Although I’m not fond of New Year’s resolutions (resolutions can be made any time of the year!), my real pet peeve are the vague goals people come up with. Vague goals are very difficult to achieve. Examples of vague fitness goals include "lose weight," or "get stronger." Any of these goals could be made more specific by quantifying them: "Lose one pound every two weeks until I've lost 20 pounds," or "bench press five extra pounds each week until I can bench press my own body weight.” That’s a significant improvement compared to “lose weight” or “get stronger”. But you can do better. How about making your goals more action oriented instead of goal oriented?
Why am I so much into action oriented goals? This is why: I believe that we should appreciate and even enjoy the journey to the goal to the point that it is an end on its own. Why? Let’s put it simply. Let’s say you commit to exercising at least 5 times a week and eating more vegetables in order to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year. Let’s assume that you are successful at accomplishing this goal. So now what? Are you going to stop all the actions that took you to that goal and go back to your sedentary, fast food eating old self? Of course you know better than that!
Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness, many people drop their resolutions altogether a third of the way through because of this exact problem; they had the wrong goal in mind. They focused on the bull’s eye so much they never gave their mind and body a chance to learn the technique to hit that bull’s eye.
Consider goals like these:
- Eat out no more than twice a week
- Take my lunch to work at least 4 times a week
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week
- Go to bed half hour early
If your goal is to lose weight, get stronger, look better, or simply feel better, you must envision a lifestyle change as the way to get there. There are no quick fixes. This is not like saying, “I will get my bedroom repainted”. This is not a “get done and check off the list” kind of deal. This is about getting on the bus and staying on!
Vanessa Ocasio, CPT