Brooke Nicholls Nelson: 3 steps to make your fitness goals a reality
Jan 05, 2014 | 6186 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Cheaha Challenge participant takes a break at a scenic overlook on Mt. Cheaha during the NEABA annual event in April 2013. Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star/File
A Cheaha Challenge participant takes a break at a scenic overlook on Mt. Cheaha during the NEABA annual event in April 2013. Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star/File
So, how’d you do? If you’re like most people, about 12 months ago you created a list of resolutions to fulfill in 2013. And if you’re like most people the list was comprised of health, fitness or diet-related areas you wanted to improve.

Maybe you posted them on Facebook or tweeted them out to the world, hoping it would keep you honest, on track and motivated. Or maybe you taped them to your bathroom mirror as a reminder to yourself.

If you kept your promises, congrats! But if you’re like the majority, you eventually broke those resolutions — most people do so within the first month.

Why don’t resolutions work for most people? In my opinion, there are three main reasons most resolutions are broken.

1. Goal is not realistic. Pick something obtainable for the short term, like a month at a time, and then increase your goal as you make it each month. If you don’t make the goal for one month, reassess the goal and why you didn’t reach it. Say you want to lose 50 pounds in 2014. That might seem overwhelming if you focus only on the loss of the 50 pounds, but if you break it into smaller losses, like 4-5 pounds per month, that seems much more doable.

2. No workout buddies. Whether you’re a walker or a runner, a swimmer or a biker, or a combination of all of these, you can find workout partners who can help keep you accountable. Contact the local running club, Anniston Runners Club (, or biking club, Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (, for training information. The local YMCA and City of Anniston’s Aquatic Center are great places to swim, too.

3. Not setting a goal event. Do some research and find an event to do in the future, maybe 6-8 months from now. There are many options for training for a run or bike event, choose one that works with your schedule and level of fitness. I find that once I pay the entry fee, my level of commitment goes way up.

The best way to guarantee you will not make your goals? Never set them. So get out your pencil and start making a list. This year has myriad opportunities for you to choose something fitness-related that will motivate you to keep your resolutions on track.

Rookie Runners: Anniston Runners Club Director Amie Hinton is starting up the Rookie Runner program again Monday at the Golden Springs Community Center in Anniston at 5:45 p.m. Guess what? It’s free, for any level runner/walker and you don’t have to be a member of Anniston Runners Club. Hinton utilizes the “Couch-to-5K” program where participants walk for a five minute warm-up, jog for 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds for repeated sets, building up over the course of several weeks, with target goal races later in the spring. The program is offered every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 5:45 p.m. For more info, contact Amie Hinton at 864-276-2835

Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo: Set a biking goal for the spring by signing up for the NEABA signature event, the 22nd Annual Cheaha Challenge, on April 6, 2014, starting in Jacksonville. The ride has a slightly different course this year since it starts and ends at Jacksonville State University for the first time. There are different distance routes for all level of riders – 26, 47, 66, 88 and 102 miles. For more info, visit online at
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