Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Started

Motivation (which I'll get to several times) is hard enough. Before you start you need attainable goals which can be evaluated and measured; not lofty goals like "Lose a bunch of weight" or "be healthier". Generic goals are well meaning but nearly impossible to sustain or evaluate. Here is good article on goal setting:

Nearly 73% of New Year's fitness goals result in failure (, so how do you set yourself apart from the pack and achieve those goals?

  1. Start Small and Specific- For example, "Lose 5 pounds in the next 4 weeks through healthier eating and regular exercise" or "Do 1 pullup unassisted by March 15th". When putting yourself through the discomfort of changing your lifestyle you need a "win"  to stay encouraged. Setting attainable goals will encourage you to continue on to those bigger goals that are further off in the distance.
  2. Consistency- Set aside a specific time every workout day and hold yourself to that. There is a big difference in your mind between "I'm going to workout at 5:30pm every day after work" and "I am going to workout every day at some point in the day". For me, I wake up early to get a morning run every day at 6:30am rain or shine.
  3. Just get there- At certain points, your motivation will be low, it's inevitable. When your motivation is low, how do you get those workouts done and not fall off the bandwagon. Just get there and worry about the workout later. When I'm up to run in the morning, my focus isn't how far I have to go or whether it is cold outside or not- it's just getting into my running clothes. Likewise, when it is time for my workout at night, I just worry about getting my workout close in the car and walking in the front door of the gym. When you get to the actual location of your workout (even if it's downstairs in your workout clothes) your chances of skipping out are considerably lower if you are at the location before evaluating whether or not you "want" to do it.
  4. Law of Numbers- It is inevitable that you will miss a workout, or eat something you know you shouldn't but you can't let that discourage you. What matters to your body is what you do the majority of the time. So if you skipped a workout, or ate an unhealthy meal when you told yourself you wouldn't, don't forget about all those other good healthy decisions you made before. What you did the days preceding  still matters and have a lasting impact on your overall fitness and health.  

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