January 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm EST | by Gerard Burley
Paths to success
fitness, waist measurement, gay news, Washington Blade, goals

In achieving any goals in life, one has to be realistic and be reminded of where you want to be and how to get there.

We’re deep into January and I’m still seeing people living the theme “new year, new you.” I like it!

Though you may have already made your resolutions, there’s no bad time to talk about the best ways to achieve your goals. I meet with new clients all the time who have goals, but haven’t gone about it the right way to be successful. Here are a few of my hopefully new tricks that will help set you up to win in and out of the gym.

Start backwards — Yes when goal setting, I literally start backwards. I write out what my specific goal is and then think of the steps from my goal back to my current status. By starting from your goal and moving back it helps put a more realistic space on how long the goal will take.

We can use weight loss as a great example. Instead of randomly saying, “I’ll lose 20 pounds by Memorial Day,” you can break it down like this: I’m starting at 20 pounds and healthy weight loss that stays off is about one pound per week, so I know I’m looking at 20 weeks or about five months to hit my goal.

During any fitness goal attempt there will be setbacks because the body sometimes just “do what it want to do,” as my momma would say. Also, we all have travel, work and family life that can pump the breaks on our progress. Keeping this in mind, I suggest adding in a week for a slip up.  Now we have an accurate time frame to make our goals happen. This doesn’t mean that you can achieve them before this goal date, but it will help you avoid setting yourself up for failure.

See it daily — A major problem people have with accomplishing their goals are that they many times forget about them. Yeah, they stay in the back of your mind, but it’s doing you no good there. Not until something drastic like a visit from the doctor comes around or you can’t fit in those tight jeans any more do you realize those goals should have been up front all along.

A great tool to beat this is by using constant visual cues. I teach my clients to write their goals down everywhere. Put them up in the bathroom, in your car, at work and especially on your fridge. I also like to use something called a goal card. I got this technique from another trainer who writes his goals on a card that he keeps in his wallet. That means every time you reach for a credit or debit card, which for many of us is too many times, you see your goals. Constant reminders of what you want to achieve can help breathe new life into you, especially on those days when it gets hard.

Find the whys — Whenever people talk about their goals be it fitness, career or family goals, you usually hear a list of things they want to achieve, or what I call the “whats.” The whats are great, but unfortunately in life it’s not the whats that drive us, it’s the whys. To get to the whys, we have to dig a little deeper and find out what is our true motivation. Ask yourself why you want to lose weight or pack on more muscle. Is it because you lack confidence now and this will give you more? Your why can also be a preventative. Maybe you want to stay in good health because there is a history of obesity-related disease in your family. Whatever your personal why is, it’s important that you find it. Find the why and you will find your path to success.

Goals and goal setting are a big part of being successful this year in regard to fitness and well being. Make sure you spend extra time planning out your goals with a good route to conquer them and you’ll be blasting through them in no time.

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