September 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm EDT | by Gerard Burley
The new new year

Fall is a good time of year to take stock of your fitness goals. How did those New Year’s resolutions work out? Fall is a great time to take stock and reassess before the year’s shot. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The summer has come and gone and we are now entering a new fall season and looking forward to slipping into our fall wardrobe.

With the kids going back to school and work getting back into full swing, what better time than now to put your health back into the forefront? I’ve always looked at Labor Day and September as a great time to get back into gear by revisiting our goals.  When it comes to goal setting, there are a few must “do’s” I like to have clients stick to, in order to help make this unofficial second half of the year even healthier than the first.  Follow my  “three Rs” of “Getting Real,” “Reassessing” and “wRiting it down” to make sure we get it right.


Do Get Real — Getting real means staying realistic with your thinking. There’s no better way to discourage yourself than to make a goal that you can not achieve. If your goal is to lose 25 pounds by the end of the year, realize that a healthy weight loss goal is about one pound a week and there’ s only 18 weeks left in the year. Not saying it’s impossible, but knowing that we all have setbacks, we may want to be more realistic in our goal setting. If that’s not enough to make you second guess your goals, don’t forget Halloween, Thanksgiving, winter holidays and that fall getaway are all haunting our healthy eating habits, so we may want to reevaluate that goal to 15 pounds.

Do Reassess — So let’s think about this as halftime in the big game of the year.  What goals did you set in the beginning of the year or earlier in life that haven’t worked for you? Why haven’t they worked? What did work? Why did they? Have you vowed to start running three times a week, but yet your running shoes are still as fresh as when you bought them?

Reassess doesn’t necessarily mean to throw that goal out the window. It means to see how we can tweak it so it can be achievable. If you aren’t doing well running on your own, maybe you need to join a running club or hire a coach who can help hold you accountable. Maybe start with one day a week until you build up the mental strength to accomplish three times a week. Remember that though a challenge is important to growth, we also want to always set ourselves up for success to stay motivated.

Do Write it down — A goal that is unwritten is like a lost song that no one will ever hear. It’s important to write things down and place it in a place where you will constantly see it. For some reason, it’s like making a contract with ourselves and works as a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve. Just as that cookie on the counter stares you down and says eat me, a visible list of your goals challenges you every day to take the steps to achieve them. This also helps if you live with others because surprisingly enough, they will also keep you on your toes by asking you about your goals routinely. This serves as a constant reminder to get off your rear and get into gear.

Fall is the perfect time to get back into a routine dedicated to our health and fitness after a summer that may have had up toasting way more than treadmilling. Think of your goals as small steps to becoming a better, healthier you. Focus on the small things like staying active, eating breakfast and not drinking calories, and the big things like weight loss, looking better and feeling stronger, will take care of themselves.

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