuals who would like to be part of the YMCA.



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