Motivational speaker Les Brown (born 1945) made his name encouraging others to overcome any odds that might stand in their way. He is quoted in saying "You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, then life will give you some answers."
I am sure everyone has heard it before. To achieve what you want in life, you need to set goals. If you don't have direction, you have nothing to aim for. Without a target, you are just spitting into the wind. Real desires and goals need to be solid, not elusive and vague. How can you hope to achieve if you have nothing to work toward?
Despite all enthusiasm for the initial phase of any new plan, many will fail to make it past the 30-day mark. I am struggling and have nightmares about having to start all over again and again! Living an active life, full of physical fitness, solid nutrition, and down-time is a work in progress. It requires small steps, SMART goals toward overall behavior change. The ultimate goal should be a lifelong habit, not a short-term update in dress size. I am trying and planning to prevent common pitfalls by touching on the three ways most unintentionally sabotage their own efforts.
1. Too Much Too Soon
2. Focusing ONLY on Calories
3. Choosing Comfort, gotta shake it up once in awhile.
By setting SMART goals…
S- Specific - Set well-defined goals. As you do, you will discover a map to a better life. It doesn’t matter if these goals are small, at first. They are still goals, and when you achieve them, you can move onto the next one with a sense of confidence.
M- Measurable – In the real world with a job, family, and a million responsibilities. One doesn’t have the luxury of working out six hours a day, and certainly don’t have someone analyzing every morsel consume. A 1-2 pound weight loss each week is to be commended. But a 0 pound weight loss paired with strength gains or your pants feeling a little loser should also be considered a win!
A- Achievable - Keep in mind the caloric deficit equation isn’t the same for every person. And when the number on the scale isn’t what one wants to see, continuing to increase the number of calories burned and decrease the calories eaten isn’t the only answer. Remember, the quality of food being chosen and the types (and amount) of food being eaten to help fuel workouts are in play too.
R- Realistic - Please give up on the “all or nothing” mentality for fitness and nutrition. Step into this new way of life slowly and methodically, and prepare for occasional setbacks.
T- Time - Take it slow. It doesn’t happen overnight, but be accountable for your time, use the calendar. Slow and steady ultimately wins the race.
Are you being SMART?