Once again you have decided to take charge of your health.
A big part of you is tired of being out of shape and you are getting ready to try again. Just a few more things to get into place. Choosing the diet, the fitness program, the gym, the trainer, the book, the videos, the equipment…
Whichever way you are choosing to go about fulfilling your fitness goals maybe you are feeling haunted by a past failure?
The motivational speech all about “move forward, you didn’t fail, failure is feedback, you don’t fail if you don’t quit…” may not be helping.
As true as those idioms may be in most circumstances the truth to life is – there IS such a thing as failure. With it comes a fear to try again. Fear of humiliation, ridicule, disappointment and all the other negative emotions that come with trying and failing.
Maybe you have been on so many diets or fitness programs in the past that any words of encouragement you do get now only feels like lip-service.
How do you try again and feel positive, optimistic, and EXCITED?
Getting Excited about Losing Weight
The fear of humiliation and ridicule is real. Humiliation has been used as a sanctioned form of punishment and torture. It’s no wonder we try to avoid it – even if it means that we don’t do what we really want to do.
One way to make the fear less important is by making the excitement and the goal MORE important. What they think doesn’t matter as much as what YOU think!
Start with writing out your goals.
Write out a detailed future story of what you will look like, what you are wearing, and what the people around you are saying to you on the day you have reached your goal weight.
Who are your new friends? Are they people from the gym? Cooking class?
Setting Big Goals
There is some disagreement over the effectiveness of having big and lofty goals. Many people say you should only set S.M.A.R.T. goals. I think it’s most effective to do BOTH!
An example of a big lofty goal would be:
“I will be at my ultimate goal weight of 125 lbs and running in marathons”
How do you lose a lot of weight? This may seem like too much to accomplish, or maybe you feel like its too much to expect of yourself.
If you currently weigh 245 lbs and find it difficult to walk to the corner store a BIG goal can be quite daunting. But ask yourself – in truth – do you REALLY WANT to be able to run marathons? If this is something you truly believe you would enjoy then make this your BIG goal.
But you can also be S.M.A.R.T about it.
Smart goal setting is about the smaller milestones. When setting big goals I like to look at the ultimate outcome and then work backwards.
To run a marathon you first need to be able to walk one. Start with a walking program. Progress in your time and speed. Then advance to a walk/run program then into jogging, then to the marathon.
Looking at all that can give a person an overwhelming feeling of “it’s too much, I’ll never do it!”
Of course you can do it – all you need to do is follow the steps. You just don’t need to look at ALL the steps right now.
Just the FIRST step – a walking program.
The big lofty goal of losing 120 lbs can strike a big fear of failure in the most resilient of hearts. You may feel timid about a big goal especially if you’ve set out and lost 20, 30, even 50 lbs in the past and then gained it all back.
Remembering all that hard work you put in the last time might feel like it was a big waste of time. And wounded your pride!
But you don’t need to lose 120 lbs. You only need to make a few adjustments to your day to lose 1 lb this week. That’s it.
Do you think you can lose a pound this week?
Often times once we have made the DECISION to do something we want it to magically happen. Then we lose patience, then get disappointed, then quit. The failure lies in not being prepared for the new adventure and not having contingency plans in place where life happens and throws us off coarse.
The reason why combining both the BIG goal and the smaller milestones is simply to help maintain focus. If the big goal remains then the little failures won’t be that important. They become a side-step instead of a full step-back.
For example: maybe you go to the trouble and expense to join a gym and hire a trainer. The trainer turns out to be a real twit, don’t lose focus on the BIG goal. A twit for a trainer doesn’t mean you weren’t meant to get fit – it simply means your trainer is a twit. Go get another trainer. Tell management you don’t feel the “vibe” with this one and you want another one.
One that understands your goals.
Interview them. Make a list of questions for them based on YOUR needs and YOUR goals.
What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?
S – Specific
This is the news of goals. Answering all the questions of who, what, where, why, and how.
Who – else is with you? Maybe the who is just you.
What – do you need? Equipment, cookware, pedometer, maybe a heart rate monitor?
When – in the morning? After work?
Where – The gym, at home, on the street?
Why – Your daughters wedding you want to be the skinniest person there and make your ex-husbands new wife jealous?
How – Diet and exercise? Perhaps meditation to change poor health habits?
M – Measurable
One of the best ways I can suggest for measuring success in increments is to create an activity log. For example; when planning one S.M.A.R.T week – how many times will you go to the gym. At the end of each day have a little chart for did you eat healthily, go for your walk, or something “feel good” like hold the door open for someone?
Decide what activities you can do in a day that are in line with your big goal and check them off each night.
A – Attainable
This is the real reason for breaking down your big goal into its steps. Make each weekly step attainable. Big goals are so very big and scary because we have absolutely NO IDEA how to get there.
By making incremental goals attainable we can step forward with the confidence that the goal can and will be achieved.
1 lb or 10,000 steps. You can do it! You know you can.
R – Realistic
Keeping it realistic goes along with the “Attainable” aspect of the goal. It’s OK to challenge yourself to push your limits, especially if you are the type of person who enjoys a good challenge.
But keep the stepping stones within a range that is realistic. There are very few people on this planet that could lose 10 lbs a week. The “realistic” expectation with a healthy fitness program is between 1% and 2% weight loss a week.
You also need to be aware of the inadequacy’s of regular bathroom scales too. What you see on the scales can be very misleading so putting them in charge of measurement or how you feel about your day may not be “realistic” either.
T – Timely
Put a date on it!
Every goal – BIG and small needs a date. If you don’t know when you need to get there guaranteed you never will. Work will fill the time given to complete it.
Sometimes with the BIG goals its hard to put a date on it but with a realistic program you can expect to lose a pound or more a week. If you want to lose 50 lbs then you can set your date for 50 weeks out.
Now you can write the vision of a day of your future self with a date.