8 Amazing Goals You Can Achieve in the Next 8 Weeks

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you're just starting a long weight-loss journey, it can be tough to keep up your motivation week after week, much less month after month, or even year after year. We all know that slow and steady wins the weight-loss race, with "get thin quick" schemes often proving to be unsustainable or even downright dangerous. That said, acknowledging some small, short-term victories can help maintain your momentum along the way while setting you up for success, short-term goal by short-term goal.
Instead of feeling discouraged by the long road ahead, try shifting your focus to specific goals you can achieve in the next eight weeks. While you may have an ultimate goals in mind (lose 100 pounds, run a 5K, etc.), setting a few short- or medium-term goals is a motivational hack to keep you pushing toward a benchmark victory before you ultimately reach your finish line. These little victories along the way are not only great for your self-esteem and determination, but they'll also fill you with purpose and instill lifelong healthy habits. Start with these totally achievable targets, or substitute your own!

Ways to Be Great in 8 Weeks

1. Increase your water intake.
It's been proven that the body often mistakes thirst for hunger, which can easily lead to hundreds of unnecessary calories each day. Make it a goal to gradually boost your water intake up to eight cups per day. Over the course of eight weeks, you can strive to increase it by one cup per week.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Mandy Enright recommends easing into a more H20-friendly life by making minor daily changes, such as setting a timer to remind you to drink water throughout the day, keeping a refillable water bottle handy to monitor intake and using water-drinking apps. If plain water isn't your favorite beverage, try adding flavor by infusing it with fruit, herbs or essential oils.
"In addition to increasing intake of water, a bonus side effect can be decreasing intake of other beverages, most notably coffee or soda," says Enright. "If just one of these beverages can be swapped for water each day, that provides a decrease in caloric intake."
2. Get a stronger core.
Strengthening your core—the muscles that support your abdominals and back—not only gives you a flatter tummy, but also improves your posture and makes it easier to perform your workouts and daily activities.
Not a fan of crunches? You can build a stronger core in two months with this 8-week plank challenge from Runner's World magazine. If the idea of planks makes you quiver, don't fear—this challenge is geared toward beginners, starting out with short, 15-second planks and gradually extending the hold times each week. By the end of the challenge, you should be able to complete four 50-second planks and 10 back extensions.
3. Complete a 60-day workout streak.
It may sound daunting, but once you make it a regular habit, working out consistently every day will become a manageable goal, and maybe even a source of stress relief. Start now with just 10 minutes of exercise—whether it's walking, jogging, doing the elliptical or lifting light weights—and repeat that every day for the next seven-and-a-half weeks. Need ideas for how to get moving? Join our fun and supportive four-week Daily Exercise Streak Challenge for motivation.
4. Eat more whole grains.
While the recommended daily serving of whole grains is 25 to 38 grams, most people only consume around 13 grams. According to nutritionist Toby Amidor, adding more whole grains has a slew of health benefits, including reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Plus, they can help you feel more satiated after eating meals—which means you'll be less likely to go hunting for snacks in an hour or two.
Amidor does caution against going from eating very few whole grains to an all-grain diet overnight, as it can cause digestive issues. Instead, she recommends adding more grains slowly. Each week, try switching one food to make it whole grain or add a whole grain. For example, if you like your peanut butter and jelly on white bread, switch to 100 percent whole-wheat bread. The second week, if you usually eat white rice, switch to quinoa or sorghum. "By slowly changing over to whole grains, after eight weeks you should be meeting the dietary guidelines recommendation of making at least half your grains whole," says Amidor.
5. Reduce your stress level.
Stress is blamed for a myriad of issues, from headaches and insomnia to irritability, heart disease, depression and weight gain. If you're among the one in four people dealing with significant stress, it is possible to regain control and achieve a more calm, centered mindset over an eight-week period.
In a study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, those who participated in an eight-week meditation program actually experienced physical changes in brain structure. Specifically, there was a reduction of gray-matter density in the amygdala, which has been shown to influence stress and anxiety. Look for a meditation app online or commit to discovering a relaxation technique that works for you over the next eight weeks. To get started, start each new week by choosing one to two of these stress-relieving techniques used by Coach Jen. The next week, evaluate how they made you feel and mix and match another technique until you find the perfect combination that works for your hectic life.
6. Master a new fitness feat.
Set a goal to tackle a new fitness challenge, such as performing 100 pushups (or even just 10!), running or walking a mile, mastering a yoga pose or stepping outside of your comfort zone by completing a weekly exercise class. If you're stumped for ideas, visit our Challenge Central and pick a goal to tackle.
Any of these fitness feats can be conquered within an eight-week timeframe:
  • Progress to a pull-up: In just two, 10-minute sessions twice a week for several weeks, move through this series of exercise progressions to eventually complete a full pull-up.
  • Do perfect pushups: Over a period of several weeks, you'll progress through four phases to master a perfect pushup. Choose to complete your training at the gym, without equipment or using a stability ball.
  • Run two miles without stopping: This challenge is designed to help you run one full mile in four weeks. Do it twice to hit the two-mile mark in eight weeks.
7. Deep-clean your social media.
Over the next eight weeks, focus on upgrading the quality—not always the quantity—of your online communities. Strive to fill your screens only with content that inspires and motivates you to become a better version of yourself. Follow health-oriented people and companies who post positive, encouraging messages, and unfollow any individuals or groups that aren't conducive to your goals. Over the two-month period, you should start to notice a more constructive and motivating online environment.
8. Lose up to 16 pounds (about two pounds per week).
If losing weight is part of your health and wellness goals, you'll achieve more long-term, sustainable results by ditching the crash diets and shedding pounds slowly. The most effective strategy to lose two pounds per week is eating nutritious meals, tracking your food intake and exercising regularly.
What goals do you hope to accomplish in the next eight weeks? How will you make them happen?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


DRAGONFLY631 5/24/2019
I re reed this article. It’s encouraging. Have meet some goals. Still working on others. Report
Great! Report
DRAGONFLY631 4/22/2019
A wonderful goal list Report
LIDDY09 1/8/2019
Thanks Report
Working on my push-ups now! Report
NOVELAFAN 1/6/2019
Good one. Report
SPINECCO 1/6/2019
Good article. Thanks. Report
KITTYHAWK1949 1/6/2019
thanks Report
BESSHAILE 1/6/2019
I was looking for a challenge and you provided me with the one that resonated!

Stronger core - here I come! Report
CJC2550 1/1/2019
I am going to sign up for the exercise challenge. I need to
I need to get up and move more throughout the day and I think that will motivate me. Thanks for the ideas. Report
LOSER05 7/10/2018
thanks. Report
MBPP50 7/10/2018
Great! Report
JEWELZEE- 7/10/2018
Good ideas, thanks! Report
MOOMSHINE 7/9/2018
Reboot: Day 1 and I'm afraid to get enthusiastic for fear of jinxing myself. I enjoyed my 10 minute walk and healthy breakfast this morning. 8-) Report
LIS193 7/9/2018
Great ideas! Report
BESYKES 7/9/2018
Great advice! Report
MARTHA324 7/9/2018
These are great ideas and for someone starting out, I'd say pick two or three and get those under your belt. then the next week or two, add two more. changing 8 things at once seems sort of daunting. Report
EO4WELLNESS 7/9/2018
Like re-visiting this article from time to time--helps to find new "what's next" type of short-term goals. Report
thanks Report
ROSECLIFT 7/3/2018
Definitely need #2, core needs help. Fits in perfectly with our 2018 Summer 5% Challenge. Thanks! Report
I don’t think that you are supposed to drink essential oils... Report
Yes we can! Report
great article Report
This article was a great read! Report
16 pounds in 8 weeks? 16 pounds in 8 months would be great right now! Report
My goal is to be able to get back to working out like I was before I got off track and gained some of my weight back. I'm not happy with my self right now. Report

My goal is to successfully do an arm balance in yoga. I am starting with crow pose - one that I attempted but wasnt able to do in high school. Report
I choose a goal of meditation. Report
It's amazing what you can do in two short months Report
I really like the idea of the 60 day workout streak. Also the master a physical exercise feat. That's one of the reasons i regained my weight, no longer challenged by exercise, i got bored and gave up on it. Thanks for the article! Report
Great article. These are reachable, sustainable goals. Report
Seems like some attainable goals Report
Motivated me to go for a brisk walk! Report
Great ideas............ Report
Interesting article. Report
I like the plank exercise, I did one with my arms straight I knew it was a lot easier then when I tried to do one with my elbows bent I thought it would be harder to do but it wasn't I like this one. Report
Thanks. Report
I will be doing these to see if this works Report
great Report
Great advice! Love the article! Report
Some great advice Report
Great stuff to keep in mind. Report
Thank You for the good advice. Report
An oldie but a goodie Report
I can do This! Original wedding ring here I come! Report
The suggestios were good. Switching out somthing is how I ditched a liter a day POP to just WATER or herbal tea. Report
Good goals Report
Thanks Report
I am working along with you. I definitely want to reach all these goals. Report
I am definitely working on water intake. Report