It's the start of a new year and most of us have new goals that we want to achieve. When it comes to fitness, much like with anything else, there's no problem with setting new goals, whether it's at the start of the year or any other time. In fact, its healthy and beneficial to revisit and set new goals for yourself. The only real problem stems from setting unrealistic goals. If the goal is too broad, almost always the time frame will be too narrow. To explain this a little further I'll use an easy to understand example of something we all love....food. I don't think it would be incorrect for me to posit that most, if not all, of us like food more than exercise so this should hopefully be a good example.
Every so often, after watching some great cooking show, or seeing some very enticing food-porn, or maybe in preparation for a special event, we will get the itch to create something new and delicious. When this moment comes around, if we set our goals too broadly, such a full 4 course meal filled with items we've never successfully prepared before, we will in all likelihood underestimate the time needed for us to achieve something that's both edible and fresh to serve on-time. There's simply to many things that we need to learn, practice, perfect, and overcome in too short of a time frame. Simply, we would be setting ourselves up for failure. In contrast, if we were to focus on adding just one small new item to a meal we already know how to succeed in making and delivering, we stand a much higher chance of success.
The same goes for fitness. Most goals are simply too broad. You must first be honest with yourself and ask yourself what form of exercise or fitness goals you've succeeded at in the past. If the answer is none, that should give you a pretty good idea of just how small you need to start. If you've never succeeded preparing a meal why would you attempt to make a 4 course turkey dinner on thanksgiving day? If you've never succeeded at losing 20lbs don't set a goal for yourself to lose 30 pounds in 3 months now that you're going to go to the gym.
If anything, use this basic formula.....Ask yourself what you expect to achieve and in what time frame, then double the time frame and halve the expectations, and then break that down into bite size short term increments, so that if you aren't meeting these increments you can seek help earlier to stay on track and prevent yourself from quitting. An example would look something like this:
I want to lose 30lbs in 3 months
= I will plan to lose 15lbs in 6 months
= I will plan to lose about 3lbs per month
= if after the 1st month (or any one month after that) I've lost anything less than 3lbs I will seek and pay for the guidance of a professional for the next month. After 1 month with professional assistance you can try 1 month on your own again and continue back and forth as long as is needed for you to learn how to achieve that particular goal.
Cheers to a year of success!
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Better.