Often times people set goals and don’t see them through. There is an ugly rumor going around that even I have done this. Regardless of the past, I’ve learned some ways to combat the “Commit to lose weight and then just forget about it” routine. One way is to set definitive goals and have a plan with a fitness routine.
Imagine this scenario: There’s a 1500 meter race about to happen. The contestants of the race line up on what seems like the starting line and they notice that there are no lines to mark where each runner is to start in his own lane. In fact, there isn’t even any clear marking to know where the edge of the track is at – it’s just a big open field. There isn’t any way to know where to go and where they will finish – no finish line. Now an organizer of the race steps up and says, “When I shoot this gun, just run 1500 meters in which ever way you choose. When you are done, after you have run 1500 meters, the race is over, and we will declare a winner.”
A vague sense of a starting point.
No sense of direction.
No way to keep track of progress.
No finish line in site.
Wouldn’t this work out better if each runner knew exactly where he was going with a clearly marked path? How about a way to know where the beginning, middle, and end of the race is at? And what about a nice, clearly marked finish line? That sounds a lot better, right?
Unfortunately the first scenario is the mentality at which most people’s goals are set.
I am going to lose weight.
I need to get in shape.
Some are slightly better.
I want to lose 20 pounds.
I want be able to do 25 push ups again.
What about setting a better goal?
I am going to lose 20 pounds before Christmas to look good before I go on vacation. I am going start working out 3 days per week this week. In October I will bump it up to 5 days per week with circuit strength training 3 times per week, and some cardio 2 days per week. By Thanksgiving I need to be down between 10 and 15 pounds and not splurge to hinder my diet efforts. When I head to Hawaii for Christmas I will look great being 20 pounds lighter!
Well that sounds like a more determined goal. One that is specific, measurable, and valuable. One that provides motivation and has a clear starting point, course to follow, and a finish line, so-to-speak.
Give it try – even if you are not going to Hawaii this Christmas. Create a vivid picture of what you want to accomplish with exercise and how you will go about it. Reach your goals and have fun doing it!
Here’s another tip: write it out. Don’t imagine your finish line and your track; make it something you can see. Schedule workout time on a calendar. Write down your goal and remind yourself of it all the time. Track your progress as you are going. Keep your mind and body moving toward your fitness goal at all times.