Jillian McAfee

With the spring season quickly approaching, people often want to get back into their exercise routine but aren’t sure where exactly to start. In this blog series, we’ll help you get back into your routine with some great information and tips!

Getting back into an exercise routine is challenging. If it weren’t challenging, everyone would be doing it! It takes more than purchasing a gym membership, buying new workout shoes, and packing your gym bag. The real challenge comes with the mental side of the game.

How in the world are you going to stay motivated?

Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise program, please consult with your healthcare provider.

Let’s start by focusing your efforts. Ask yourself a few questions and write down your answers. Here are some examples:

  • What inspires me?
  • Why do I want to experience the results of exercise?
  • What is my relationship with exercise?
  • Where am I currently at in relation to my goals?
  • Why is this important to me?

Truly thinking about WHY you are exercising can help! If your answer is “because my friends are doing it,” your motivation will most likely diminish sooner or later. Get down to the root of your motivation when you start thinking about goals and you will be more likely to accomplish them.

Make yourself a priority and schedule goals into a specific time-frame.
Why is it so easy to lose focus? There is no urgency to complete your goals if you know that you have an endless amount of time to accomplish them. Let me ask you this…If your boss tells you about a project that is due a year from now, will you start working on it right away? Most likely, your answer is no! If your answer is yes, you might start working on it, but a week or two down the road, another project will come up and the original project will get put on the back burner. Sadly, health gets put on the back burner for many Americans because we set lofty goals and give ourselves an endless amount of time to complete them. It is totally normal for your priorities to shift every now and then, but when this happens, go back to the questions and reevaluate your goals.

So what makes a good goal? The SMART model.
You may be wondering what makes a goal “good.” To answer your question, each of your goals should contain the following 5 components:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Set realistic monthly or weekly goals that you know you are capable of accomplishing.

Some examples:

  • “I am going to establish a routine by taking 3 fitness classes a week during my first month at the gym.”
  • “I am going to lose 5 lbs this month by exercising 4 hours a week and increasing my fiber.”

My advice?
Create SMART goals and continue to make yourself a priority! You deserve it! Remember that reaching your goal does not translate into reaching the end of your weight-loss journey. Our goals evolve as we evolve!

About the Author
Jillian McAfee is a Personal Trainer and General Manager for Downsize Fitness in Illinois. Jillian also coaches individuals all across the country in an online program called Downsize@Home, powered through Helpouts by Google. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University and is a Certified Personal Trainer through The American College of Sports Medicine. She has played a large role in many individuals’ weight loss journeys and hopes to do so for many years to come.