Whenever you start a new exercise routine, there’s a lot of pressure to excel. You want to start seeing results right away. And you want to show your family and friends that you’re making strides with your new fitness resolution. But there are several downsides to pushing yourself too hard when you’re setting out on a new health endeavor. For example, if you set goals that are too high, your disappointment about not meeting them can ruin the experience and cause you to lose motivation. You can also work way too hard and put your well-being in jeopardy.

The important thing to remember is that just getting started is impressive – it’s further than a lot of people get who wish they could be in better shape but then don’t do anything about it. After that, simply sticking with the program is your primary focus.

Rather than set big goals in terms of minutes, reps or pounds, you can agree to one extremely appropriate mission: try your best. This isn’t an excuse to do the minimal amount of work, but it can help you stay on task over time.

Here’s how it works, with the example of push-ups (let’s say you’ve never done a push-up in your life, but it’s something you want to succeed at in 2012).

  1. Figure out the proper posture and positioning so that you know how to do it right and get the most from each of the muscles you’re using. A Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym personal trainer can help you achieve this.
  2. Start by doing one push-up. That’s right, just one. Easy enough?
  3. Got a grip on the correct way to do one solid push-up? Great, that means it’s time to try five in a row. It won’t be easy at first, but eventually it will seem like a piece of cake. There’s no time limit on how long it might take you to master – set your own pace. The only agenda is to complete five.
  4. Only when you find it easy to go through five push-ups in a row should you move to ten. Suddenly you’re doing twice as much. This may take awhile to get used to, but there’s no hurry. Keep trying to do ten push-ups in a row over a matter of days until you feel like it’s easy to do ten.
  5. Move on to 15 or 20 push-ups.

See the pattern here? All that’s asked of you is that you meet and challenge your own limits while striving to continuously improve. As long as you stay honest and dedicated, you’re already on the path to achieving your fitness goals. This is the same for other workout methods as well. You can start by running five minutes on the treadmill and then gradually work your way up to 30. Start small, stay focused and never pressure yourself to do more than you, personally, are capable of doing.

Trim the turkey. Trim the tree. Trim your gift list. Trim your budget. There’s a lot of trimming involved during the holiday season. But one area that’s often overlooked is keeping your figure trim while feasting at various parties and dinners.

Some people use the holidays as an excuse to eat whatever they want and skip trips to the gym under the guise of celebration—but ‘feast or famine’ is never a healthy mindset, whether you’re thinking about food or drink or exercise or anything else. Moderation is the key to your healthiest mind and body. So even though you’re busy balancing work, fun and extra holiday errands, it’s still important that you continue to make time for going to your local Greenville gym. Plus, you’ll feel so much better about yourself when it’s January 1 and you look just as great as you did before Thanksgiving.

One way to stay on track even when you’re very busy is to print out one of our updated Pivotal Fitness Greenville group exercise schedules to stay on top of special events and opportunities. Plus, just seeing this on your fridge every day will surely make you think twice about reaching for seconds of dessert!

Another idea is to pick up some appointments with a Greenville personal trainer if you don’t already have one. Your personal trainer doesn’t just help you target your goals and perform exercise the right way—he or she also motivates you to stay on task and visit regularly.

Last but not least, you can visit our blog each week to learn about what’s going on at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club and hear our thoughts on nutrition and exercise topics. Coming back to our website on a regular basis will keep your gym visits at the top of your mind, even during these crazed, festive weeks–and on into the New Year.