We’ve reached a decision point for those who started a new exercise goal on January 1. Only 8% of those who started on New Year’s Day will reach a point where they can claim Goal Success. Most of us, 92%, will experience Goal Failure.
The first fork in the road to being in that 8% group is coming up. Research indicates most people who quit their exercise goals do so by January 19. That date is now called Quitter’s Day.
Are you feeling the tug to give up? If so, here are four things you can do to keep moving towards Goal Success.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Most goals are set and started amidst a flood of emotion and excitement. Your exercise goal represents transformation. Fitness becomes a path to a new you that looks better, feels better, and performs better. What’s not to like about that?
But, those emotions and the excitement ALWAYS fade before the transformation happens. Now, we’re faced with doing exercise that isn’t fun and starts to not feel worth the effort. Are you feeling that? Are you asking the question, “Is this really worth it?”
To make it past Quitter’s Day you need to ask a different question. A year from now will you be glad you gave up? How about ten years down the road? Will the future you be glad that the current you took the first exit off the fitness journey when the road got bumpy?
CHANGE YOUR GOAL
Most exercise goals are tied to a number. We want to lose a certain amount of weight. Or, we want to change a key health indicator like blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol. Maybe the exercise goal is tied to a big event on a specific date.
The challenge is it usually takes far longer than we realize to see the kind of progress we are hoping for. That can be discouraging which leads to the first question, “Is this really worth it?”
Instead of focusing on a number related goal, our first goal should really be establishing a habit. Unless you first establish a consistent exercise habit, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see the fitness transformation you truly want.
LOWER YOUR COMMITMENT
When exercise goals are set in the flood of emotion and excitement they tend to be way more than we can sustain. Sure, it’s fun to go to the gym every day for two hours when you’re highly motivated, but that doesn’t last long. Sure, you can walk 10,000 steps for a week or so, when you rarely got about 4,000 before your goal, but that quickly feels overwhelming.
If you want to keep going past Quitter’s Day, now is the time to re-think your exercise commitment. Is it too much?
It’s far better to make a commitment that is sustainable and occasionally challenging. Did you get that? OCCASIONALLY challenging. Not challenging every day. Remember the new goal is to first build a habit.
MAKE IT DAILY
Habits require consistency. That’s what makes them habits. When we try and create a habit that only requires action three or four days a week, it’s way too easy to quit. Not exercising is already built into that formula.
Instead, it’s far more effective to make a small commitment that you can do every day. This is where intentional walking is the perfect activity to build a consistent fitness habit that is sustainable well past Quitter’s Day.
Make a Commitment
That’s the formula for setting an exercise goal that lasts past January 19.
To help you reach that Elite Group who keep their fitness goals I invite you to try the new Walking is Fitness podcast. I record the first ten-minutes of my daily walk and invite you to join me as we hold each other accountable for keeping our commitment to fitness.
You can follow Walking is Fitness where you get your favorite podcasts. You can also check out the most recent episodes HERE
A daily ten-minute walk for most of us is a sustainable goal that is occasionally challenging. It’s the perfect way to create a fitness habit that ultimately leads towards the fitness transformation we’re all hoping for.