I have talked many times about the importance of goal setting and that you must make your goals both reasonable and appropriate. For example, an example of an unreasonable and inappropriate goal is to lose 100 pounds in three months. Commendable yes, but not very realistic.
Excellent goals would be something like; losing 20 pounds in three months or losing two dress sizes in a month. Both are very reasonable and achievable.
Part setting goals is giving yourself a reward at the completion of increments of success. Here is an example of one of my clients goals chart.
Increase total push ups by 10%
Increase total crunch’s by 10%
10 minutes at 6mph without stopping
3 overall inches
This is a great goal chart. Without knowing where she started there is no way to tell by looking at this chart what kind of fitness level she had at the beginning, but we worked this out together and I’ll tell you, she hit each of these targets…and she worked hard to do it. She combined great nutrition and a real commitment to these goals to do it.
One of the best parts of her goal setting was a great reward. She was going on a trip and wanted to have a ‘beach body’ that she was happy with. So when she made these goals, she went shopping and found three bathing suit that she really liked, but admittedly they didn’t like her.
After her goals were set for week two and she hit them, she bought those bathing suits. Week three set and hit, she pulled the tags off and chucked the receipts…no turning back. Week four???
We believed that some serious toning components needed to be built into her program. By day five, she wore one of the bathing suits that only three weeks ago, didn’t like her…Now it lived her!!
She made great goals that had time commitments and a personal need, which worked for her.
I told you all this to tell you this story. This week I was with a couple of my cousins who wanted to do fitness programs to help offset the aging process. We sat down and worked out programs complete with goals and rewards, then we went to a gym to show them the exercises and how to use the equipment properly.
At the end of the session we went to a restaurant where they ordered drinks and the most fattening things on the menu. All I could say was WTF??!!??
Their justification for these bone headed choices?? The work they had just done would offset the crap they were about to put into their mouths. The good cancels the bad so they were even. They should have looked at it the other way…the gains they had just made would be shot down.
Sadly this is the thought process too many people have. On a day by day basis this may be true, but on a month to month basis, the damage that occurs within your body far exceeds any benefit that any amount of exercise may offset.
The moral of this is simple…set good goals, reward yourself on attaining them and always consider the long-term destruction even small indulgences may cause to your over all goals.