Simple Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Want a tip that will help you find time to achieve your fitness goals for 2016?

Declare this the year of “no."

The idea came to me when my kids were little. I was so overwhelmed with work, parenting and all of my other responsibilities that I had my very own year of “no.”

No, I cannot volunteer to bring lasagna to the teacher luncheon.

No, I can't go to that conference.

No, the kids aren't signing up for the swim/soccer/basketball teams.

No, we can't go to the school function at 6 p.m. on a weekday.

No, I can't whip up a homemade Halloween costume.

At first, I was afraid of people's reactions. My voice actually quivered the first time I tried my new approach on the phone. Email was easier, but I fought the urge to explain why I was saying no.

Then I realized that people were so shocked to hear me decline their request that they were the ones who wanted to cut the call short or who didn't respond to my emails.

I was polite: Thanks for asking but we can't do/take that on right now.

That's it.

The public ridicule? Never came. The shunning from other parents? Nada.

Nothing happened.

No one stopped talking to me. The kids were fine. I did well at work. El husbando didn't divorce me.

Instead, I was able to focus on things that my familia considered a priority.

The year of “no" wasn't a perfect experiment. I periodically still said yes to things that took up too much time or came up at the last minute. But my default response of “no” helped me focus on the things that mattered.

Eventually, I started saying yes to more requests. I volunteered to chaperone school field trips and bake goodies for classroom parties. I attended more social events and after-work functions.

The year of no taught me that it was OK to consider whether the request was important enough and, frankly, convenient enough to say yes.

I am not Superwoman (or even Wonder Woman) and will not pretend that I am.

I've had to drop everything to run hearing aids/lunch boxes/homework to school when someone forgot them. I've had to forego runs to pick up a white T-shirt that just had to be purchased for a school project.

What I am is practical and realistic (most of the time).

So, how about it? Are you ready to say no so you can say yes to your priorities? To your fitness goals? To what truly matters?

Is that a yes I hear?

I’d love to hear about your goals and how you reach them. Let’s connect: I’m @lachicaruns, and

Written by Gisgie Gendreau, 2016 Fitness Ambassador