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Have you kept up with your fitness goals? Here's the advice that's kept me going.

January has come and gone. Have you maintained – or started – your New Year’s resolutions? February is not too late to start. More often than not, those resolutions revolve around fitness or weight loss goal. Am I right?

This year, I’ve resolved to make a few positive lifestyle changes, rather than resolutions.  And it started by enlisting the help of personal trainer and nutrition coach Erika Alexander of PUSH Functional Fitness. So I asked her for a few suggestions to keep up with those resolutions.

  1. Set short-term realistic goals to make sure they’re achievable like drinking 60 ounces of water every day or doing just 10-20 minutes of cardio five times a week.
  1. Find someone to hold you accountable and surround yourself with like minded, supportive individuals.
  1. Find and know your “why” for a healthy lifestyle to keep up your motivation. This can range from fitting into a certain size to not wanting to have a heart attack or develop an illness that runs in your family.
  1. Work at your goals one day at a time and stay focused on all the positive things you’ve accomplished. Maybe you didn’t have a cocktail when you normally would or you got eight hours of sleep, or you ate clean all day. Measure success by energy levels, not the numbers on the scale.

And although I am not a fitness professional, I’ve worked out long enough and set enough resolutions to add in a few of my own opinions:

  1. Pick an activity or non-traditional workout like rock climbing at Adventure Rock or a dance class Danceworks. Tabata workouts are short, high intensity and you can get them in anytime anywhere, at the gym, outside or at home.

“Workouts that people stick to are functional, enjoyable, quick, effective, efficient,” says Alexander. “Take the time to invest in finding things you enjoy so you can make it part of your healthy new life,”

  1. Add a mindful element to your daily routine. Try the Calm app to learn and maintain a mindfulness or meditation practice. It only takes five minutes a day to see changes in your mood and overall health.  But consistency is key, you have to commit to practicing every single day.
  1. Treat yo’ self to a new pair of shoes, outfit, fitness tracker, or whatever you think you need. If it’ll help you achieve your goals, it’s money well spent. In Step in the Third Ward has a great selection of shoes and a very helpful staff.

“Ease into these new goals or resolutions and be realistic,” says Alexander.  “You have to allow yourself to create these new habits. As you find success each week by furthering your goals it becomes a new healthy way of life instead of a diet.”

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