Have you ever been asked in a job interview, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Or have you told friends and family of a trip you plan to take and they ask, "How are you going to get there?"
By now, we all know the importance of setting goals in order to be successful in weight loss and in life. But how do we create goals when our objective seems so overwhelming?
As it relates to exercise and weight loss, here are a few simple things to keep in mind:
* Admit to yourself that you did not get in the shape you are in or at the weight you carry overnight and so you will not magically get in shape or lose all of the weight you want to lose overnight. There are no secrets to losing 20 or 50 or 100 pounds in 24 hours, a week or a month. Doing so will take time
* Do not compare yourself or your progress to others. That is self-defeating. We all can not be the fastest runner or be able to lift the heaviest weights and we will not all lose weight at the same pace. Compete only against yourself
* Be proud of all of your accomplishments regardless of how insignificant they appear to be to you. Never diminish your progress by saying such things as, "I ONLY lost one pound." Be happy to say goodbye to that pound
, rather than being disappointed. Stroke your ego with positive affirmations of how far you have progressed.
* Do not believe you must be successful 100 percent of the time. No one is. We all fall short sometimes. Instead of setting yourself up for failure and frustration by expecting perfection, set attainable goals such as four good days of exercising and eating per week. Work in five or ten minutes
of movement such as walking
or other exercise every day. Build up to two then three five to 10 minute sessions per day.
* When these steps become consistent, aim for five to six good days per week and 10 to 20 minute workouts, once or twice or three times per day.
* Use the SP weight goal tracker to set your weight loss in small increments of, say, 10 pounds within perhaps two months and try to stay within the range of calories suggested by the program, rather than setting the goal to lose 80 pounds in a year. Being able to attain smaller increments will be self-motivating. I set that I wanted to lose the equivalent of four 16 pound bowling balls
. Use sacks of flower, the weight of your dog or some other visual and work toward one of those at a time.
* If you start a running program, do not expect to complete a marathon your first month but try self-motivation by telling yourself, if you're on a track, that no matter how tired you are when you get to the half-way line you will either walk the last half lap or, if you jog past that mark, that will you complete the last half lap at a jog, even if it is merely shuffling your feet slightly faster than a walk
* If you begin lifting weights, acknowledge that body builders did not develop their physiques overnight
. They started with light weights and increased their weights and repetitions over time.
* When you begin changing your eating habits, make small changes until they are comfortable. Instead of having two or three sodas a day
, for example, cut down to one per day or switch to diet drinks. Drinking whole milk? Over time change to 2 percent then 1 percent and then skim. I have been using skim or fat-free as it's called today for about 30 years and love the taste. I used to drink sometimes six diet colas a day, now I might have one a day and some days none at all and don't miss them, even though they are diet
* Not used to eating fruit and vegetables? Don't worry about meeting arbitrary guidelines of X number of each a day. Rather, add a banana
to cereal or blueberries
to oatmeal or cut up an apple with a salad. Munch on baby carrots
or celery, occasionally adding peanut butter to the celery for some additional protein. Add a slice of tomato
to your sandwich or snack on grapes, watermelon
, cantaloupe or whatever your favorite fruit is. Eventually you will work yourself up to eating more and more fruit and veggies with little extra effort.
Before this gets too much longer, I'll stop and save more tips for another time. These are all actions I and others have taken and you can, too.
ALWAYS believe in yourself!
Think like a WINNER!
NEVER give up!
Realize that A NEW START IS NOT A FAILURE but another first step toward achieving your goals!
You CAN do this just as so many others have. Take things one healthy meal, one exercise, one positive day at a time and eventually you WILL reach the finish line
and be successful beyond your wildest dreams.