Setting Reasonable Goals

Too many people wait until the last second to try and whip into shape. They know things have gone off the rails, in fact they've known for a long time. But for some reason they wait until, "Oh my GOD! Summer starts in TWO WEEKS!" or "Call 911, I think I just had a heart attack." 

I get why. Fitness is not woven into our modern lifestyle. We sit in cars to sit at desks. We have endless easy options of instant edible gratification. Then we come home tired, tend to our home and kids, and collapse. The less activity we engage in, the less energy we have. It's depressing. 

This leaves everyone primed for diet scams, hamster wheel workouts and snake oil salesmen hawking magic beans. Everyone's all over the internet, "shredding" and "ripping" and "blasting" and "cleansing" to go from A to Z in 14-30 days. I guess that's fine if you always wanted to hobble around, feeling like you have a tetanus infection, with a shart in your shorts. But most people don't enjoy that sensation, so they quit and never go back. 

That is why, and I cannot stress this enough, you must set reasonable goals. This is not a race, it is your new life. Progressing in manageable increments will get you much farther than sprinting off and gassing in the first quarter-mile. And those progressions will stick with you, as opposed to trying to flip your lifestyle 180 degrees, thinking your lifestyle isn’t going to fall backwards on top of you. Because it will. And it will hurt.

What are reasonable goals?

Studies show that on average, it takes a little over two months just to form a new habit. So, don’t go around thinking it will take two months to transform your body. In fact, a reasonable goal should have little to do with transforming your body right now. You should be focused on making improvements to prime your body for transformation, instead.

For example, “Eat 80% clean” or “go to the gym three times a week” are clear goals you can accomplish. “Lose 20 pounds by next month” or “get jacked like Drax the destroyer” are not.

One reasonable goal is to live a healthier lifestyle this year. (Yes, I said year.) Don’t get me wrong, if you work with me, you will lose weight and get stronger and fitter before 12 months is up. But I am not going to lie to you. Active lifestyles and hard bodies take time. If you don’t have far to go, it may be possible to achieve your goals within a year, but if you have a lot of weight to lose or live a very sedentary lifestyle, it will take longer.

Your reasonable year will look like this: Seeing a doctor, making dietary changes, ditching bad habits, working general activity back into your life, performing easy exercises to integrate into your day, and breaking into the gym or other exercise program. Next year you can decide what you enjoy and get down to real business by setting more focused goals.

That sounds like a long time. When will I see and feel results?

You will feel results before you see them. Within a few weeks, you should feel more motivated. Within a few months, you may notice an initial drop in weight, and significant increase in energy. In 6-8 months you will see your strength level go up and sluggishness levels drop. By the end of the year, you will have lost a motivating amount of weight, gained solid strength and muscle, and be on your way to a happier, healthy life. But only if you put in the effort.

So here is the million dollar question: In one year, do you want to be better off, worse off, or the same? Those are your only choices.  Don’t lie to yourself and then you will not be enticed by the lies of the supplement and fitness industry that tell you all you have to do is take a pill, juice, blast, rip and shred your body so you can look smoking hot on the beach in two weeks. (Summer is always around the corner when you’re out of shape.)

That’s not reality. That’s bullshit. And I’m on a no bullshit diet. How about you?