Facing the Resolution: In pledging to get fit, focus on why to get fit

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Free weights at Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies & Fitness Center. Fitness experts say sticking to a New Year’s resolution to follow an exercise regimen and eat healthy can be more effective if you get your mind right and focus on the underlying reasons to exercise — and there are many.

LAURIUM — Another new year, another new year’s resolution, but what’s the real reason behind your goal to stop smoking, eat better food or lose weight?

The answer is a key element in reaching your goals said Stacy Bussiere, Aspirus Fitness Center supervisor, and Hope Zander, Aspirus Fitness Center fitness coordinator. The pair serve as personal trainers and typically find success by tapping into the underlying reason for the goals of those they work with.

“If a person says they just want to “lose weight,” that isn’t going to drive them to get up at 5 a.m. for the fifth week in a row. If a person can identify why they want to lose weight: they want to be an inspiration for their children, they want to be able to hang out with their friends and family at the beach without feeling self-conscious, they want to be able to do their job without feeling tired and winded,” said Bussiere.

The awareness of these life enhancement goals helps provide motivation when sticking to the goals is difficult, she explained.

Another key to success is not giving up when slipups happen.

“We are all human, and we all make mistakes. It’s not all or nothing,” said Bussiere.

Instead she encourages clients to think of it as a percentage, with “more good days than bad.”

Instead of thinking, “I messed up and ate that doughnut” and writing the whole day off, the trainers encourage people to keep moving forward in their resolution and trying to stick with it instead of writing off a day or week as a failure.

“It’s easy to stay motivated on days you feel motivated,” said Bussiere, but that won’t always be the case. As personal trainers they try to help hold people accountable and remind them of their goals. The trainers work with their clients, often telling their own stories.

“This helps a client feel less isolated, and it seems to help motivate them when they realize they are not alone in their struggles to reach their goals,” Bussiere said.

Other tips include specifying a manageable goal, having that support and rewarding yourself for success.

Setting a clear and manageable goal is key to sticking to resolutions, Bussiere explained, as is a degree of accountability.

With these techniques, Zander and Bussiere report a high success rate with those they work with, tailoring solutions for each person.

“There is no cookie cutter answer to health,” Zander said.

Part of the process is figuring out what works with your body and life, she explained.