How to Establish Realistic Health & Fitness Goals in the New Year


It’s almost time to ring in the new year, and you know what that means — New Year’s resolutions! For many, the new year presents an opportunity for a new beginning and lots of people resolve to get back in shape once January 1st rolls around. The problem is, too many individuals end up losing motivation by February and are unable to break their current habits. That’s why, with the help of Holly Gatto, a top personal trainer in Pittsburgh, we’re breaking down how you can set 2022 fitness goals and stick to them. Let’s find out how you can avoid sliding into old habits after the new year.

Don’t Make Too Many Lifestyle Changes at Once

Personal trainers in Pittsburgh do not recommend setting extremely lofty or short term goals

man comparing himself to woman on a spin bike
It may be tempting to hit the gym super hard at the beginning of January, but it's better to pace yourself.

If you’re setting new health and fitness goals for the new year, you should avoid setting the bar too high. If you try to make too many changes at once, you are setting yourself up for failure.

It’s okay to expect a lot of yourself, but from the perspective of a personal trainer in Pittsburgh, you can’t simply approach your health as though it were a career move. You will make progress, but you have to be prepared for setbacks as well. Things will happen and life will get in the way while you are trying to make improvements in your fitness. However, most of these factors are out of a client’s control. 

To prevent yourself from giving up your goals altogether once you reach a setback, you should set smaller incremental goals. These smaller goals will help you more accurately measure your progress. 

Take it Step by Step

Break down your big goal into smaller steps to achievement

woman exercising outside
Your goals may seem far away right now, but with the right mindset you’ll be able to stick to healthy habits.

The key for goal setting is to take your “big goal” and break it down into incremental steps. These steps will not only help you stay motivated, but it will teach you that reaching your  end goal is sometimes a long process. Staying focused on your end goal isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too often the end goal is the only goal a client has in mind. 

For some, scaled down goals will be more appropriate than a slightly bigger goal.  Many factors need to go into consideration when formulating your health goals. Factors such as your schedule, your career, and your family will all affect the timeframe. A skilled personal trainer in Pittsburgh can help a client assess your goals and determine if they are realistic or not. If you reach a point where you feel like giving up, you and your trainer can discuss new ways to reach your goals and try out different ways to reach your goals.

How to Approach Goal Setting: An Example From a Personal Trainer in Pittsburgh

By using an example, we can show you how Holly Gatto recommends you set goals in the new year

setting goals writing on notepad glasses
Writing down your goals helps you visualize the smaller steps in your fitness journey.

Let’s take a look at an example of scaling down bigger goals to smaller ones. Maybe a client has trouble finding time to eat breakfast in the morning before they go to work. They get to work and are too busy to eat lunch. Because they haven’t eaten all day, they end up grabbing unhealthy snacks in the breakroom in the afternoon. Then, by the time they get home after an hour-long commute, they are ravenous and grab whatever they can find in the kitchen — usually not the healthiest option.

There is obvious room for improvement here and the clear goal to set is “eat a healthy breakfast every morning before work.” However, this may be too lofty of a goal depending on the individual’s lifestyle. They may have to commute to work at 4am, and simply do not have the time to make breakfast. The client may have a long commute as well. A good example of incremental goal setting in this case would be something like — “bring a simple breakfast to work that you can eat at your desk.” It could be anything, like microwave oatmeal or a banana. Though this does not meet the “big goal,” you are still making incremental progress in improving your morning routine. Another thing to keep in mind while working toward your goals is to make sure that they work within your lifestyle. If you end up sacrificing other important things in your life — like work, family, and friends, you won’t be able to stay on track for very long.

Stay Motivated with the help of a Personal Trainer in Pittsburgh

When you choose health and fitness training with Holly Gatto, she can help you keep reaching your goals long after the new year

fitness training photo medicine ball
Holly Gatto will help you stick to your health and fitness plans for the new year.

In the first few weeks of January, people with New Year’s goals are usually very happy that they are making progress on their goals. Unfortunately, many people either burn themselves out in the first few weeks or are unable to see results and lose motivation. It takes a skilled personal trainer in Pittsburgh to make the client more aware that this is happening and help them to scale back on the goal setting process. A personal trainer can also suggest a different pathway in getting to the client’s goals, which often helps reduce frustration and overwhelming feelings. 

How to Start Achieving Your Fitness Goals in 2022

Using Holly’s Health Habits Guidelines, you can start listing realistic goals for the new year

healthy habits guideline
Using Holly’s Healthy Habits Guideline, you can start setting your goals today.

Overall, New Year’s resolutions are often too ambitious for many to achieve, which is why a personal trainer in Pittsburgh may be the solution for achieving your goals. Resolutions are fleeting, whereas setting goals is not fleeting — especially when you have a skilled trainer helping you along the way. Holly recommends writing down your fitness goals that you want to work in 2022.  Take a look at the Health Habits Guideline to help you get started on this process. In the Health Habits Guideline there are techniques that you can use to evaluate your goals in a way that will uncover potential roadblocks. Often the reason why client’s fail is their mindset. The more clarity a client has on their current mindset and lifestyle, the higher chance of success.

If you are ready to tackle your 2022 health and fitness goals, contact Holly Gatto, an accomplished Pittsburgh personal trainer. With Holly Gatto you can overcome fears and limiting beliefs that are inhibiting the healthy lifestyle that you desire. With a personalized fitness and health coaching plan, you can learn how to free yourself of all the emotional baggage that holds you down. Ready to get started? Get in touch with Holly Gatto Fitness or download the free Health Habits Guideline to start working towards your fitness goals today!

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