The number one reason so many diets and exercise regimes go out of the window is because people lose motivation. Want to know why people lose motivation? Because their goals are unrealistic. Aiming to lose 2 stone in a month is unrealistic. Wanting to go from couch potato to marathon runner in a week is unrealistic. What happens when goals are not realistic is that we start to get disheartened, see ourselves as failing and then give up. There’s always that “Oh well, didn’t want to do it anyway”, that screams at the back of our mind when we begin to fail. If you want to achieve your goals, they have to be achievable. Follow this guide to setting realistic fitness goals and you will soon achieve them!
What do you want to achieve?
The first thing you need to decide, is what exactly you want to achieve. There are several ‘goal categories’ to use, that will help make it easier to define your needs and wants. These are:
- Lose Weight
- Become Fitter or Leaner
- Increase Muscle
You CANNOT do all three at once, and even two at once is a push, we recommend you stick to one. If you want maximum results from a goal, then sticking to one will ensure you stay motivated with that one. Many of these goals will interchange as you progress anyway, so focusing on one is a great way to start.
How and when to achieve your goals
Now, let us look at each of those goal categories again, to determine how to achieve those goals and how long they should realistically take.
Losing weight – A maximum of 2 pounds per week is a healthy amount of weight loss for anybody. Most experts agree that between 1 and 2 pounds is the most that anyone should lose, although it can differ slightly depending on your current BMI. Those who have a lot of weight to lose might find themselves losing 3-5 pounds per week, whereas those with a small amount to lose may find it difficult to shift one. Your timing should reflect the healthy amount of weight to lose, to make it a lot more realistic and achievable. You may not like hearing this but fad diets will not work for you. Stick to healthy eating and regular exercise to truly shift those pounds.
Becoming Fitter – If you want to run for the bus without passing out, then you’re probably looking at becoming fitter. Everyone has different speeds when it comes to improving fitness, but it is not something that can be done in a day. Gradually build up your fitness levels by pushing yourself a little further each time. This way you won’t end up damaging any muscles or finding it too difficult to train the next day. Try alternating between a steady and intense pace to get the heart pumping. Timing yourself and setting challenges each week will keep your motivation high.
Increasing Muscle – As with becoming fitter, the time it takes to increase body mass and muscle is different for each person. Setting smaller goals, before your main goal, will help you keep motivated and track your progress. Make sure you are enjoying a protein rich diet and taking the relevant sports supplements to help you bulk up. A personal trainer is a must have if you want to increase muscle the right way, so talk to your local gym or private PT to find out more.
By setting smaller and more realistic goals to start with, you will find it so much easier to achieve what you want. Your bikini body will be ready to go in Summer and you can apply for that marathon next year. Don’t rush perfection!