Setting Goals for your health and fitness is sometimes easier said than done. Most people know this fact all too well. Most of us start off with a great amount of energy and anticipation,,,,especially as a new year approaches. The first part is easy. We set a new goal. Lots of people do follow through and start some type of exercise routine. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people only stick to their new fitness routine for an average of 10 to 20 days before they stop or begin to taper off their plan.
Let’s look at the ways you can stay on your fitness program long enough to make it a long term habit
Make an action plan. Don’t wait for great timing before you start. I can promise you the timing will never be perfect so don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re just waiting for the right time to start. Now is the right time.
- Be clear in your goal
- Include a time-line
- Write it down
- Say it out loud
- Tell the positive people in your life
- Don’t tell people who might doubt you
- Create a Plan B if life gets in the way of Plan A (without a Plan B you’ll probably just stop)
- Hire a Personal Trainer, join a Boot Camp or find a motivated workout buddy if you’ve never been able to do it on your own
Start small and be realistic about what you want to accomplish. Try not to focus on a huge goal. Instead focus on eating right and keeping a strict schedule for the days you’ll work up a sweat. You need to view your workout days as an appointment you can’t miss. Think about it – you probably wouldn’t make an appointment with a friend and then not show up. Don’t no-show yourself either. Build your first habit to boost your faith in yourself and then build on that.
Avoid words like ‘some’ and ‘more’, as in “I will get SOME exercise this week” or “I will eat MORE whole foods.” Instead plan out meals and exercise sessions a week ahead of time. This way your brain will register these actions as a fact, not just a weak intention. Also avoid saying ‘never’ and ‘always.’ An all or nothing attitude can quickly take you off track and may lead you back to your old habits because in your mind if you slip you fail. Instead plan a cheat day where you reward yourself with a special treat.
Don’t expect perfection from day one. You’ll probably feel like giving up if you focus on how out of shape you are. Forgive yourself and move forward. Persistence plays the biggest role in forming new habits. Accept the fact that you might not have a spectacular workout session every time but know you’re moving in the right direction. A recent study revealed that it can take up to six months to form a habit. Strap in for the duration and take it day by day. Humans are creatures of habit. Our minds like the habits we’ve already formed and on some level we reject new routines and new habits. Just knowing that will help you push through each workout .
As i Mentioned before it is highly beneficial to find a motivated workout partner or hire a Personal Fitness Trainer. Exercise with a friend who is equally motivated or is already committed to a fitness routine on a regular basis. Be careful not to find a partner who isn’t as motivated as you because that type of person can drag you down.
In my professional opinion the most important part of forming a plan and meeting your fitness goals is to start right away and just commit to eating whole foods and working up a sweat at least three scheduled times a week. Then you can build on that and improve the quality of your workouts one step at a time.
If you have questions about setting goals call me at 562-787-9400 or send me a message