I hear so many excuses for why fitness goals seem out of reach: “I want to lose weight, but I love my daily diet coke.” “I’m too tired to exercise.” “But chocolate is good for me, right?” “I meant to exercise, but I overslept.”
This week’s focus is about doing what you need to do in order to achieve your goals that you've been avoiding – that last bad habit that you feel like you can’t quite kick but know is the obstacle holding you back from success.
Whether your goals are fitness-related or not, we all have that one puzzle piece that we just can’t bring ourselves to put into place, because it means doing something we have avoided for a long time for various reasons: it’s too hard, too uncomfortable, or would disrupt the status quo too much.
The dawn of a new year is the perfect time for taking a fresh look at your goals (fitness and otherwise) and your path toward achieving them. Since we often get in the way of our own efforts, try for a moment to pretend that your goals are not your own, but rather those of a friend, so you can think objectively without excuses or judgment. This is a time to look for opportunities for improvement, not time to beat yourself up for what you have or haven’t done. Take a step outside yourself and ask:
Ready to achieve your goals? It’s time to clean house in order to gain clarity and focus toward your goals, fitness or otherwise. For some of you this may literally mean cleaning your house (who can cook a healthy meal with dried food stuck to the stove and countertops?!), but for others it may be a little more metaphorical. Try a few of these examples on for size and see where you stand:
As with most goals in your life, the best way to get what you want is to give it. If money is what you seek, donate to a charity you believe in; if you want more love in your life, starting giving more of it; if you want to look and feel healthier, perhaps the answer lies in what you can do for those around you.
Recent research shows that you can sabotage your goals by not establishing satisfying rewards for yourself. So whether you’ve been in a weight-loss plan for awhile or are just starting out, it’s time to set a short-term goal and reward for when you achieve it. For example, if your long-term goal is to lose 50 lbs, plan a reward for when you lose 15 lbs, like a day at the spa or a new outfit. If you are training for your first triathlon, reward hard-working weeks with an hour-long massage on your rest day.
With the New Year underway, now is a great time for reexamining present goals and setting new ones. By focusing on two essential elements – opportunity and confidence – this can be the year you exceed your own expectations and reach goals you never thought possible.
I cannot say it enough: in order to effect change in your life, you must change how you do things. In other words, if you change your mind, your body – and your life – will change as well. But if you continue to think and do things as you always have, then no change can be expected to occur.
Changing “I can’t” to “How can I?”
If you set a goal for yourself a month ago or more, now may be a great time to “check in” and see how you are doing. Measure your progress in a way appropriate to your goal; for example, if you are looking to slim down and lose fat, take new circumference measurements and have your body fat % re-tested. If your goal is to save money for a trip or new car, check your savings account total. Whatever your goal, there is always a way to measure your progress, so check your current status and then ask yourself:
marry your mantra
Often, it is ourselves – not outside obstacles – that stand in the way of our goals. To combat these personal “roadblocks,” create a mantra for yourself that encourages positive behavior to keep you on track.