YMCA of Greater Louisville


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Be SMART This Year

photo201005_0007_18_previewThe New Year is almost here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.  Eat healthier. Go to the gym. Lose weight. Spend more time with family. Be a better employee. They all sound like great ideas on January 1, but so often, it seems like they get lost in the daily hustle and bustle just a few weeks in. So the question becomes: How do I create a New Year’s Resolution that isn’t just going to fall by the wayside by the end of January? It’s easier than you might think: Be SMART when setting your goals.

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Specific: The more specific your goal, the better your chances of achieving it. Think about what your resolution means. What does it mean to “Get in shape?” What does it mean to “Be a better employee” or “Be a better parent?” The answer is different for every person, so make these goals specific to your life.

Measurable: Part of being specific is having ways to measure your progress toward your goal. It’s easy to lose motivation if you’re not able to track your progress. Instead of just saying, “I’ll go to the gym more often,” think about saying, “I’ll go to the gym 4 days a week.” Instead of telling yourself you’ll eat better, say “I’m only going to eat fast food two meals per week.” Want to spend more time with your family? Make it a goal to eat dinner as a family three times a week, and set aside one weekend a month for family activities. Having measurable goals make it so you can hold yourself accountable.

Actionable: Make sure your resolution is actionable. That is, be able to form an action plan for your goal. If you want to lose weight, what actions will you take to achieve that goal? If you want to eat healthier, what actions will you take? If you want to spend more time with family or be a better employee, what steps will you take? Often times, people have ideas of what they want, but they don’t have a good idea of how to get what they want.

Realistic: Everyone has limitations, and you need to recognize your limitations when thinking about your resolutions. Maybe it’s not a realistic expectation that you can go to the gym for 2 hours 5 days a week. Then try for 1 hour, 3 days a week. Maybe schedules are hectic and you can’t sit down three nights a week to eat dinner as family. Then shoot for one or two nights a week. If you set a goal that you can’t realistically reach, then it will be much harder to stay motivated.

Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadline, and stick to it. Think about breaking your long-term resolution into shorter time periods. Instead of saying, “I will lose 15 pounds by bathing suit season,” say “I will lose one pound per week.” Stick to the one-pound per week plan, and you’ll be 20 pounds lighter by the time the end of May rolls around. Having shorter-term goals make the achievement of your long-term resolution a much less daunting task.

Still not sure what a SMART goal would look like? No worries; here’s an example: “To be healthier, I will lose 20 pounds by July 1 by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week and eating fast food no more than two times a week.

The specific goal is to lose weight in order to be healthier, and it can be measured in terms of pounds lost. The actions you take to reach this goal include going to the gym (for a measurable amount of time) and eating less fast food. Studies show that healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, so it is realistic to lose 20 pounds over the course of 6 months. Finally, with the July 1 deadline, you have a reasonable time frame in which to reach this goal of losing 20 pounds.

The New Year is a great time to make positive changes in your life. Here’s to a happy, healthy and SMART new year!


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The Y Community: Here For You

YMCALast week, we offered 5 tips on how to stick to your New Year’s Resolution. Tips are great, but sometimes you need more than just tips. That’s where the Y can help!

Accountability, continued interest and confidence are three keys in a person’s success in ac

hieving any goals, whether it’s fitness-related, work-related, family-related or anything in between. Here at the Y, 

Toolsnothing makes us happier than to see people reach their potential and achieve their goals, and we do everything we can to provide you with the tools and welcoming atmosphere that are so vital to fitness success.

First time in the gym and have no idea where to start? Many of our branches offer FREE Wellness Appointments! Set up a time to meet one-on-one with one of our Wellness Coaches and they can answer your questions and help you come up with a workout plan that is tailored specifically to you.

Getting bored with your workout? Think about trying out one of our FREE group exercise classes! With hundreds of classes offered across our branches ranging from aqua fitness to cycling to yoga and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Not only will your workout be pre-planned and led by a certified instructor, you may become good friends with your classmates in the process! Don’t know what class might be a good fit for you? Just ask! Our Wellness Coaches and members would be more than happy to offer recommendations based on your goals.

Looking for something a little more intense? Many of our branches now offer Boot Camps, TRX Training, Triple Crown Running, a Weight Loss Challenge and more. These highly-structured programs can really give you a renewed sense of motivation. Want more personal attention? Our personal trainers would be thrilled to work with you!

And don’t forget, working out doesn’t have to come in the weight room or on the track. Shoot some hoops, hit the pool, play racquetball, just get your heart pumping!

The Y Family
When you join the Y, you’re not just joining a gym; you’re joining a community, and you’re becoming part of a family. From the first time you ever walk through our doors, it’s our mission to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Have a workout question? We’ll happily answer it for you! Looking for a workout partner? We can help you find someone. Need a minute just to talk and unwind? We’ll listen. And the best part is, it’s not just our staff that wants you feeling welcome. Many of our members love seeing new faces and want you to be a part of their Y community too!

Forming relationships with staff and fellow members goes a long way in keeping you motivated. A simple text from a workout partner saying, “When do you want to go to the Y today?” can be the difference between going to the gym and skipping a day. Knowing that you’ll be greeted with a smile and a happy, “Hello, John, how was your day?” every day by the staff makes it so you want to come back. There’s an atmosphere of caring accountability where if you miss a few days, you will be missed.

At the Y, we grow stronger together each and every day, and we are here to help you grow stronger in spirit, mind and body in 2014!

 


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A Resolution To Stay Motivated

Congratulations! You’ve managed to successfully keep your New Year’s Resolution of going to the gym and getting in shape for three weeks. But the first few weeks are the easy part. The hardest part of any lifestyle change is staying motivated and focused after the initial thrill. You’ve had a long day in the office, you need to make dinner and the kids have basketball practice. It becomes so tempting to say, “I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow.”

Here are 5 tips from Annabelle, one of our Wellness Directors, on how to keep yourself motivated.

  1. Make it fun: Workouts don’t have to be a bore or a chore! Try a dance class, give yoga a shot, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add some variety to your routine. Doing something you enjoy can help take your mind off the workout itself.
  2. Track your progress: Use an app on your phone or keep a workout log to see how you are building your workouts. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you can actually see results. Tracking progress can also help tell you when it’s time to take your workout to the next level or when it’s time to try something new.
  3. Set a goal: Remember your SMART goals! But goals don’t have to “I will lose 10 pounds” or “I will run a 7 minute mile.” Buy a pair of jeans that you want to fit in to, or sign up for a fun run to give you a real, tangible reason to work out.
  4. Reward yourself: Do something for you when you reach your goal! Buy a new workout outfit, pick up a new gadget, do something you enjoy! You congratulate others when they achieve something; don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself!
  5. Find a buddy: The gym doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating place. Bring your kids, significant others or a friend and deepen your relationships while you get healthier. And if you get on a fairly consistent gym schedule, you’ll even have a chance to make new friends and form new relationships with people you meet there!

 

Be sure to come and check back with us next week when we talk about some of the specific ways the YMCA can help you stay motivated and meet your fitness goals!