The Mental Fitness Checklist

07.27.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

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Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach

I work with clients of all shapes and sizes, all different ages with different reasons for getting fit. There are those whose sole purpose is to reduce body fat and lose weight. There are others with different goals such as being able to do fun physical activities with their kids and family, being able to do functional everyday movements with ease, training for a specific sport or to improve their health and get off medications. No matter what your personal goal is, there are a few things to consider when starting or re-dedicating yourself to a fitness program.


This is very personal to you. Get specific. Do the “fill in the blank” test. “I want to lose weight so that I can______”. Or “I want to be able to run __ miles”. Or “I want to be able to do _____with my kids without getting tired.” It may be a goal weight, clothing size, or something that you have thought of for a long time. Write down the goal. Tell a friend. Share it on Facebook. Make it real!


Little improvements over time can create big results. So aim for some small change everyday and stick with it. You don’t have to overhaul your whole life overnight. Create those small incremental changes and before you know it, they will just be part of your lifestyle. For instance, try to walk or run 5 more minutes everyday this week. Just 5 minutes! That’s easy to mentally accept than adding 20 or 30 minutes, don’t you agree? Then next week add another 5 minutes. See where I’m going with this? Try a new class at the gym. Switch your afternoon white chocolate mocha coffee for a regular cup of decaf with some skim milk (so many calories saved!)


I have heard the saying “life happens,” and sometimes that mentality can get in the way of our fitness goals. Try to put your health near the top of your priority list. I know we are busy mothers, wives, bosses, Girl Scout leaders, team moms, etc. and many times all of those things come first before ourselves. That’s o.k. because life does happen! Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get to the gym today or go for that run. Tomorrow is another chance to pick up again. Remember all those small changes you are making everyday (see #2) will add up will help you in those days that you just can’t add “fitness diva” to your to do list! So even if you get sidetracked or temporarily derailed from your fitness goals, you can still make progress. Get back into your routine as soon as possible and re-dedicate yourself.


This is the fun part because the feeling of achieving your goals – no matter how big or small- is energizing!! It helps keep you motivated and to continue on with your journey. You don’t have to wait until you reach your ultimate goal. Take time to enjoy the little successes along the way. Celebrate the 10-pound weight loss or the extra 3 miles you’ve added to your run. You may have more to go but what you have been able to accomplish up to now is amazing! Pat yourself on the back! Reward yourself! Tell somebody! It always feels good to share good news with a friend. And it’s motivating!!!

Stay Fit and Healthy,

Have fitness questions for Becky? Leave them below and she'll answer them in a future fitness post!

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