Looking back on the number of goals you’ve made, how many of those were successfully executed, and how many did not pan out? With every new beginning, it’s likely you’ve hopefully made some goals—again.
Speaking of hope, its opposite is fear or desperation. To have a successful action plan, it may be prudent to minimize the frustration or desperation, so as to maximize results aligned with your fitness and health goals.
This is the reason I am pushing for “doable” as your mantra for a change. Upon observation, I sense that the reason many goals fall through is because the plans are too grand, too ambitious, and almost altogether unattainable.
If you could incentivize or monetize frustration, then so many people would be richer by the end of the month they started. It got me thinking: what if we calibrated the resolution, just a smidgen?
What if goals were made and set up to be doable?
What if fitness and health goals were within reach, and could be achieved daily?
What if they maximized time and effort to produce results?
Make no mistake, what I am proposing is not a miracle cure nor pill. It will require steadfast commitment and effort, for sure, but is fashioned in a way that gives you more successful days than those where you literally throw your hands up.
How to translate “doable” into an action plan? Here are three ways:
Don’t cut out all foods. Focus on one change, and one only.
This is a perfect example of doing something with a better chance of success, than one where you will quit. Instead of going “all green” (switching instantly to a vegetarian diet), make one change—and stick to that. Only.
If you are the type who always has softdrinks at every meal, then cut out softdrinks at one meal, say dinner. Just keep doing it until you feel strong enough to make that two meals. You can also replace this with carbonated water (if you’re after the fizz) so that it doesn’t feel like a total sacrifice.
Do short intervals of physical activity. You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym.
Time is always a consideration when you are trying to make a change in your physical activity. Most working professionals will not have much leeway other than waking up earlier than usual (I see some clients waiting at the fitness center entrance even before the gym opens), and with today’s stress-filled work environments, this may not be an ideal situation to add more time for exercise.
But we are focusing on the word “doable.” Right off the bat, I would say, “Forget the gym”—you need to find parking, you have to make sure you have the equipment needed or the class isn’t full, you need to line up to take a shower (especially at big-name gyms), then you need to worry about parking at the office.
Involve your social support system. Tell them your goals.
Letting them know your fitness goals can be empowering because it tells them you value their input in this journey, and they can adjust their activities (slightly) to accommodate you. Remember the key word is “doable”—what could be more doable than merely announcing to one and all that you are planning to live healthier? Use your environment in a way that supports your goals, and your family and friends will be more than glad to help you out. You may even find someone in your circle with similar goals, and you can mutually reinforce resolutions. The more, the merrier; when it comes to fitness goals, that could also mean “the more, the stronger the commitment to those goals.”
These three steps are “doable”; you don’t need much change in your current lifestyle, and they involve little effort on your part. But having been in this industry for some time now, I can say that it is those changes that stick, that last, that are bound to make the greatest impact health-wise. The way to ensure these changes last is to build one success on top of another—if you can cut out softdrinks from one meal, try to cut them out from all meals; if you can skip deep-fried foods, just go for healthier alternatives, moving from strength to strength.
Drama is good for the big screen (and even the small screen), but you don’t need to be so dramatic when it comes to achieving your health and fitness resolutions. “Go big or go home” may be a mantra suited for casino players, but when it comes to achieving resolutions—fitness-related or otherwise—we might be better off taking the advice from Aesop’s famous fable: Slow but sure wins the race.
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Discover more ways to best achieve your fitness goals on Asian Dragon’s February-March 2018 issue, available for download on Magzter.