On Being Healthy: Setting Goals

It is a new year and with new years come resolutions. For many years, the most common NY resolution has been to change to a healthy lifestyle, either by losing weight, improving diet, or exercising. Goals without plans of execution are destined to fail. So no matter what your goal is, whether it is to lose weight, exercise, read more, make new friends, do a daily devotional, or find a new hobby, you must have a plan.

1.) Setting Realistic Goals

Goals must be attainable and realistic. When I counsel patients on obesity, they usually have some unrealistic expectation for weight loss. Women especially! (Women, just face the fact that you will not lose weight as fast as your male counterparts. God designed us to hold on to calories in order to continue the human race in the event of famine. So… if you get marooned on an island, you will out live your husband.)

  • So what is a realistic goal? For weight loss centered on lifestyle change, 2-4 pounds a month averaged over several months, for there will be plateaus and dips. For those wanting to read more, start with 1 book if you read 0 last year. If you read 10 last year, increase it to 12. For those wanting to improve diet, pick one thing you will REMOVE and one thing to ADD to your diet.
  • Start small. Accomplish the small goals. Count the victories. THEN improve upon those results. Did you lose 5 pounds in a month? Great! Lets do it again next month. Did you go 1 month without a soda? Great! Now see if you can go 1 month without soda and dessert. Did you get to your book goal by June? Awesome! Double it by December. No one was ever discouraged by meeting goals early, but I have seen many people set too lofty of goals and get discouraged and quit. You must know yourself. Do you have the will power to push yourself to lofty goals or do you need tiny victories to help encourage you along the way?

2.) Be specific.

Do not be vague with your goals. Don’t say “Lose Weight”, instead say “Lose 15 pounds by June”. Don’t say “Read more”, say “Read 5 books this year.” Don’t say “Exercise more”, say “Walk/run/swim/bike 3 times a week for 30 minutes.” Know exactly what you are striving for so that you can celebrate when you achieve that milestone.

3.) Making a Plan

So you set your goal… Now what? You need to come up with a way to get from point A to point B.

  • So you decided to lose weight. Are you going to do that by exercising? Dieting? Both? See below for further specifics.
  • You want to try to eat healthier. What are you going to do? Weight watchers? A fad diet? Paleo? Keto? Whole 30? South Beach? Does heart disease run in your family? Do you need to think about low fat/cholesterol diet plans? What about osteoporosis? Do you need to increase your dietary calcium?
  • You decided to exercise. What type of exercise do you think you will enjoy? When are you going to exercise? Where are you going to exercise? If it is outside, what is your indoor contingency plan?
  • You want to do a daily devotional or quiet time. Are you going to do a guided devotion plan on the Bible app? Are you going to use a Bible reading plan? Will you journal your findings and prayers? Will you do this in the morning or evening? How are you going to adjust your schedule to make time for this?
  • You want to find a new hobby. What are you going to try first? Do your friends have any hobbies you find appealing? What hobbies fit into your lifestyle- budget and time?

4.) Accomplishing the Goal

Celebrate! Do not be ashamed to tell your friends or family. Be proud of what you accomplished. That 5 pounds is great! That one book is a milestone! Walking 30 minutes 2 times a week is an improvement for you!
Do not compare yourself to others because that will rob you of joy or plant a seed of envy.

5.) In the Event of Failure

If you do not meet your goals, take time to reflect to see why you failed. Then alter your plan and try again!

  • You didn’t meet your weight loss goal… So did you cheat on your diet? Fail to stick to your exercise schedule? Did you have some health problems that hindered your ability to exercise? Did your metabolism come to a screeching halt because of menopause? Are you getting empty calories somewhere that you don’t realize? Are your portion sizes too big? Is your lifestyle to sedentary?
  • You didn’t reach your book goal… Did one book bog you down because it wasn’t enjoyable? Did you have a hard time finding time to sit down and read a physical book? Would it benefit you to start reading on a kindle book since you will always have it with you? (Waiting rooms and car pool lines are great for reading instead of browsing Facebook) or listening to audio books on your commute (mine is only 12 minutes and I listened to 60 audio books last year)?
  • You didn’t find a hobby… Did you make time to try several activities? Did you go with a friend? Did you give each activity more than one try? Sit back and reflect on what you truly enjoy. Do you like to be active, still, creative, indoors, outdoors, interactive, reflective? Have you considered things that are not traditionally considered hobbies? Vacation planning, tutoring, volunteering, meditation, yoga, trivia night, board games, wine/craft beer tasting, cooking, yard work/gardening.

Full Circle Fitness: Freestyle Fitness with Antonio Knight

This past week I sat down and talked with Antonio Knight, owner of Freestyle Fitness. He specializes in individualized fitness and nutritional plans for people and also more specialized coaching. I know he produces good results, because I’ve seen it in some of my patients! His clients experience weight loss, increased energy, decreased sugar levels, decreased blood pressure, and better cholesterol.

Antonio Knight got his start in fitness through his love for sports, particularly football. Knight was a versatile athlete who played three positions at Tuskegee University — strong safety, punter, and back up Quarterback.
After finishing his football playing career, Knight transitioned into coaching at Tuskegee University (TU) Tigers. He coached there for 5 seasons and then found himself in Jackson at Jackson State University (JSU). He coached with the Tigers football program for 10 seasons.  During that his coaching years, he served as the secondary defensive coach, special teams coach, and linebackers coach. He was also the recruitment coordinator for JSU while he was there. During Knight’s last three seasons at JSU, his linebackers were among the team’s leading tacklers. With more than 15 years of collegiate coaching experience, and eight years of nutrition and fitness training under his belt, Knight rears winners. He has used his experience in the sports arena to train and help his clients achieve their goals.


Antonio, how did you get into training and nutrition?

I started training over 15 yrs ago while coaching and being in a town without a fitness gym. At the end of each season I would train my senior defensive backs, getting them ready for the NFL combine or Pro Day. I’ve always been conscious about what I eat and drink, but I really started studying nutrition after my mother’s 2nd stroke, finding out my family’s history with diabetes and hypertension.

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing the transformation of my clients physically, but most of all mentally, becoming more concerned with their way of eating and living. This is what I love most about my profession.

Explain to us what your clients usually come to you to accomplish?

My clients usually come to me to accomplish weight loss, fit test preparation, and a positive mindset change.

What services do you provide?

As owner of Freestyle Fitness 29, I offer Fitness training, Sport specific skills and agility training, Nutritional guidance, Meal prep, and Life coach.

Do you do personalized fitness programs and nutrition plans that people can take with them (for example- would my out of town patients be able to come to you and get a plan to take and do in their hometown where your type services are not available)?

Yes, I most definitely do personalized fitness programs and nutritional plans because no two people are the same (body types, surroundings, training availability, food preferences, and way of life).

You’re a pretty athletic dude and your site talks a little bit about your time at Tuskegee, but what were your greatest learning moments there?

My hear greatest learning moments at Tuskegee are learning to use what I had to reach unforeseeable goals whether on or off the field. Learning to adapt to my environment coming from fast pace Louisiana to small town Tuskegee.

As a former football coach, do you also help young athletes prepare for the next level?

Of course I do, that’s one of the ways I started my training passion. I’ve also trained professional basketball players.


What are your words of wisdom to someone who MUST lose weight for their health but are intimidated by the gym scene?

My words of wisdom would be, Freestyle Fitness 29 meets you where you are. You only get 1 time to live so why not invest in the one thing you’ll have the rest of your life which is your body! So I go to some of my clients until I build them up mentally.


You can get in touch with Antonio Knight. Simply choose your method of communication below!
IG: @Freestylefitness29
Facebook: Freestyle Fitness 29
Phone: 601.862.4787