8 Amazing Goals You Can Achieve in the Next 8 Weeks


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  120 comments   :  63,064 Views

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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    Awesome blog! - 11/13/2011   9:30:23 AM
  • 69
    Some great ideas! Always love your upbeat blogs!
    - 11/13/2011   5:46:01 AM
  • 68
    This is just what I need, thank you! - 11/12/2011   5:03:38 PM
  • 67
    It's all your fault, Nicole, since this blog is the foundation piece for the group:

    A new end-of-year mini-SparkTeam -- "Lightening Up As the Days Grow Darker," with eight enthusiastic members...so far!

    Thanks for your extraordinary contributions to SparkPeople.com.

    - 11/12/2011   4:45:55 PM
  • 66
    I can't do 16 pounds in 8 weeks, but I can make a goal to not gain any weight and to keep up with my exercise. I have been slacking off lately and need to get back into this weight loss journey. - 11/12/2011   2:51:46 PM
    Funny I was just thinking it was time to get back into my healthy lifestyle and realized it was 8 weeks until the end of the year. I am going for the losing weight, not sure I can do 16 but what the heck, I will push for it! Woo-hoo we can all do this! - 11/11/2011   4:27:39 PM
    I'm running in a 5K with two of my children tomorrow, so I think I'll try for the 60 day exercise streak... - 11/11/2011   10:45:13 AM
  • 63
    I like the suggestions. I'm going for a pound a week. With the meds I'm on, this will be doable. I'm also going for the 10 min. a day, even if it's just walking around the house. - 11/11/2011   9:40:10 AM
    Count me in for the 16 in 8! I am committing to the 60 day exercise streak. I will track AND BE TRUTHFUL! Ready to start early tomorrow! Good luck everyone! - 11/11/2011   1:05:42 AM
  • 61
    I need to listen to this. If I could do the 2 pounds a week I'd be probably close to my goal weight. I really need to kick it in gear. I'm going to look for one of those teams to join
    - 11/11/2011   12:08:44 AM
  • 60
    Great Advice - I have already signed up for my New Years Eve 5km Run - the Resolution Run - It's a great goal and a great way to ensure I run and watch my portion sizes during the holidays and leading up to them as well. - 11/10/2011   10:02:42 PM
  • MATIA7
    Thanks for the encouragement. I will take the challenge to do the 30 exercise sreak. Ten minutes every day is something I can do. - 11/10/2011   6:22:15 PM
  • 58
    Thanks for the motivating blog. I want to leave the 140's and get into the 130's and reach a "NORMAL" BMI. - 11/10/2011   3:11:05 PM
  • 57
    I joined the SparkTeam "Hold the stuffing" to help motivate me not to go over board with the treats in the next two months. I'm pretty excited about the holiday season this year. I can't wait to see how well I did! - 11/10/2011   2:50:09 PM
  • 56
    This has TOTALLY inspired me to kick it up a notch! The past couple of months I have been loosing appx 1lb per week & though this is great, I know it is possible to loose up to 2lbs per week. So, my goal for the remainder of the year is to add intensity to my workouts & time. As well as, reviewing my menu, again, to see if there is anything that I can do better at! - 11/10/2011   1:06:51 PM
  • 55
    My goal is to get out of the 180's. It won't get me to an "Overweight" BMI, but it will be 15% of my original weight lost.
    I'm already exercising at least an hour a day (two hours once a week), but I've been remiss in strength training, so that will be my focus. - 11/10/2011   12:20:44 PM
  • 54
    thanks for this article--everything was so doable! - 11/10/2011   11:34:56 AM
    This is inspirational and just what I needed to keep me going :) I will save this blog and use it for inspiration when I need motivation to stay on track. - 11/10/2011   11:03:28 AM
  • JOHGLO2011
    Such an inspiring article - just what I needed! My goal is to get out of the 150's into the 140's! I'll keep up my journaling and exercise program holidays or no! - 11/10/2011   10:56:10 AM
    I must live in a strange part of the country (Boulder, CO) because our health clubs are even fuller during the holidays than other times. In the summertime, health clubs experience a lull because everyone is out and enjoying the sunshine and great outdoor activities. When the weather turns cold, the parking lot is jammed and everyone is indoors keeping fit. Even outdoors there are still a lot of us hiking, walking and biking when we can! - 11/10/2011   10:19:52 AM
  • 50
    I haven't lost 2lbs/week since I left the obesity range, but I'm going to see if I can go for a lb per week and continue the exercise streak I started in the middle of February--I've missed only 2 workouts! - 11/10/2011   9:56:12 AM
  • 49
    Great. I'm trying to stay motivated. I would like to lose at least 5 pounds by the end of the year if I can stay away from all the holiday goodies. :) - 11/10/2011   9:50:09 AM
  • 48
    My goal is to try to get 8 hours of sleep each night; I will need to be well rested since I am starting radiation treatments next week, and a new chemo drug. It's also going to be hard emotionally to get through the holidays; my dad passed away in August, and this will be my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without him. - 11/10/2011   9:43:45 AM
  • 47
    thanks for writing this...it was very motivating and i have made a goal to do 25 pushups by 12/31/2011. right now i can do about 2, LOL. the comments from SP were very helpful, too and i plan on using several of the tips i read to accomplish my goal. - 11/10/2011   9:34:17 AM
  • 46
    I want to run 1,000 miles before the end of the year! - 11/10/2011   8:58:55 AM
    It was so nice reading this b/c this is exactly what I am doing. I have set a few end of the year goals and I am very motiviated. Thanks for writing this! - 11/10/2011   8:58:37 AM
  • 44
    My goal for the next 8 weeks is to lose one dress size. - 11/10/2011   8:44:32 AM
  • 43
    My goal is to lose 10-15 lbs with my last weigh in for 2011 I have a net loss so far but want to get to 199 or close to it. - 11/10/2011   8:28:56 AM
  • 42
    Great suggestions, Coach Nicole. I'm going to try the recipe make-overs and the 60-day work-out streak. I'll use my cardio DVD and watch you tell me what to do every day! You are awesome. - 11/10/2011   8:25:52 AM
  • 41
    I am going to track my food again and kick 6 pounds to the curb. - 11/10/2011   7:46:00 AM
  • 40
    I am going to do my first 5K on Dec. 3. And my sparkteam has a fitness goal for November--maybe we'll do Decemer, too! - 11/10/2011   7:27:38 AM
  • 39
    I am staying motivated doing the BLC!!! I am hoping to lose at least another 4 lbs before Christmas. Maybe even more!!! - 11/10/2011   7:02:49 AM
  • 38
    Great perspective!! I'm counting on SP to get me through this holiday season healthy!! - 11/10/2011   6:38:48 AM
  • 37
    i'm going to keep doing the 28 day challenge each month and lose 15 lbs. by december 31st! - 11/10/2011   3:31:46 AM
  • 36
    I am down for the exercise streak throughout the end of the year. Also, committing to hitting my goal by year end. 11 lbs to go! Following 17 Day Diet lifestyle plan! Owwwwwww! - 11/10/2011   12:39:04 AM
    Since over most of the summer and fall months I kinda skipped on exercise because of a knee problem a 60 days streak is just what i need. Thank you for reminding us that the holidays don't necessarily have to mean more weight added with which to struggle. :) - 11/10/2011   12:20:35 AM
  • MJ7DM33
    Great motivating blog! - 11/9/2011   7:19:26 PM
  • 33
    Not losing sight of the prize. 15 lbs to go before the end of the year. 2012 under 200? You bet! - 11/9/2011   6:53:23 PM
  • 32
    i am for 60 days of work out - now that is 52 days at year end and I am doing it to be healthy! Great article and thank you. - 11/9/2011   6:36:29 PM
  • 31
    I have another 19 lbs to lose by the end of the year, so I'm in too. I will continue to walk, work out at the gym, be a part of my Spark teams, and maybe even co-lead one. I will be under 250 by the first of the year. Watch my Spark Page because I WILL do it!! - 11/9/2011   5:12:48 PM
    Count me in. I have already lost 9 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks with SparkPeople. Have some more to lose, and this will keep the motivation alive. Added this to one of my favorites! - 11/9/2011   4:50:49 PM
  • 29
    OH YEAH!!!! I'm in!!!! Starting tonight!! I've got some homework to do to night to map out my plan but WE"RE OFF AND RUNNING!!! Thanks so much for this motivating blog! 16 n 8!!!!! - 11/9/2011   4:34:19 PM
    what a great ideas,thank you for the help we need all the motivation in the world!!!! - 11/9/2011   3:35:58 PM
  • MSRESA8401
    I signed up for a 5k just the other day and am continuing my daily exercise streak. Hoping to lose a good amount of work before the new year. - 11/9/2011   2:16:21 PM
  • 26
    Going for a 60 day streak and the 16 pounds. I don't usually have a lot of parties to go to, so why use that excuse? - 11/9/2011   1:21:44 PM
  • 25
    I totally agree. When you think about it, most months have some type of holiday that can cause bad eating choices. But Thanksgiving and Christmas are just one day. I am committed - 11/9/2011   1:05:44 PM
    thanks for such a motivating blog.i am setting a target of losing 8pounds in next 8weeks.
    - 11/9/2011   12:55:09 PM
  • 23
    I am confused- shouldn't the goals all be set for December 31st not January 31st? - 11/9/2011   12:53:22 PM
  • 22
    I had a baby six months ago, and I'm still struggling to get the weight off. When I read this article, I realized that if I stick to this 8 week idea and lose 8 pounds or more in that time, I'll be back to the weight I was at my first prenatal doctor's appointment (177lbs) back in September of 2010.

    That's not my end goal, and from there I'll still have 28 pounds to lose to get to 149 lbs, but I'll be well on my way! And it will feel SOOO GOOD to be back to what I was before I had my baby!

    Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. But since I had my daughter, I've been feeling like a different person living in this overweight, tired, no energy body. I can't fit into my old clothes and I'm too small for my maternity clothes. But with this idea of an 8 week challenge, I am GOING to make this work. I'm dying to feel like myself again, not some frumpy mom. I will not just get by, but THRIVE.

    I can do this!!! - 11/9/2011   11:36:21 AM
  • 21
    I want a 60 day streak. My goal is SEXY FITMAS TIME!!! Trying to do toning and cardio. Great motivational blog. Thank you! - 11/9/2011   11:36:04 AM

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