Recently I set a goal to pay off a car loan early. It was one of my New Year’s resolutions. My target date was December 31st. Guess what happened? I reached the end of the year and still had three years left on the loan. Nailed that one!
Have you ever experienced the same thing with a goal regarding fitness? Maybe it was even one of your New Year Resolutions this past January. How’s that going for you? If that question makes you wince, or feel shame, I’d like to suggest a re-start.
But, this time with a different goal in mind.
First off, neither of us is alone when it comes to goal failure. The research indicates more than 90% of all goals flame out before reaching the finish line. There are lots of reasons why this is, but for fitness I think it’s because we are aiming for the wrong target.
We often focus on the outcome we desire…lose a certain number of pounds, fit into a smaller clothing size, or look a certain way for a big event in the future. Maybe the target is better numbers in key health indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar.
These are all good goals, but they also set us up for failure because all we are looking at is the desired result. And, because fitness takes time these results are slow in coming. We know that, but somehow believe this time will be different.
While I failed with my financial goal, I’ve done much better with fitness goals. A significant reason for that is I’ve made walking my primary fitness activity. It’s not the only thing I do, but it’s the foundation for everything else. I’ve had a Fitbit for six years and having a daily step goal has changed my life. It’s also helped me better understand how to set fitness goals that work.
Even setting a daily step goal can be tricky. I wrote about this just two weeks ago, but the common notion that we should all be aiming for 10,000 steps is dangerous. Most of us aren’t even close to that. It’s like diving in the deep end of a pool before you learn to do the doggie paddle.
The real goal when you begin any fitness journey, isn’t the end result. The real target is making fitness a habit. Once it’s a habit you can slowly move forward. The fitness goal should never be a number on a scale, a piece of clothing, or a health report.
I’ve put together a free plan to guide you through the process of beginning a fitness journey with walking. This plan will eventually help you reach 10,000 steps a day and more if you want to keep going.
The plan covers these five areas to help you set the right daily step goal and get moving towards finally Winning at Fitness through walking.
The temptation with any new goal is to start big. Our emotions are fully engaged and we’re ready to DO THIS THING. Until we aren’t. Once the emotions die down, and they always do, we are left with trying to power through something very hard. This is one of the reasons 90% of all goals fail. The emotional fuel that was there at the beginning eventually evaporates and we have nothin left in the tank to keep us moving forward.
So…the key is starting small. So small that it barely feels like you’re doing anything. In fact, you might even be embarrassed to tell others what you’re doing because your daily step goal feels unimpressive. The key is establishing a daily habit of reaching a fitness goal regardless of how you feel.
Details of how to set the right starting step goal is part of the free download.
Fitness is a long game. A very long game. This is why focusing on the desired result is dangerous. First off, it always takes longer than you expect, but even more importantly, once you reach the goal THEN WHAT?
The fitness finish line is much farther away than you can imagine. The finish line is the end of your life. When you have that perspective it makes the small start much easier to handle. It also helps you think BIG. Those daily targets won’t always be small and eventually you can get to whatever goal you desire.
I like to think of establish a fitness habit as building a chain. Every day I reach my step target I’m adding a link to that chain. The real goal is simply to NOT BREAK THE CHAIN. Usually the biggest opponent to fitness is ourselves. Perhaps there is a history of fitness failure that has you believing it’s not possible for you to Win at Fitness. That’s just not true!
The free download has special daily tracker that allows you to transform that inner voice from “I can’t” to “I did”.
Do you know the biggest reason fitness resolutions fail? Because people quit. It’s not complicated, but it is understandable. Fitness is not easy. In fact, it’s hard. If it was easy everybody would be there.
I’m currently doing a 20k One Year Step Challenge. That’s 20,000 steps every day for a year with no breaks. That means I can’t quit when it gets hard…and I’ve had some hard days in this journey. I haven’t quit because I made a commitment to myself before I started..and I’ve kept that commitment.
But, that’s not always true for me. There have been times where I have broken a commitment I made to myself. If you struggle with keeping promises you make to yourself, this download includes a unique resource to help you make and keep your daily step goal commitment.
Even though you start small…you don’t stay small. In addition to making fitness a habit you also want to build fitness momentum. It must be done carefully, but if you keep the long view you’ll eventually have big momentum that will be far more motivating than that New Year’s emotional fuel that runs dry.
It’s not too late to get your fitness journey back on track. If you’re willing to approach it differently you really can Win at Fitness. Download my free guide to get started.
And, if you click the FOLLOW button (below on your phone…to the right and above on your computer) and you’ll get each Goal: 20,000 Steps article when they are published. They will inspire you and help you Win at Fitness…One Step at a Time.