Telling someone to eat clean foods and work out regularly makes everything sound so easy and uncomplicated. But, those really are the ‘tricks’ to losing body fat and being healthy. The problem, however, is that it is really easy to grab unhealthy snacks and skip days of sweating, especially if there is no clear goal in mind. It has been proven that having a clear and specific goal for getting healthy is great motivation and you are more likely to stay on your path. Goals like ‘I want to be skinny’ and ‘I want to live long’ are too broad and they don’t give you much direction. Instead, be as specific as possible about your ultimate goal. It helps if you have an item or purpose that will motivate you. What about ‘I’m going to exercise 30 minutes a day so that I can fit into this dress’ or ‘I’m going to have vegetables at every meal’? One goal setting strategy that works quite well is the SMART strategy.
Specific: Be specific in your goals. Saying that you will work out 30 minutes a day, everyday gives you a clear goal for that day. A great tip is to actually add it to the daily schedule in a planner or on your phone. That way you know you have already set aside the time for it.
Measurable: Having a measurable goal helps you to gauge whether or not you are on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. Running 30 minutes and eating 1200 calories a day are measurable goals.
Attainable: If your goal is to lose weight, make sure it is reasonable and attainable. Working out everyday doesn’t work for many people. Saying you will work out 4 days a week is attainable. Make sure your attainable goals match up with your abilities.
Realistic: Saying you want to lose 50 pounds in 3 months is not a very realistic goal, not by any healthy means that is. Consulting with a nutritionist or trainer will help you reach that goal in a more realistic time span.
Trackable: A great way to know if you are on the right path is to track what your doing. Keeping a food journal holds you accountable for what you put in your body. There are many apps that do this as well. Seeing what we eat written down forces us make better food choices. Also, tracking your workouts and body fat are great ways to know if you are on the right track.
There are long term goals and short term goals. Eating 1200 calories a day is a short term goal, which will ultimately lead to losing 15 pounds in time for a vacation, which is a long term goal. It is important to have goals in when becoming healthy. It’s also okay to have setbacks. Things happen that are out of our control, or maybe your goals just weren’t realistic enough. If you find yourself losing motivation reassess your goals and see where changes can be made. If you achieved your goal, don’t stop. Make new goals and set up for new challenges.
Health and fitness is not a one size fits all kind of thing. If you aren’t enjoying it, you won’t want to do it.