The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves.  Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 10.20.06 AM

For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.

This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.

I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for 2014.

Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goal

Challenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.

I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.

Are you ready to try this new approach???  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!!!

Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.