The time has come once again to make commitments toward your positive objective. Maybe you’ve been frustrated in the past by a failure to reach a goal, but you’re determined to try again. Let’s look at a few ways to greatly increase your odds of success. And because two of the most common resolutions people make are to “get in shape” or “lose weight” and since this is also a blog presented on a fitness-related site, we’ll concentrate on those.
Set a goal. The biggest mistake people make when making any resolution, including one to lose weight or get in shape, is not having a specific goal. A goal is different from a resolution in a couple of very important ways. Goals are measurable and specific and have a deadline. Instead of saying, “My resolution is to lose weight” try this: “My goal is to lose 10 pounds by April 1st”. If your resolution is to “get in shape” then be sure you have a very specific set of criteria for what that means to you. For example, you might say that you want to complete a 10K race in under 60 minutes by July 4th. Measurable outcomes with deadlines provide great motivation and allow you to track progress.
Make a doable plan. Another useful strategy is to spend sufficient time at the beginning of the process in making sure you have a comprehensive and sensible plan in place. To continue with the “lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks” thought, then taking off 1 pound per week will ensure success. To shed that 1 pound, maybe giving up desserts during the first 2 weeks will be your strategy. In the third week, you can add back a couple of desserts but eliminate any fried foods. One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. Any dietary change you make, or any increase in caloric expenditure that equates to 500 calories a day will do the trick. Having your plan laid out will go a long way toward helping you reach your goal.
Write it down & track your progress. Once you have your goal & your plan, write them down and put it somewhere you will see it frequently, like on your bathroom mirror. The next step in hitting your target is to track your progress. If, in the example above, your goal is to lose 10 pounds by April 1, then it makes sense to evaluate your weight along the way. Weekly measurements during any plan that is scheduled for a long duration will give you positive reinforcement and renewed motivation to reach your destination.
Start small. One common mistake in goal setting is to explode out of the starting gate when the enthusiasm is highest, but then run out of stamina early on. There’s a lesson in that old Tortoise and Hare story. Don’t starve yourself in the first week and then, because that was so onerous, go right back to bad habits in week 2.
Success is not a straight line. Remember the big picture if you have a slip-up. OK, you went out to dinner and the restaurant advertised the “World’s Best Brownie Sundae” and you gave in. Don’t worry or even worse, jettison your whole program. Just because you took one step off the path, that doesn’t mean you can’t get right back on the road to success. Achieving almost any worthwhile goal is a process, and there’s no guarantee that there is a straight line to your destination. Get right back up if you happen to have a fall.
Find support. One of the very best ways to get great results is to enlist support. Tell friends and family of your intention. If your goal involves fitness, find a partner to take walks in the neighborhood, and don’t be shy about conveying why you’re exercising more. It can be easy to skip a workout if you’re by yourself, but when you know your friend will be ringing the doorbell for the morning walk, you’re 100% more likely to stick to your commitment.
Seek expert advice. And finally, get expert advice and the tools you need. You can’t build beautiful kitchen cabinetry without the proper woodworking tools. And to the point of this blog, if you have a fitness goal, the certified professionals at Premier Fitness Source will be happy to help you plan a sensible diet, cover what exercises are best at burning calories, and/or provide the latest in fitness equipment to give you a safe and effective workout. We can give you the information and confidence you need to successfully reach your goal. Call or stop into any of our area locations, or chat with us on our website: PremierFitnessSource.com
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