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10 Steps to Define Your Health and Fitness Goals in 2011:

ADAM FRIEDMAN, SPECIAL TO THE MIRROR

2011 is approaching quickly. Now may be an opportune time to set your sights on self-improvement, in particular with your health and fitness. For a few moments, consider this an invitation for you to step outside the drift of the holiday hustle and see what is possible for you in the coming new year.

If you are not sure where to start, I’ve created a simple step-by-step process below to help you to clearly define your goals with a clear pathway to achieve success. Your goals may include something that has been on your bucket list like running a 10K or a marathon, or climbing a mountain. Maybe your goal is to drop a few pants sizes, or work to prevent reoccurring back pain. It’s possible to combine all the aforementioned, because they all work to support each other. Therefore, a highly beneficial approach is to find a way to use a combination of short-term goals that all work in conjunction to reach a long-term goal.

Whatever you desire your short-term and long-term results to be, your reward will be more than just reaching your goals. You will achieve a personal sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that makes it worthwhile to dedicate yourself over the course of the entire year.

The truth is that most of us live in a world where we may have a limited amount of time that we can devote to exercise. That is why it is vital we get the best return on our investment of time and hard work by creating a plan of action focused on having structure.

Adhering to a goal driven progressive exercise regimen that centers on performance and prevention will enhance the probability of having longevity with the highest quality of life possible, and being able spend it in peace with those dear to us. Deep down, that is likely the root of what most of us truly want.

I encourage you to choose a long-term goal that allows you to include at least these four basic components of exercise: strength training of the entire body; core training; cardiovascular conditioning; and stretching.

Exercise is just one component of maintaining a solid health structure to realize your vision. For it to hold true, proper nutrition, sufficient quality sleep, adequate water intake, and supplementation along with exercise are all key ingredients to achieving success.

A very effective way to allow your vision to manifest is by being proactive in expanding your knowledge and awareness of your exercise and nutrition. I highly recommend, if possible, getting a comprehensive fitness and nutrition evaluation from a health professional, such as a personal trainer or nutritionist. With this you will receive a clearly defined report to understand where you are starting from, so that you can set measurable goals and track your progress.

The sooner you complete this process, the better off you will be to generate momentum going into the new year with clear direction. So make the time to set yourself up to achieve your vision by completing this goal-setting questionnaire:

1. Define at least one long-term goal along with at least one supporting short-term goal. In your most vivid imagination paint a picture of what you will be, do, and have as a result of your newfound health and fitness.

2. Why are those specific results important to you?

3. What characteristic qualities will it take for you to create those results? (For example, discipline, consistency, etc.)

4. What are your personal strengths that will carry you through the process of reaching your goals?

5. What are your personal challenges, and what is your plan to overcome them?

6. What necessary strategies/actions/tasks are you committed to doing to reach your goals?

7. What will that schedule of strategies/ actions/tasks look like on a daily and weekly basis?

8. Declare when will you start, and when certain goals/results will be achieved.

9. Who else will you involve in supporting you with your vision?

10. How will you feel spiritually/emotionally as a result of realizing your vision?

Setting your goal can be so inspiring that it may ignite a fire inside you that creates a sense of enthusiasm to get started right away. Having your goals written down, and keeping them close by you to conveniently reflect on will support you through the process.

Keep in mind that this is only a vision, and it is not set in stone. You reserve the right to add to it, or change it completely along the way. The important thing is that your vision gets you moving closer to transcending your greatness.

Adam Friedman, CSCS, CN, CMT is a Kinesiologist, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Certified Nutritionist, and Certified Massage Technician. He is the founder of Advanced Athletics, Inc. located right next door to the world famous Gold’s Gym in Venice, on the corner of Sunset Ave, and Hampton Drive, one block east of Main Street. To schedule a complimentary assessment please call 310.396.2100 or email Adam at info@advancedathletics.com. Otherwise, to learn more, visit www.advancedathletics.com.

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