8 Amazing Goals You Can Achieve in the Next 8 Weeks


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
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So last week when I bought my 2012 planner for work, I suddenly realized that counting this week, we have just eight weeks left in 2011. I can hardly believe it myself!
This is the slow time of year for health clubs, where the parking lots are suddenly empty and you can practically see tumbleweeds blowing across the fitness floor. I know from experience that many people feel like it's just too hard to stick to a fitness or weight-loss plan over the holidays. It's not just the delicious food that's a challenge—it's the overall hustle and bustle that often gets in the way of your good intentions, as do the shorter, darker, colder days of winter.
But just as people are giving up on their goals or planning to re-start in January, many are staying committed. It's certainly not impossible to lose weight over the holidays!  I have known and met several people who stay committed to their programs year-round and continue to see fitness gains and pounds lost in November and December.
The worst thing you can do right now is tell yourself that that last two months won't matter, or that you'll wait until next year to get back on track with your healthy lifestyle. So how about you pledge right here, right now to stick with your plan or—even better—reach a new goal!
By December 31, you could:
  • Train for and run a 5K using our 8-week "5K Your Way" training plan for rookie runners. Thanksgiving Day races and December "winter" jogs are abundant this time of year—and also spread the wealth to many charitable causes.
  • Lose up to 16 pounds (about 2 pounds per week) by sticking to your food tracking and exercising. Here are my top tips to lose weight over the holidays.
  • Complete a 60-day workout streak if you start today with just 10 minutes of exercise, and repeat that every day for the next 7.5 weeks. Need ideas? Join our fun and supportive 4-week Daily Exercise Streak Challenge for motivation.
  • Master a new fitness challenge, like performing 100 pushups (or even just one!), perfecting a pull-up, or striving to do the splits! Here are some fun fitness goals and training plans to reach them.
  • Enjoy all of your holiday foods for fewer calories. It's about portion control and smart substitutions—not deprivation. Learn how to make over all of your favorite baked goods and holiday recipes!
  • Keep seasonal depression at bay. Fitness—especially walking and running outside—is the key for me to stay jolly during the holidays. Rather than letting the cold weather coop you up indoors, layer up for winter and get outside as often as you can. The exercise, fresh air, and sunshine will keep your mind happy and your mood boosted, both of which help you reach other goals.
  • Forgive yourself when you slip up. I don't shun sweets or holiday foods. I just eat them in moderation and make sure I'm doing what I should be doing at least 80% of the time. Not every day is perfect of fits my 80%/20% goal of healthy to not-so-healthy tasks, but I don't let one meal or one day of unhealthy eating derail me.
  • Look fab at a New Year's Eve party. Reward yourself for all your hard work—and show it off—with a new dress or suit. After all, if you stick with your goals for 8 weeks, you'll be slimmed, more toned and even more confident.
It's time to change your mind about the end of the year being too difficult, too tempting, or too cold for exercise. It is only those things if you believe it to be. I don't know about you, but I don't buy into it. I treat every day, every month, every holiday and every season the same. My healthy lifestyle is a lifestyle. It's a part of what I do every day. Exercise doesn't happen just during the summer just as eating healthy isn't exclusive to months without holidays. You can do it if you just set your mind to it!
Me? I'm going for a 60-day workout streak through the end of the year. Who wants to join me?
So now it's your turn. Stay on track and stay accountable by sharing YOUR goal and/or plan for the next 8 weeks below. What do you want to achieve by December 31? And how are you going to make it happen?

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  • 120
    glad i read this article. just what I need to get me where I need to go to losing weight and eating healthy - 8/6/2016   2:32:13 PM
  • 119
    Found this link on one of my teams digest. Just what I need to start the New Year!!! Very motivating blog. - 1/1/2012   5:14:20 PM
  • 118
    im in.. i hope to loose 10 pounds by the 31st.. - 12/9/2011   2:09:28 PM
  • 117
    This was just the thing to get me back on the right fitness track. I just had to leave my gym due to finances and I'm doing 3 challenges to get back to home fitness: the 100 push ups challenge, improving time on plank, improving time on wall squat. Thanks for the inspiration! - 11/29/2011   10:13:50 PM
  • 116
    I'm in, with modifications. - 11/25/2011   1:08:08 AM
    I'm doing the 100 pushups challenge!!! - 11/20/2011   10:20:35 PM
  • B00KWRM
    Great Motivating article! This is day 69 for me on an exercise streak (16 min or more@day) and training for a 5k in Dec would definitely keep the momentum going..Appreciate all the encouraging comments and other ideas...Thank you! - 11/18/2011   7:40:31 PM
  • CAROLYN170
    I've decided to purchase a new work-out video (Jillian Michael's 30-day shed) tomorrow and start it before the Thanksgiving Dinner even gets here. That way, I will have a "new motivator" for the holidays! So, let's go for the 16 in 8!!!!! - 11/18/2011   12:48:05 PM
  • 112
    I am in........I need this to keep me on track for the Holidays; this time of year is so enjoyable and you can easily forget to take care of you. I'm going to put myself first and take care of me first thing in the morning-Thanksgiving and Christmas. Writing in my journal to log my food and exercise will be top priority. - 11/17/2011   10:15:20 PM
  • 111
    Perfect timing! Thanks for the motivation to challenge myself between now and the New Year. Just what I need to keep the momentum going over the holidays. - 11/17/2011   10:13:01 PM
  • 110
    I loved this article and the goals. They are all within reach and will make a huge difference. I actually saw a little progress on the scale this morning and am more committed than ever to keep the pounds and inches coming off. I pledge to follow the goals, including the 5k challenge, the boot camp videos daily, 3-4 strength training sessions per week and keeping up with my food log. No matter how much weight I lose, I know I will feel better by 2012 if I keep to these goals. That is the point!! Thank you for the encouragement. - 11/17/2011   11:11:32 AM
    Still need to lose 10 to reach my ultimate goal- so this is it.Want to hit our fifty third anniversary at wedding weight. I put the pounds on at one or two a year and didn't worry about them until I had 57 extra mostly around my waist. As I started to lose weight by myself I discovered a lack of stamina, then couldn't turn a cartwheel. By the time my belly was flabby I was looking for answers and found SP.The exercise program with lots of variety and the recipes providing the means to eat better delightfully suit me. The weight hasn't been coming off as I'd like. BUT I have stamina and strength. 10 mile walks are pleasant. Now til Christmas I'll add a few more stairs and continue the portion control to get to 125. - 11/17/2011   10:56:06 AM
  • 108
    I needed this! and yes, I'll join you for the streak! - 11/17/2011   8:29:38 AM
  • 107
    I just read this today, Nov 16. I will commit to 10 minutes a day of exercise, even if just walking in place. I will also track, daily, my food intake.

    Thanks for such an inspiring blog. Just what I needed to read today. - 11/17/2011   12:46:59 AM
  • 106
    60 Day Challenge for me :)
    - 11/16/2011   3:19:04 PM
    Perfect article for me today. Fell off the wagon, but the idea that I can accomplish something tangible by New Years is very motivating. The idea of 80/20 is particularly resonant today! I don't have to be perfect, nobody does! - 11/16/2011   8:12:35 AM
    I needed this today. I've been discouraged. - 11/16/2011   2:11:59 AM
  • 103
    80/20! I really like that! Thanks!!! - 11/15/2011   10:34:21 PM
    This is so motivating. I am going to do this also - 11/15/2011   10:10:14 PM
  • 101
    I am in!!!!!!!!!!!!.....would love to lose those next 8 lbs by 1/1/2012 - 11/15/2011   9:47:22 PM
  • 100
    What a good article. I'm struggling terribly with food, but I can commit to 10 min of exercise every day for 60 days...reaching this goal can help me reach another one. Thank you. - 11/15/2011   9:46:35 PM
  • 99
    Great Blog! I think I will try the exercise streak. Also throw in staying within my eating parameters for both holidays. - 11/15/2011   8:33:24 PM
  • 98
    Just read this today but that doesn't mean I can't set a few 6 1/2 week goals;

    Here they are: continue my streak of non-carbonated drinks through Dec 31st
    Get out of the 180s before 2012 -- have about 6 pounds to go to reach that
    do my strength routine at least 2x per week

    Thanks for the motivation to kick it up for the end of 2011 - 11/15/2011   8:27:44 PM
  • 97
    Love this!!!!! I am going to challenge myself to do some sort of fitness activity everyday!!!! - 11/15/2011   6:25:26 PM
  • 96
    2nd week of your 60 Day Challenge and feeling energized by the thought of it!!! - 11/15/2011   1:24:44 PM
  • 95
    A great reminder to stick with it! I failed miserably at this last year, but I'm determined to stick in there with my workouts. Instead of 4 days a week, I'm going to try for 5-6 days a week. - 11/15/2011   1:17:06 PM
  • 94
    Hello Coach Nicole...thanks so much for sharing this info. I'm going to keep walking/jogging and lose 7 more pounds before the end of 2011. I'm inspired to recommit. Woo hoo! - 11/15/2011   12:56:11 PM
  • 93
    What a timely article...my goal for the next 8 weeks is to do strength training consistently!
    (Thanks for the article...I needed it!) - 11/15/2011   12:44:25 PM
  • 92
    Your blog was timely and had some great ideas. Thank you! Last year I told myself that it was only one day and I was going to eat whatever I wanted for that day (Thanksgiving and Christmas) I ended up gaining 6 pounds! AND I felt sick. Plus, I was really hard on myself. I made a plan then and there that NEXT year (this year) I was still going to have my favorites - but in a planned, controlled portion. I have also set a goal to lose 8 lbs before the new year - one pound a week.

    AND I am walking in a 5K (my second one!) Mid December - with my family - and my husband thinks he can out walk me! LOL He has not been eating right or exercising at all - who do YOU think will win!? - 11/15/2011   12:29:59 PM
    I will definitely make sure I reach those goals :) - 11/15/2011   12:27:56 PM
  • 90
    I did day one of the 5k Your Way yesterday. Excited by have a goal for the end of the year. - 11/15/2011   11:09:29 AM
  • 89
    I agree. Last year I overate on halloween and realized that I could easily justify overeating for the remaining 60 days! until the new year. Instead, I set a goal to keep to my plan 80% of the time and it worked great. Also, in the past I've noticed that January is a challenging time to get a fresh start - the gyms are packed, it's cold and dark and everybody is a little "down" because the holidays are over. - 11/15/2011   11:05:31 AM
  • 88
    What a timely post - just what I needed to read today!

    This year, I'm committing to sticking to my fitness goals and nutrition plan throughout the holidays. I'm running a 5k in a couple of weeks (where everyone dresses like Santa, and they play holiday music along the course!), and I'm excited to go home and go running with my sister and/or parents (I'm a lucky gal to have such a healthy family). Plus I have two rambunctious nephews to keep me busy and active!

    Bring on the holidays!

    - 11/15/2011   11:01:31 AM
  • 87
    Wonderful blog and great encouragement. I know that I have opted to do a Life-style Change and not just a diet change until I finish with my weight loss. I plan on staying on the same track I have been on since May no matter what time of the year it is. This was a health decision for me. - 11/15/2011   10:59:55 AM
    Great Blog, I am nearly to my goal weight. I will join in the 2 pounds a week loss Challenge and the exercise challenge. Thank you for the great information and supportive blog :o) - 11/15/2011   10:13:41 AM
  • 85
    I'll get on board with the 60-Day Challenge - thanks for the reminder that we can stay on track through the Holidays. - 11/15/2011   9:26:40 AM
  • 84
    10 minutes daily through the end of the year :) - 11/15/2011   9:07:38 AM
    My goal is to lose 2 lbs/week or 14 lbs by the end of the year. If I lose that, then my total lost will be 133 lbs! - 11/15/2011   8:58:26 AM
  • 82
    I'm in for the weight loss and keeping up with my exercises through year end. I'm just seeing this article so there's only 7wks left including this one. Thanks for the encouragement and the inspiration to not just let it all go over the holidays. - 11/15/2011   8:54:37 AM
  • COSSY1
    I have experienced a plateau even though I have not eaten outrageously. I may have eaten a bit more because I felt run-down. This is good inspiration to get more work done and maybe progress a bit on the weight loss. I have lots of wood to gather before winter and lots of sawing and splitting to do. I have only 7 cords and need about 20. I can solve two problems at once! - 11/15/2011   8:14:50 AM
    This is great! I'm going to start the 5K Your Way Challenge when I go to the gym today! - 11/15/2011   7:26:31 AM
  • 79
    Fantastic outlook! This is a great way to face the holiday season! I'm in! - 11/15/2011   6:23:06 AM
    I love this..... I am starting to train for a 5k..... super super excited - 11/14/2011   1:03:13 PM
  • 77
    I'll take on this challenge. I think I'll check out the "5K Your Way" training plan start this challenge today. My goal is to lose 10 lbs before Christmas, exercise everyday, and start training for a 5k. - 11/13/2011   9:56:13 PM
  • 76
    I am going to do the 60 day challenge. With only 49 more days until the end of the year. Do at least 10 min no less a day until the end of the year - 11/13/2011   5:36:50 PM
  • 75
    I am in! I'm going to 16 in 8 and logging my food and exercise every day. Thank you! - 11/13/2011   5:07:43 PM
  • 74
    I agree that a healthy lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle regardless of time of year.

    I think I'll try mastering a fitness challenge. Right now, I can do about 3 push ups in proper form. I'd like to be able to do 20. - 11/13/2011   2:05:58 PM
  • 73
    What a really good article. The best gift you can give yourself over the holidays is good health practices. For me I am going to continue on this journey to better health. I also am planning to get me a new workout outfit, a new music cd and some more weights as my Christmas gift to myself. What better idea than the gift of good health for myself. - 11/13/2011   11:27:32 AM
  • 72
    Hey, Coach Nicole!
    Thanks for inspiring our new team, "Lightening Up As the Days Grow Darker" - we are inspired to achieve some goals before year's end! - 11/13/2011   10:49:57 AM
  • 71
    Thank you for all the great information! GAME ON!!!! I do not want to be one of the holiday casualties and gain 10 pounds over the holidays. I would much rather be one of those who loses!!!! - 11/13/2011   9:30:34 AM

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