Pella Chronicle

January 27, 2012

Having a goal and sticking to it changes everything

Barry Westerkamp
Special to The Chronicle

Pella — Well, I made it back to the Pella Chronicle.  It took me 10 years, but I’m back.  Although this time I’m back in a different capacity.  Ten years ago I was the Sports Editor for our hometown newspaper, writing columns about the sports world.  Now I’m here as a monthly guest, spreading the word about fitness and how to help get you in shape.

So let me catch you up on what has happened since my last column.  I got married, moved to Idaho, began working at Apple Athletic Club, moved back to Iowa, began working at Pella Health & Fitness, had a baby, got certified as a personal trainer, started working for Anytime Fitness, had another baby, and now own the Anytime Fitness.  If you want the long version you’ll have to call me.  

I’m passionate about helping people reach their goals and educating them on fitness and nutrition.  So if you are an avid fitness enthusiast, or maybe you’re thinking about getting started, hopefully you’ll find some useful information each month.

As a trainer it’s my job to help people establish some realistic fitness goals.  Without a goal, it’s hard to stay motivated, and you really have no sense of direction.  One of my favorite quotes says, “Having a goal and sticking to it changes everything.”

So let’s look at that a little closer.  The first part states that having a goal changes everything.  Determining your fitness goal does change everything because it will dictate how you train.  If your goal is to run the Klompen Classic this May, you should train according to that goal.  If your goal is to get better at baseball, you should train according to that goal.  If your goal is to lose fat, you should train according to that goal.  Whatever your goal is will determine how you will train.  So the first thing you have to do is establish your number one fitness goal.  Sounds simple, right?  It is.  Unfortunately most people don’t make it specific enough for what they really want.  

The second part of the quote says that you can’t just have a goal, you actually have to stick to it.  Anyone can set goals.  You probably set some at the beginning of the year.  Maybe you set a goal last year to lose weight but you never stuck with it.  So yes it is important to establish what you want to achieve, but you also have to develop a plan on how you are going to achieve those goals.  Because if you set a goal, develop a plan, and stick to that plan, it WILL change everything.

I know some of you have set a goal to lose weight in 2012.  If that is you, let me give you a general plan.  First of all, you better start eating differently.  I recommend limiting processed foods, eating more lean proteins, eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, and to avoid long periods of time without eating to keep your metabolism revved up.  While you’re in the process of changing your eating habits, you should be exercising as well.  I recommend strength training a few times a week to help build muscle and elevate metabolism, along with any activity that will elevate your heart rate.  You should be doing something every day for at least 30 minutes.  If you need something more specific, feel free to contact me.  

So if 2012 is going to be the year that changes everything, make sure you set a specific goal, come up with a plan on how you’re going to reach that goal, and then stick to it.  I’d love to hear from you about your goals and how you plan on achieving big things this year.  Feel free to email me at   You can also check out my fitness blog at  Until next time, take care of your body.