4 Most Important Tips to Winning at Fitness

24796741_10154948505351946_1766929601076605954_nIt’s almost January and human nature has many of us resolving to make some major changes in our lives. Maybe we’ll decide to start an exercise program, start eating better, quit smoking or lose a substantial amount of weight. Regardless of the goal, have you ever wondered why most people set the same New Year’s Resolutions year after year?  That’s because by March 1st, 80% of people have thrown in the towel on their original ambitions. With that kind of failure rate, I’m convinced that it’s not a problem with the person but rather the process. Most people set themselves up for failure before the clock even strikes midnight because they attempt to do too much too quickly. They don’t do any planning and they have no idea how to monitor their progress. When it comes to health and fitness, your chances for success will improve dramatically if you approach things differently.

Here’s the Top 4 things people who succeed at fitness do on a regular basis:

  1. Accountability: Once the original zeal subsides and your motivation starts to wane, you need someone to help keep you on track and remind you why you set those goals in the first place. That’s where a workout buddy, a group or a personal trainer comes into play. When it’s dark, cold and you just don’t feel like working out, who will make sure you do it anyways. It can be a tribe of many or of one, but who will there to hold you accountable and call you out if you start slipping. Surround yourself with people who are more motivated than you are and/or who have achieved the goals you have set for yourself. That energy, discipline and motivation will rub off.
  2. Safety: There is nothing like an injury to set you back and have you questioning whether the effort is worth it. So be sure that you are following proper progressions, that you are practicing good technique and that you’re not doing too much too soon. An injury will side line any goal you have set for yourself so be smart about how you approach your fitness goals.
  3. Enjoyment: If you hate your workouts, you won’t do them for long. Find an activity that you actually find some enjoyment in. It’s ok if your workouts are challenging but ask yourself how you can add some element of fun to each training session whether it’s music, a friend, a distraction like TV or the scenery. If you loathe each workout session, you will quickly find reasons to skip them.
  4. Goals, action steps, checklist and deadlines: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Start by writing down WHY committing to your health and fitness is important to you. Your answers should be deeper than just losing 10 pounds. Next, write down your goal(s) and write down all the action steps that you can take to make this goal a reality. So if your goal is to start eating better, write down exactly what you need to do to make that happen.

For example you could create a checklist that includes:

  1. By January 7th – Purchase a hydroflask water bottle that I will have with me everywhere I go.
  2. Starting January 8th – I promise to drink 3 full water bottles every day.
  3. By January 15th – Purchase a food cooler that I can bring to work with me so that I can have healthy snacks easily accessible.
  4. By January 15th – Clean out the cupboards and eliminate any high temptation food or drinks from the house.
  5. By January 15th – Go to grocery store, purchase a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein sources.
  6. By January 15thWash and cut fruits and vegetables and have them in user-friendly, ‘ready-to-go’ containers.
  7. By January 16th – Put some healthy snacks/energy bars in the car so that I can access them when I’m hungry and in a hurry so I don’t have to stop at a fast food restaurant.
  8. By January 19th – Start a food journal and write out when and what I am going to eat for the following day.
  9. By January 20th – Put a timer on my watch or computer to remind me when I need to eat to ensure I don’t leave too much time between meals leading to binges.
  10. By February 1st – Schedule a monthly appointment with a nutritionist or trainer who can help fine-tune my nutrition plan

It’s important to understand that if you’re undertaking a major lifestyle change, the big picture may be a bit overwhelming. Take your ultimate goals and split them into small, easily achievable goals. It’ll help you succeed on a regular basis and that will give you the momentum you need to stick to the plan.

By taking the time to assure you are following these tips, you have set up a framework for success and will be well on your way to your goals! It’s so much easier to get to your destination if you’ve got a map!  2018 is going to be a great year!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Cover Clover Run 2016Join us for the…..COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES – March 25th, 2018
Celebrate in your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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