Setting Yourself Up For Success

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Calendar by Milana B

Calendar by Milana B

Setting Yourself Up for Success by Stephanie Nickel

Call them what you will – goals, plans, resolutions – it’s about this time every year we envision how things will be different in the fitness department during the coming twelve months. And making a plan is a very good thing. However, we all know that if we make the same plans in the same way year after year, we are likely to scrap them before January comes to a close.

I’ll exercise more.

I’ll eat better.

I’ll drink more water.

I’ll lose 10 pounds – or 20 or 30 or more.

I’ll drop “x” number of pant sizes.

And the list goes on.

How can we set ourselves up for success rather than failure? Here are a dozen suggestions. You can implement one per month or simply use them as a springboard for your own. (We’d love to hear about your goals and encourage you along the way.)


Rid the cupboards and the fridge of leftover holiday goodies. (Eating them all yourself is not a good option.)


Since this is the month we traditionally celebrate love, find a physical activity you enjoy and participate in it weekly with at least one friend or family member.


March, the noun – and the verb . . . Add one or two 30-minute cardio sessions to your week (walk, run, swim . . . march).


The warmer weather is on its way (at least if you live in the Northern Hemisphere). It’s time to get outside regularly. Go for a walk. Clean up your bike and head out on the trails. Play a game of pick-up baseball. (Do so at least once per week.)


Treat yourself to a new cookbook, piece of exercise equipment, fitness DVD . . . and use it.


Check out the local farmers markets. It’s a great time of year to add more fruits and veggies to your diet.


With the kids home from school, it’s especially important to tend to family fitness. Sitting around watching TV and playing video games is super easy. Finding a physical activity you all enjoy (or take turns choosing) is a great addition to your weekly schedule.


Are you planning a vacation? Why not factor in physical activity? It won’t feel so much like work if you’re relaxing and enjoying yourself.


Gym enrolment often goes up after the kids are back in school. Not everyone needs the motivation of a gym membership to stay active, but you may want to give it some serious thought. It may seem like an extravagance, but think for a minute about the benefits of becoming healthy. It’s hard to put a price tag on that.


While you may or may not participate in Halloween, there are still an awful lot of candies tempting us as we make our way through the grocery story, the variety store, even the drugstore. Go armed with a list. Include healthy options that you enjoy and steer clear of your biggest weaknesses. (I still love those molasses candies.)


The weather may be turning colder, but that doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up inside. Choose four outdoor activities you’ve been meaning to try – or simply are willing to try – and plan to do one per week. You may find a new passion.


When throwing Christmas parties or attending potlucks, why not try out some healthier options to “the old standbys”? Healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Just think, you just may motivate others with your better choices.


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Stephanie Nickel


Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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2 thoughts on “Setting Yourself Up For Success

  1. Pingback: Beware the New Year’s Resolution by Stephanie Nickel | Kimberley J. Payne

  2. Pingback: 5 Lies Behind the Truths by Stephanie Nickel | Kimberley J. Payne

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