4 Simple Ways to Get Fit
Do you want to be fit? Me, too.
If you tell me, “This year I’m going to get in shape!”, I will tell you I see a year that’s just like any other year in your future. I don’t have a crystal ball. All I have is a Magic Eight Ball, along with a 20+ year history as a runner, six marathons, two Ironman triathlons, a gazillion other races, a lot of mistakes, and a few successes under my belt.
You will never reach your fitness goals if they are not specific and measurable. So here is everything you need to know to set goals and reach them this year.
Choose an objective, measurable goal
If your goal is Be a better runner, do not pass go. If you strive to lose weight, do not pass go. If your goal sounds similarly vague, Do Not Pass Go! If your goal is not objective and measurable, how will you know when you’ve accomplished it? Answer: You won’t. Worse, you will not have any way of knowing whether you’re on track toward meeting it. Examples of objective, measurable goals:
-Lose ten pounds.
-Run a four-hour marathon.
-Do a set of 50 pushups.
These goals include numbers, and they are not subjective. Either you have met them, or you haven’t.
Give yourself a deadline
Choose a date – any date. It could be December 31st, it could be the day of your wedding, or it could be your baby’s first birthday. Maybe your target date is the day of the race or event for which you are training. I don’t care if it’s National Mustard Day. Just pick a particular date on or by which you plan to meet your goal.
-I will finish the swim portion of the local sprint triathlon on July 1st in under 15 minutes
-I will complete 100 push ups in a row by November 1st
-I will be back to my pre-pregnancy weight on or before Dec 31st
Set smaller, manageable short-term goals
If you want to run a marathon, you need to increase your weekly mileage and the distance of your longest run gradually to prepare your body for the challenge. Similarly, if you want to lose 20 pounds by May, you should plan to lose five pounds a month every month until then. If you want to win a regional CrossFit competition, first set a goal of winning your gym’s competition two months earlier. Breaking your goal down into smaller chunks serves several purposes: It provides motivation for your journey toward your long-term goal. Striving toward smaller, less intimidating achievements helps prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by your long-term goal. Additionally, your ability to achieve your short-term goals will give you objective feedback to determine whether you are on track to meet your overarching objective, and allow you ample time to try a different approach, if you discover that what you are doing is not working.
Create a plan
How do you plan to reach your goal? Simply wanting it is not enough. Once you’ve determined your goal, when you will achieve it by, and what short-term goals you need to reach on the way, you will need to determine what you must do to make it happen. What do you need to do each month, each week, and each day to get you to your goal? If you need to do specific workouts, schedule them as you would any other appointment. If you need to eat a certain number of calories, find a way to track them, whether on paper, in a note in your phone, or via an app. If you’re not sure how to get where you want to be, consider hiring a professional, such as a coach or a dietician.
If you remember one thing when you think about your fitness goal this year, remember this: A goal without a number, a date, benchmarks for success, and a plan, then it is just an idea. Attainable, motivating goals are ones that you can objectively measure.
A version of this post originally appeared on Social Butterfly Mom.
This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.