The time has come to set a new goal, a new target and promise you won’t be the same dickhead you were last year. It’s time to turn a new page, get back on the horse, wipe the slate clean and all the other cliché metaphors we can think of.
Instead of just aimlessly making up an insignificant number and going all out to achieve it, I want to help you set realistic and sustainable goals that you will actually reach.
What do you want to achieve?
The first obvious question is what do you want? Think about this one carefully. What is it that you believe will bring perceived happiness or improved quality of life. The answer is very rarely a number on a scale.
Do you want to feel confident in your clothes?
Do you want to be better at a certain sport?
Do you want to hit a milestone performance target, such as a timed 5km run?
Do you want to look leaner and more muscular?
Really drill down in your head the exact thing you want to achieve. Don’t just say “I dunno, probably just lose a few pounds”. Setting out a specific and measurable target is going to keep you laser focussed on the end goal and prevent the goal posts from moving half way through. You are going to be motivated to see progress towards this individual target and not get side tracked throughout the process.
Important bit: Once you have figured out what you want to achieve, write it down. Not in the dusty notes section on your phone, physically write it down on a piece of paper, post it note or napkin. Keep that piece of paper on you or visible throughout most of your day. Share it with close friends and family that will keep you accountable.
Now you know exactly what you want to achieve, you need to work out how long it is going to take you. The timescale is going to largely be dictated by the goal you have set. Let me give you an example:
“I want to lose 4 inches from my waist” – Mr E Xample
It has previously taken Mr Xample a month to lose an inch from his waist, through increasing his exercise and managing his diet. It was tough at times and he was quite strict with himself throughout the process.
To just multiply his previous results by four would be foolish. We need to add in some wiggle room. There are going to fuck ups and times when life gets in the way. Family/social events, long days at work and inevitable illness. Adding in a month or a few weeks to cater for these situations would be a sensible choice and avoid you losing motivation if you realise you are not going to hit your goal.
The length of time will also vary depending on how aggressive we wanted to be. If we have a clear social calendar, was locked away in a castle for 6 months, it would be easy to achieve almost any goal, but that is not reality. If we want to push hard for a short, sharp and intense period of time then make it shorter. If we want to take a slow and steady approach with some more flexibility then increase your timeframe.
So, now we have the goal we want to achieve and the time frame.
“I want to lose 4 inches from my waist in 5 months, starting from today”.
Measurement of progress
Now that you know exactly what you want to achieve and how long it will take, you need to work out how you are going to measure progress. I would avoid use weight as a sole measure, although it is up to you, as the scales can be influenced by so much more than body fat.
I would recommend testing your progress at the start, regular intervals throughout (2-4 weeks) and at the end. The more data you have to track your progress, the more you can adjust your plan to meet your needs. If you are dieting wildly for 12 weeks without taking measurements, progress photos, fitness tests or scale weight, you have the potential to be very disappointed at the end.
Try to use the same measurement process throughout as it will give you the most accurate measurements. Also, it is not a single measure that is a measurement of progress, it is a combination of measurements. For example, if all of your tape measurements have gone down, your jeans feel looser, but the scales have stayed the same, it is still an indication of progress.
Setting a goal and sticking it can be tough. Do you remember the goals you set last year, the year before or the year before that? No? I didn’t think so. Most of us set wild, unachievable goals and when the motivation fades we brush them under the carpet and forget they ever existed. This is where I can help. I want to help you set you goals and keep you accountable to achieve them. I have plenty of 1 to 1 and online coaching options available to suit any budget. Get in touch today and let’s get started!
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.