With 2015 quickly approaching we want to talk about goals! We’ve all set new years resolutions with full intention of accomplishing them, but then February rolls around, the New Year hype fades and life happens.
Maybe one of the biggest reasons we fall off the wagon is, because our goals aren’t realistic. While I think everyone would agree having big aspirations is admirable and inspiring, it is often better to start small. In order to accomplish this year’s fitness goals let’s take a more calculated approach than dreaming up something big. It may seem counterintuitive to start small, but remember that you want to set yourself up for success not burnout or injury.
How many times have you or someone you know set a huge goal to lose 50 or more pounds, or exercise for an hour five days a week, only to fall off the wagon a few weeks (or days) later? The truth is that even when people have the best of intentions to do something amazing, without a plan and a smart goal, we stumble and are more likely to fail.
When you first set a goal, you’re full of energy and motivated, but over time those feelings fade. Breaking a big goal into mini goals can help you both mentally and physically. This method can also help you improve your fitness level gradually and safely, which helps to build confidence.
The first step to setting realistic goals is to really think about your goal and write it down.
Then ask yourself these questions:
1. How big is the goal?
Is your goal only attainable in three months or more? If so, make a couple of goals to get you to that long-term goal. Ideally, you should be to reach the smaller goal in two to six weeks.
2. What does it take to achieve the goal?
This question addresses your goal’s frequency. If reaching your goal requires five workouts a week, but you can only come to the gym two days a week, then you need to scale back your goal. Be realistic about what time you have to devote to the goal and be honest about your fitness level. Building your fitness base takes time, and being smart about increasing it will help you stay injury-free.
3. Can you see yourself reaching the goal?
You want a program that you can stick with for the long haul—not just this week. Be completely honest with yourself and ask if you can realistically see yourself doing what it takes to achieve the goal at hand. If you can and it meets the above criteria, then you probably have a goal!