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Fitness Tip 8/25/14 - Goals

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Quick tip for you guys since it is a few days late… this one is about motivation and goal setting.

Make your goals small but focused!


I can’t even count how many times in recent months I have heard from patients “I am never going to get back to normal! Why am I not normal yet???” I have to redirect their focus to the small improvements that they have made, and show them what they are able to do now that wasn’t possible a few weeks ago. Pointing out to them that there are many small steps on the ladder to reach that ultimate goal usually helps them feel better about where they are, and clearly setting the next small goal makes a huge difference. Whether it is pedaling a bicycle around for a full revolution, or progressing to lifting a 2lb dumbell overhead - those small goals all build to a bigger goal of being “normal” again.

This applies directly to all of you that are reading this with fitness goals in mind. Whether you goal is to be huge, ripped, and in contest condition, to gain 50lbs on your bench press, or to lose 30lbs of bodyfat - the big goal is sometimes scary to think about and it seems too far out of reach. For me that goal was to get down to 225lbs with minimal muscle loss coming down from 270lbs - that was a scary thought that I had 45lbs to try to drop! Whenever I would think of it in those terms, it seemed insurmountable and it was hard to stick to a plan. What I did was break it up into smaller goals - each one building up to the next - first goal was to get to 260lbs while maintaining strength levels (the indicator I used to indicate maintaining muscle mass). Once I reached that goal - 250 was the goal… then 240… and you can probably do simple math so I won’t keep going.

Pick small goals and give yourself a reasonable deadline to reach them - that will help keep you motivated. As you achieve the goals be sure to acknowledge how far you have come. I know that sounds silly, but it helps to celebrate your success and take the time to reflect back on the progress you have made before you plow on ahead to the next goal. That is something I try to do regularly with my patients - it may be silly but we make a really big deal out of things like being able to pedal a bike around the first time or stepping over a hurdle without having to hold on to something. It is important to acknowledge the success you are having, or you will just be overwhelmed by looking at the big picture!

Keep up the hard work everyone! You’ll reach your goals.

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