After spending more than a decade helping people achieve their personal health and fitness goals, I’ve come to learn one thing. Making a start is important. Making a positive start is imperative.
So what do I mean by ‘making a positive start’?
When a person makes the decision to improve their diet, health or their fitness, that moment doesn’t just happen. It’s usually built up over time. In fact it’s safe to say that when that person signs up to the gym, or starts a new diet, that moment is a serious turning point in their lives. That moment can be incredibly emotional as it signifies ‘action taken’. The trouble is, it also comes with the belief that the job is done.
“Now that I’ve (signed up to the gym / got a fitness coach / signed up to ‘lite & easy’, etc), I’ll have my bikini body in time for summer”.
Unfortunately, reality tells us a different story. Simply signing up to the gym doesn’t work.
There has to be a plan in place to ensure you make use of the gym you’ve just signed up to. Equally you need a structured training plan outside of your sessions with a fitness coach. And this structure needs one final piece to be successful.
And here is where I focus on making a ‘positive’ start. A start that guarantees you a 100% success rate.
Make your first goal ridiculously easy to achieve.
You may have heard the quote, “Motivation gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” But let’s not discount the importance of keeping that motivation going for as long as we can.
Here’s an example. Your motivation for getting your summer body could be that summer is only 3 months away. That’s a great motivator to get started but keeping that motivation for 12 straight weeks can be a massive challenge. Setting yourself some seriously achievable goals early on, means that WHEN your hit those goals, you’re more likely to continue staying motivated to set and achieve more goals.
You would not believe the amount of clients I’ve had that tell me they keep failing at their goals. Then when I hear what they’ve set for themselves, my answer is generally… “no wonder!”
If your goals are too big, and you don’t achieve them, then you will start to believe that you can’t achieve any goals. And if you start to believe that, then you will do one of two things.
- You’ll stop trying, or
- You’ll continue to set unrealistic targets, thereby continuing to prove yourself right. “I can never achieve my goals”.
Here’s a great example of a positive start to goal setting.
Take the next Friday night as your goal. If you’re likely to drink 5 drinks, your goal is to drink 2. That’s it. Don’t worry about Saturday. We’ll deal with that when it comes. Focus on Friday’s goal and high five yourself when you’ve achieved it. Then move onto the next achievable goal.
This concept is not new. Anyone with an addiction – be it alcohol, smoking, food or drugs – will tell you that they are never ‘cured’. They simply learn to manage their addiction through habit and the first step in creating these habit is to focus on what can be achieved today.
For more information on how to make a positive start with your own goals, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your continued health and fitness,