Sometimes it's easier to just chip away at our goals rather than try to take them on all at once. Our health and fitness goals can seem like daunting tasks. When we look at where we are and where we want to be, it can be very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In order to succeed, we need interim goals and milestones as footholds to keep climbing to our goal. Take, for example, a weight loss goal to lose 20 pounds of body fat. It’s conceivable that this goal might take 15-20 weeks or even longer…that’s a very long time to stay focused. But what if you imagine the weight loss in another way?
A pound of fat is equivalent to 4 sticks of butter distributed around your body. For every ¼ pound of weight loss or 850-calorie deficit, you ERASE a stick of butter from your body! That can be 1-2 days of diet and exercise. Try throwing a dollar in your “piggy bank” for every stick of butter lost….by the time you reach your goal, you’ll have a nice sum of money to buy yourself a well-deserved outfit or other reward!
What if your goal is to run a distance race…a 5k…a ½ marathon…or even a full marathon? If you’re just starting out or returning to running after many years, your plan should go gradually from walking to running and ease the mileage up after several weeks. See this 10-week plan to start running, if that matches your goals. If you’re already running 2-3 miles comfortably and want to train for a ½ or full marathon, your plan should take 3-6 months to build you long run up to handle the distance on race day.
No matter what your goal is, view it as a challenge that takes time to conquer. Give yourself a break! So many people set high expectations and short time-lines for their fitness goals. Unrealistic goals can lead to utter frustration and burn-out. It’s no wonder that February gym attendance is usually almost ½ that of January’s. Take a gradual path with a long-term commitment to succeed. It’s an approach that will work. Look at the hard-working beaver. How can this tiny animal, not much bigger than a house cat, topple some of the forest’s tallest trees??? One bite at a time…that’s how! Chip away at your goal. Take one step at a time and you'll get there.
You can find Chip away at it! and other motivational fitness information in the December 2007 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.