Five weeks of fitness fun can change your life

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

It is hard for many individuals to think about and set New Year’s resolutions, particularly when we are not yet into the month of December. Planning for family gatherings such as Thanksgiving, preparing and savoring all of the time-honored once-a-year recipes, hardly seems like a great time to ponder weight loss goals, for example. Yet, January will be here before we can count all the holiday television specials that will soon be airing; will you be ready for action on those resolutions? 

This year, consider a very specific goal, one that is tangible and reasonable.  Make it fun, appealing, and goal-oriented. There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, 5 wonderful weeks to plan your strategy for 2017.  A common cause of resolution dissolution is setting unattainable goals.  While it might be commendable to tell friends and family about your lofty aspirations, expectations that are set too high will leave you frustrated with the lack of success at the end of 35 days. 

Maybe you have been considering a new format of Group Exercise class, but are currently a bit intimidated by the high-energy choreography.  This is the time to “warm up” for the class by pushing yourself little by little.  Over the next 35 days, try mastering a push-up with perfect form, or challenge yourself to holding a plank position for your core, extending the duration by 45 seconds each week.  By the 1st of the year, you will be amazed at how such a little effort transformed itself into great strides. Admit it, you might even have fun setting a specific goal and taking the appropriate steps to get there within a 5-week time span.

Sharing your goal with others is not only going to hold you accountable; you may also gain a workout partner.  Goals are easier to strive for and achieve with a little friendly competition!  By encouraging each other, both you and your partner receive motivation and the drive to keep going. After 35 days, patterns and healthy habits become ingrained in the neural pathways.  Don’t be surprised if, upon reaching your goal successfully, you possess the desire to keep moving forward. Setting a new goal keeps the mind energized, especially once you have acknowledged your success with the first goal!  

By the time Valentine’s Day cards start appearing in the stores, you will be well on your way to the best version of yourself in 2017.