New Year’s fitness resolutions: 5 steps to achieve your health goals in 2017

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Make 2017 the year you get in shape for good.

With the new year approaching, you might be making that resolution to get in shape. While you might get off to a great start, it seems hard to stick with a plan. That’s why we reached out to New Jersey resident and personal trainer Julius Jamison, who now works at New York Health & Racquet Club just over the bridge in Manhattan, on his tips to following through with those New Year’s fitness resolutions and how to reach your health goals in 2017.

1. Set realistic goals
Set a goal that you know you’re capable of achieving and then commit to the process. Over time, you’ll develop healthy habits that will enable you to reach your goal and then build upon it. Trust the process. You can make it even easier for yourself by downloading the PACT app. How it works: make a weekly pact to exercise more or eat healthier. Set what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t reach it – anywhere from $5 to $50. Use the app to track your progress and you will earn real cash for living healthily, paid by the members who don’t! The goal of the program is to get you motivated and stay fit. This will help you stay on track to reach your goals.

2. Make it convenient
Find a gym that’s near you so that exercise doesn’t become an inconvenience. Making it easy to find one near your job or home–even within walking distance–so there are no excuses as to why you’re unable to make it.  Riverside County Park in Lyndhurst/North Arlington is great for a mom that needs to get some quick fitness in. There is a playground (good for changing up your workout), a track, and tennis courts so that if you need a quick workout in, this place has many options for those busy mommas! You can also bring your kids or pets here so there are no excuses as to why you can’t work out that day.

Or, try Genuine Self Wellness with a friend. This tiny gym boutique has a 50 minute rowing intensive class that burn up to 1,200 calories in one session! Classes are limited to six participants so you can get the attention you need. The environment is very supportive so you get the best kind of workout. Try it with a friend as well so that you two can stay motivated together.

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Follow these steps and watch the fat melt away.

3. Make it a lifestyle
Don’t approach working out like a chore. Make healthy living a lifestyle by creating an action plan. Write down your plan and make sure you stick to it. Know the exact meals you’re going to eat, what time you’re going to work out, and what you’re going to do at the gym that day. Set yourself up for success by being smart about your actions.

Start by focus directly on your nutrition. Make small changes, rather than drastic ones. Pick a new habit to implement each week, such as portion control or less sugar or sodium. Then buy a planner and write down everything you’re going to do that week – what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to buy at the supermarket, how many nights are you going to eat out, what time your gym workout is that day. Everyone has time in their schedule for the gym – you just have to plan it out the Sunday beforehand so that it’s set in stone and this way no one will throw you off your gym game for the week.

4. Treat yourself
Once you have a plan, create incentives for accomplishing the small steps you’ve made towards reaching your larger goal. Whether it’s treating yourself to a massage, buying new gym gear, or enjoying an after-workout smoothie, celebrate your hard work and keep pushing forward. Buy new Lululemons! Say if you lose X amount of pounds, you’ll treat yourself to a new pair of Lululemon’s – especially because they are not inexpensive. Lose those couple of pounds and you could be buying yourself a nice $98 pair of leggings.

5. Stay focused
Don’t quit on yourself. Be the best version of you that you could possibly be and remember to trust the process. Focus on the smaller steps you created to reach your goals, and you might even find that you accomplish them faster than you expected.