As the new year rolls in, so do all the new year’s resolutions. It is a time for making those promises to yourself and setting new goals. These goals and promises can be the same as the civilian world, but some of us can find it more difficult to find the time to keep those promises and reach those goals.

Even as a fitness trainer of eight years, I have fallen into this trap. Military spouses move all the time. If we are not moving, then our spouses are deploying and we find ourselves dealing with the home front and our children alone, including helping our children get used to Mom or Dad being away for many months at a time.

But I have good news! It is a new year and I, as a military spouse, mother of three and fitness trainer, want to lead you into the new year with some tools to achieve your promises and goals this year!

img_5110Get moving

  1. Set your goals at a height that can be reached. Don’t say you are going to run a marathon by Feb. 1 if you have not even run a mile yet on a regular basis. Make sure your goals can be reached. Start small, then as each goal is reached, set a new goal. This way you feel as if you are actually accomplishing something and it will allow you to build confidence and not give up all together. But do not let that first small goal go unnoticed. Give yourself something to work for, such as a manicure, dinner out with friends or that new sweater or pair of shoes you have been eyeing. Pick something you can think about while you are working toward the goal. It helps. It works.
  1. Many think that fitness has to be done every day, and for a long period of time. This is false. A calorie burned is a calorie burned. No matter what time of day, how long and what you do, you can find time to burn some extra calories. For example, if you find yourself sitting on the couch each evening for an hour or two watching TV, promise yourself you will get up at each commercial and do 25 jumping jacks. Or don’t try to find that close parking spot; park far away and get those steps in. Take your kids on a walk with you if you have to. Small things add up.
  1. Write down your goals. Post them on your mirror, on your fridge or in your car — anywhere you will see them all the time. Set reminders on your phone to work out, just like you would set a reminder for a doctor appointment. When the alarm goes off you need to do your workout.
  1. Get an accountability buddy. It does not even have to be somebody who lives near you. As military spouses we find ourselves in new areas often and may not yet have made friends we feel comfortable working out or going on walks with. That does not need to stop you. Get one of your old friends on board and say you are both going to work out at a certain time, then text each other at that time to remind each other.
  1. Get a step tracker. It does not have to be an expensive one, just one that is reliable and will count how many steps you are taking each day. Set your goal for 10,000. Then work your way up to more.
  1. Strength train. Many women don’t like to strength train, but I promise you this is so important. Your muscles are your metabolism booster. So if you want to keep weight off this year, you must lift some weight or do some resistance training. This is your secret. I promise you will not become bulky; you actually have to really work to get bulky. So go ahead and pick up those weights.
  1. Lastly for fitness tips: have a plan. Plan your week and try to keep the same plan each week. Don’t expect miracles. I always tell my clients give it at least three months for real, lasting results. In addition, don’t get stuck on your scale, especially if you are using my secret weapon of strength training. Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up much less room, meaning your pants are going to get loose, but your scale may not move as much as you would expect.dscf0488

You are what you eat

Nutrition is the next thing you want to pay attention to when you begin your fitness and workout goals. You will need to fuel your body correctly. There are also some tricks to eating what you want and still getting results.

  1. When you are working out your body needs carbohydrates for energy, so make sure you are getting those in. Granola bars, whole grain breads and oatmeal are good options.
  1. Get your fiber in. For women, you will want at least 25g of fiber per day. Men should have at least 38g per day. This is going to help you drop the pounds much easier.
  1. Eat your protein. Protein will help repair the muscle you are creating with that strength training you have started. This is going to help get that cut look.
  1. Lastly, keep your fats low, especially saturated fat.

The military life is tough. As a military spouse, you are one of the toughest I know. We need to take care of ourselves or we will suffer. Take time for yourself daily, get a good night’s sleep and get those workouts in, even five minutes at a time if you have to. This will help you feel so much better about yourself. Confidence is key to everybody. When we don’t feel good about ourselves we tend to not be as good at other tasks around us. So stay healthy and stay fit.

For more fitness information, visit my website or check out my YouTube channel F.E.S.S.15 Fitness.

Reaghan Hayden is a 39-year-old, nationally certified ACE group fitness instructor, and is certified in TRX and Schwinn Spin. She is currently living in Rota, Spain, with her husband who is serving in the Navy EOD Mobile Unit. She is working as a bootcamp fitness instructor at the Naval Base Rota fitness centre and she also has three children ages 9, 5 and 3. She has been a fitness trainer for more than eight years and has a strong passion for helping others not only look better, but feel better as well. She found that fitness is one of the only constants in her life that will always make her feel better in a positive fashion. She hopes to spread that thought to others. She runs a fitness website and completed her first fitness DVD and downloadable fitness workout plan for those on the go, Fit Evolution Steel Strong, which can be found at

Connect with us on Facebook!