This is a rather important question all of us should ask ourselves. What truly is our goal at the gym, on the trail, or in life in general? Is that too much to think about? It shouldn’t be. The reason I ask this questions is because too many people have a broad, general goal about fitness and what they want to do. But that lack of a specific goal is what actually holds them back.
Let’s look at this from another angle. If your goal in life is to ‘get rich’ then I am sure you understand that you need some sort of plan to get there. By the same token if your goal is to ‘get in great shape’ you will need a plan to get there. Simply going to gym to do a general workout and trying to eat healthier sometimes is about the same as just going to the same job each day; you aren’t going to get rich doing it.
Set a Goal!
So besides just being overly general and giving yourself a goal like, “Slimming down for the summer,” why not give yourself a real goal with benchmarks and then make a plan to get there? The reason most people don’t do it is because it involves work. Aside from the planning then you need to actually follow through or admit failure on reaching your goals.
People hate to admit failure.
So instead it is much easier to put out a broad goal that doesn’t hold you to very much in regards to standards. Of course this is a plan to not achieve success but instead achieve mediocrity. Should your goals be mediocre? Of course not!
Unless you want to be a middling person in life you should not settle for this! Instead you should turn your body into an example of what you can achieve. If you want to look a certain way, attain a particular level of fitness, or get yourself ready for an athletic endeavor then set your mind on that goal and achieve it!
Make a Plan!
Every goal is attainable with the right plan. Instead of, “getting in better shape” let’s get specific. How about, “I want to reduce my bodyfat to about 8% so I can see six-pack abs and add muscle tone and size to my entire body. I would like to get my weight to about 200 pounds with an athletic look, be able to run a sub-7 minute mile, and run a 10k in the next 3 months.” Now that is a specific goal!
With clearly defined benchmarks set now you can craft a plan to meet that goal. A healthy diet can be constructed to work with a training program that involves a lot of running and some weight training. Calorie counting and appropriate ratios of foods can be determined along with a training schedule to get to where you want to be in that specific time.
Doesn’t that seem a lot better than just getting into better shape? Of course it does because it gives your mind a specific level of focus and interest that is vital if you wish to actually achieve your goal. It can be very hard to stay motivated with an un-specific goal because it matters less to you and subconsciously (or even consciously) you know it. That is why so many diet and exercise programs start off very strongly for people and then fade. In the beginning people have clearly defined goals and are more excited to reach them.
But if they aren’t getting where they need to be as quickly as they want the motivation begins to disappear. At that point is when you should adjust and evaluate the program and goals. There is nothing wrong with missing a goal because sometimes life happens. The true crime is not making an adjustment and getting right back on the horse.
Putting it All Together
Make a goal. Make a plan. Put that plan in motion. Stay motivated. Re-evaluate and adjust as needed. Keep repeating this process during your life. If you do then your health and well-being won’t end up on the New Year’s resolution list each year and more than likely you will be a better person because of it. Sound too good or simple to be true? Well the concept is but it still takes effort and determination; but everything worthwhile in life usually does.