Last Updated on May 3, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Did you know the word “fitness” peaks out in Google search results during January? This is mostly because so many people will set a new year’s resolution to lose weight or otherwise live better. Unfortunately, a lot of these people will lose interest after a few months. A large portion of them do this because they don’t see a realistic way to meet goals they set for themselves. It can be discouraging when you don’t see instant results. So, what can you do to meet these goals and change the way you live?
Steps to Take to Meet Goals
I’ve covered this topic a bit before, but I wanted to go deeper into how anyone can achieve virtually any goal. Whether it’s for fitness or productivity at work, it all depends on how you view the objective.
1. Set a Realistic Goals
Be realistic about your goals. For example, I want to lose 110 pounds. But saying I want to lose that weight inside of a couple of months is unrealistic. The average person can lose two to three pounds per week just by watching what they eat. Using this figure, it would take me a little over a year to reach my goal. I think I can do better, but this is a good place to start. Be honest with yourself and what you can accomplish in that time frame.
2. Break Goals Down to Smaller Ones
Virtually any large goal can be broken down into smaller segments. For example, the 110 pounds I want to lose can be broken down to eight pounds per month. We can then go even further and set a daily goal of consuming a certain number of calories in order to lose two pounds per week. Personally, I like keeping 500 calories in the green according to MyFitnessPal. Last time I did this, I lost an average of three to five pounds per week. The thing to keep in mind is to meet goals set for each day. Don’t worry if you haven’t dropped a waist size throughout the week. Keep your mind in the present.
3. Monitor Your Progress Closely Each Day
Monitoring yourself for fitness can be done through a wide range of apps available on virtually any device. I have several that I use on a regular basis located above in “My Tools.” This can help you stay focused on your progress for any given day. Keep track of food, physical activity and periodic body measurements as it will help you meet goals.
4. Relish in Every Victory
When you achieve the smaller goals, pat yourself on the back. Like I tell my kids, “Any victory is still a victory.” Even the small things should be celebrated. This helps you keep in a positive frame of mind. It’s a confidence builder exercise that works exceptionally well in my household regardless of the task. When you keep your calories 500 in the green, realize your bad-assness. It may sound silly to some, but you may be impressed by how well it works.
OK, now that we have a set plan of meeting our goals, we need to make sure that discouragement doesn’t stop us from working out or eating better. This is actually quite a difficult process for many. It can be easy to feel hopelessness when you don’t see any immediate changes. Here is how I avoid discouragement in my routine:
- Measure Inches and Weight
One of the reasons why a lot of people fail to meet goals relating to weight loss is because they don’t see their weight dropping very fast. Keep in mind that there are many things that can cause your weight to fluctuate, such as muscle weighing more than fat. Take body measurements once a week to see if you’re actually reducing your body size.
- Take Each Day One at a Time
This is another piece of information I like to share often. Taking your days one at a time can help reduce the feeling of failure if you’re bad in your goals a couple of times. For instance, there were plenty of times where I would pig out one day but met my goals for the rest of the week. I would still lose about three pounds. If you fail one day, learn why and adjust your strategy for tomorrow.
- Psyching Yourself Up
I used to laugh when therapists would have people look in the mirror and say, “I love you” to themselves. Now, I don’t know if I could commit to something like this, but I can definitely see its potential. You need to psyche yourself up first thing in the morning to do the best you can to meet goals. For me, I play inspiring music first thing to get me in the mood to be “Captain Kickass.” Find what gets you ready to go and commit to keeping yourself psyched for fitness.
What if you don’t know what kind of goals to set? You know you want to lose a certain amount of weight, but how do you get there? Here are the types goals I usually set for myself:
Daily Calorie Count
I’m a firm believer that counting calories can be successful, as long as you do it logically. For instance, 2000 calories per day doesn’t mean you can eat 10 cupcakes and expect to be healthy. I mix up my foods to include more nutrition as well as a bit of sugar here and there. My goal is to remain under 1700 per day – this is because I spend so much time sitting. Ultimately, I want to stay 500 in the green every day.
Weight loss doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the physique to take advantage of it. I encourage cardio activity as it does more for the body than just help you fit into those clothes from a decade ago. It’s good for the heart, mind and improves your resistance to injury and illnesses. I’ve been doing more walking and riding as of late. I like to set weekly goals for distance and try to surpass them, even if it’s a slight improvement. Remember, it’s still a victory.
I like to add weight training into the mix. I’m not a body builder, but it’s nice to pick up things around the house without grunting. I use Exercise.com as it tracks my personal bests while pitting my abilities against those on the site using a point system. Set a goal for a certain number of points each day.
A lot of people abandoned their exercise routines and diet plans because they don’t see instant results or they simply lose interest. Getting back into shape isn’t going to be an overnight fix. However, what you accomplish today will feed into your end result. Focus on what can be done in the hear-and-now as it will help you meet goals you set for fitness.