For a lot of people, when it comes to setting and achieving a goal, there’s often never a right time (how convenient). There’s always a little reason to postpone.
“I’ll start fresh next Monday”
“Too much going on”
Sod that!! If you REALLY want to achieve your goal……the time to start is NOW.
Now, not tomorrow, not on Monday so you can start fresh, not next month when you are less busy. If you take that essential first step and start to buy better food now, start planning your eating now, or book that gym induction now – you’ve taken a huge step towards success.
How many people do you know who succeed at something they never actually start doing? Exactly.
Let’s make things a little easier…
We can break goal achieving into stages:
STAGE 1 – WHERE DO I START?
This is by far the hardest part.
Many people have a very clear idea of what they want to achieve. However, they often struggle to know what steps they need to make to get there. This is where a coach or just someone to offer some advice, accountability and support is invaluable.
Having someone there is so beneficial, as they will help you know exactly what your goals are, help you with a time-scale, plan according to your lifestyle, and help break down your overall goal into smaller achievable goals if the bigger picture seems overwhelming.
STAGE 2 – RECORD YOUR PLAN OF ACTION
Once you have your goal in place alongside your time-scale, make a simple weekly plan of the steps you are going to make to move closer to your goal, and record this in a database (diary, white board on the wall, smart phone calendar). This is breaking your overall goal down into weekly do-able tasks.
What steps will help me get towards my goal?
For training goals you could start doing 45 minute gym sessions for 4x per week or getting to some gym classes (cuts out the planning of your workouts). Or you could plan to just get more activity into your daily life by hitting a target number of steps daily or even taking your kids swimming twice per week. Add these to your weekly calendar in a slot where you know it will fit into your timetable. If there is no foreseeable time – then re-plan to make one! If you feel this will be tough to stick to, then recruit yourself a friend to help you and do it with you. This will increase that accountability and help ensure that you don’t let yourself or friend down, but most importantly will make sure you hit your targets.
When it comes to your nutrition, the best way to start is by prepping or planning out as much of your weekly food as you can/need on a Sunday evening or making sure you hit a daily protein goal by ensuring a portion of protein in every meal. This will give you no excuses and help prevent you from winging it and falling off the wagon early doors
The important thing to remember is that these are things for the long term, not just a week or so. So it is simply a case of making these tasks that you have to think about into habits that are just an automatic part of your weekly routine. This is done by simply repeating them on a regular basis. After a short while of consistency, these will soon become natural behaviour. At first these small steps may seem inconvenient and you may struggle to see the benefits straight away. But after you have built 5-6 good, consistent habits, you find yourself with a healthy lifestyle, and that’s what will take you places.
Above all remember that the consistency is the key factor to achieving most goals
STAGE 3 – GET YOURSELF MOTIVATED IN YOUR SURROUNDINGS
In the gym this can be a simple as having a music playlist that really gets you going, training with a partner, or partaking in a class with a great instructor and buzzing atmosphere.
When it comes to food, it is important to take it steady and still keep a hold of the good foods you enjoy. So make sure to keep some fruits in the fridge, some nuts in the cupboards and as snacks in your bag. If you start to force yourself to eat foods that although you know are nutritionally beneficial but detest eating then you are going to eventually resent your diet and massively fall of the wagon. For example, you may hate cold broccoli out of tupperware but find that roasted peppers, salads or carrot crudités are much more manageable.
Most importantly, stock your home well. It’s almost impossible to eat for a health, fitness or body composition goal if your fridge has nothing but beer, condiments, some month old packets of bacon and a freezer full of those ‘emergency pizzas’. Buy good food including a good amount of meat and freeze some of it, then consider reducing your stockpile of junk as much as you can.
STAGE 4 – HOW TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
This is where having some accountability is priceless – whether that be a coach, family members or friends. A lot of you probably know that it is much easier to lose focus and see healthy habits drop when there is no-one to hold you accountable.
How many people do you see slogging it out on the treadmill for a cardio session because someone told them this was the best way to lose fat, but with the clear expression that they are hating every second of it? Plenty I am sure. Whatever your fitness goal is, make sure you are doing something you actually like doing.
Hate the treadmill? Run outdoors, try a rower, or some interval training instead.
Above all remember that the consistency is the key factor to achieving most goals. If you fall off the wagon, brush it aside and get back on- you’ll get there eventually and once you do you might just realise how enjoyable the process was.