Most people go about setting health and fitness goals for the New Year the wrong way.
They’re excited about the turn of the calendar. They know they ate too much over the holidays and that they haven’t been exercising. All the commercials on TV talk about weight loss and show the latest celeb endorser testifying about the amazing results they get. It’s the New Year, just make a resolution like everybody else. But, why? Why should you give your level of fitness… or lack of fitness, a second thought? What’s the point?
Yes, we already know generally that you want to lose weight and that you do want to get in better shape, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog post or joining our online fitness challenge, right? But what does that mean really? What does “getting fit” mean to you? Again, what’s the point? What’s your WHY? Answering these questions for yourself is the absolute first thing you need to do to be successful in your fitness journey.
Understand that taking the time to explore why you want to be fit is what’s going to keep you going on the days that you don’t feel like doing your workout or when you reaaally want that treat that belongs no where on your meal plan for the day or when you want to stay up too late leaving you too tired for your early morning training session.
Let’s face it. Getting fit is hard. And the truth is that it does take work, especially in the beginning when your body is at its weakest and your mind wants to tell you all the reasons you should stop and go back to what seems easier – like sitting on the couch eating your favorite lazy-day treat. But you need focus and you need clarity. If you know your WHY, then you can use that to help empower you and give you strength to push past the temporary discomfort of creating new habits for the hope of the benefits you’ll reap on the other side.
Once you know your WHY you also need to think about your WHAT, as in what being fit means to YOU. Remember that it’s going to mean different things to different people and that your WHAT is based on your own personal WHY.
If, for instance, you’re participating in your first triathlon or marathon this year, then getting fit is a different journey than if you want to feel good in your wedding dress or for a class reunion. Getting fit for dragon boating in the spring or for a weekend sport league might mean a different thing to you than if you want to feel better and have more stamina as a busy mom, a business professional or an entrepreneur, or if you have a health issue that needs to be addressed. Your reason for getting fit and what it means has to be specific so that your goals are specific. None of that nebulous, abstract stuff! As shown before, just saying that you want to “get fit” is too vague.
Your final question involves taking action. You’ve got to have a plan. After all, you wouldn’t just jump out of bed tomorrow for a trip to Porto Heli, for example, and just drive to the airport like, “Ta da, I’m here!” Aside from looking a little strange and maybe having a little one-on-one time with security, you won’t be going to Porto Heli. For one thing, you probably need more info, like where it is – Greece. You also need to know why you might want to go there -it’s beautiful. And you need to decide for yourself if it’s really worth your time and resources to even go there – check it out. Once you’ve decided Porto Heli is where you want to be, you then need to clearly define action items for all that you need to do to prepare and get ready to go. You also need to have a clear idea of the route you need to take and a definite timeline for you to do everything to get there, as well as very clear dates for your travel (success). That’s how specific you need to be in laying out your fitness goals as well to keep you from getting bogged down with life and having this very same discussion next year… without any progress.
Grab a pencil and some paper. You’re going to write, not type. It’s a different experience when you write things out. Maybe because it takes more effort and there’s a higher degree of thought to form the letters yourself. Whatever it is, I’ve heard from numerous people that it helps to make the process and the goals more “real” when they put their thoughts on paper. Personally, I like using little notecards because they’re small enough to stash in my journal. After you’ve written it you can transfer it to a digital form later, if you like.
Now take some time to answer these questions:
1. Why do you want to be fit and what does being fit mean to you?
- What does it look like?
- What can you do?
- How do you feel?
- How does your life change?
2. How will being fit and healthier affect:
- Your self-esteem/confidence?
- Your family and loved ones?
- Your career?
- Your leisure/fun time?
- Your health?
- Your stamina and energy?
- Anything else important to you?
3. What do you need to do to achieve the level of fitness you want?
Write it all out. Remember that it’s a fitness lifestyle so consider how you’ll eat, your sleep habits, your recovery and stress management. Just brainstorm what your personal fitness lifestyle looks like. Don’t worry about getting it “right” or perfect because it’s just to get you going. It’ll likely change when you get into it and see your true needs and desires, and gain experience. That’s okay! Some questions to consider:
- How much time will you make in your schedule?
- When and where are you going to workout?
- What do you need to learn? Do you need help?
- What (if anything) do you need to get?
- Who’s your support? More on this tomorrow.
Now, there’s one more question you need to ask yourself.
Are you truly ready to change your life this year?
To do this you’ll need to change how you think and what you do. This means trading old thoughts and old actions for new ones. It’s a process but you’ve already taken the first step by taking the time to answer these questions. Yay!
Come back tomorrow for your next step in starting your success-filled fitness journey this year.
LEAVE A COMMENT and let us know your WHY and your number one goal that you’re going to achieve in 2016.