Don't Believe The Hype! Set Your Fitness Goals and Win!

Health & Fitness | LOVE EMBRACE INSPIRE  | by Denise Zakiya of

Today, I'm not going to bore you with yet another reminder about why you need to make New Year's Resolutions. As a society, we are constantly bombarded with thousands of TV commercials, internet ads and magazines enticing us to 'lose weight to feel great'. Honestly, I really don't believe in resolutions because they are bound to fail. Don't believe the hype! If you want to get healthy and fit, then do it. So, in today's article, I'm going to give you 5 simple steps you can make to help you achieve your health and wellness goals, not your New Year's Resolutions. 

#1| Write your vision and make it plain and simple!
What do you want to accomplish this year? Whatever your goal may be, write it down so that you can see it every day! I have a list of ten goals that focus on my spiritual, financial, physical and career growth and I have them listed on my phone screen saver. So, every time I check my phone, I see my list which is a constant reminder of my goals. When you write your goals for the year, make sure they are very simple, straight forward and realistic. Have you ever heard of SMART goals? SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, then let's further refine your goal by making it SMART.

Goal: I want to lose 30 pounds
SMART goal: I want to lose 30 pounds in six months in time for my 10th class reunion on July 1st.

  • The reason why this is a SMART goal is because it's specific (you want to lose 30 pounds), measureable (you can use a scale to monitor your weight loss), attainable (with hard work, you can certainly lose 30 pounds in six months), relevant (you are losing weight for a specific event or just to get healthy for YOU) and time-bound (you have listed the amount of time it will take you to achieve your weight-loss).

  Try this exercise with each of your goals to ensure they are SMART, plain and simple!

#2| Go grocery shopping with a list that makes sense!
We've all heard to not go shopping while we are hungry, which makes sense, but I'd also like to encourage you to never go to the grocery store with an open mind! If you do, then you will be tempted to venture to the unhealthy aisles and fill up your cart with products that have sugar, fat and high fructose corn syrup listed as the first, if not only ingredients! Try meal planning at the beginning of the week and find new recipes that you and your family would enjoy that are not only healthy, but easy to make. Once you decide your meals for the week, write your grocery list based on the items you need!  Trust me, my grocery trips are no longer than 20 minutes because using a list helps me stay focused as I only buy the items that I need to keep me on track.

#3|Lay off the social media and pile on the weights!
How much time do you spend on social media in an average day? According to Business News Online, the average American spends 23 hours per week on social media including online and texting. That's about 3 hours per day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and texting your best friend. So what were you saying about not having enough time to go to the gym? Yes, Social media can be such a time waster! Instead of shutting down all of your social media accounts, why not allow yourself up to one hour per day? This will free up enough time for a cardio and weight training session at the gym or your home as well as time for meal prep!

#4|Stop recycling pop cans and start recycling water bottles!
Don't drink your calories! The average soda pop has 12.5 teaspoons of sugar and about 100 calories for an 8oz can. Diet soda isn't any better either. Drinking water has multiple benefits including helping you feel fuller and keeping your hair and skin hydrated! Try replacing soda pop with water and you will not only see the difference on the scale but you will feel so much more energized! Don’t forget to recycle or buy a refillable water bottle!

#5| For the next 30 days, donate to your skinny jean fund and become financially responsible!
If you're spending habits are out of control and you haven't been going to the gym like you should be, then this tip will really help you! For the next 30 days, stop spending money you don't have! Instead, see spending as a reward for a job well done. Here's the catch, each time you go to the gym, reward yourself with a crisp $5 bill and put it in a locked jar that you cannot open until the end of the month. Set a goal to workout at least 3-5 times per week. By the end of the month, you could have at least $50-$100. Now imagine what a trip to the jeans section in Nordstrom Rack could feel like?!

This year is your year to accomplish all of your goals! Reading about weightloss and watching ads will make you no better off if you aren't accountable to yourself, first.  So be accountable and follow these tips to be successful!

Denise Zakiya 
Denise Zakiya is a Natural Hair and Health & Wellness blogger and vlogger. She holds a Master's in Public Health, is a wellness coach and enjoys long distance running.

YouTube, IG, Facebook, Twitter: DeniseZakiya


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