When it comes to improving your health and fitness, most people have that one BIG goal… that one ultimate end point they’d like to reach. THAT is your elephant! Your goal can often seem so huge and daunting but at the same time kind of exciting. You tackle it all guns blazing! You may have even heard of the saying “Bite off more than you can chew and chew like crazy,” so that’s what you do. Well, that’s what you attempt to do anyway.
I myself have been guilty of that. After all, that quote is one of the most known to man and is renowned for being a super-motivator. However, having a little more experience and just a dash of ‘old age’ I have come to realise that quite often it can be more realistic to bite off smaller morsels and chew like crazy. So, I’ll rephrase my question… “Can you eat an elephant whole?” Now, unless you’ve got a detachable jaw like a gigantic python in the Amazon forest, the answer is probably no. Same goes for your BIG goal. We must break it down into ‘smaller morsels’ so to speak. This can have a dramatic effect on a person’s psyche. Breaking your goal down into smaller targets can reduce the perception of your big goal being out of reach, therefore, providing a continued motivation. Think about it, if you keep ticking off smaller goals each week, you’ll be more likely to stay in a driven, motivated state. Focusing purely on the end point and not reaching it can be highly de-motivating.
So how do we set ourself up for achieving your health and fitness success?
1/ Figure out your why – Think beyond your goal and actually FEEL what it will be like to get it. For example, what will building more muscle bring to your life? How will committing to 3 exercise sessions per week make you a better friend, partner or parent?
The more detailed you can get with your WHY, the more successful you will be with reaching your goal.
2/ Set tangible and realistic goals – If you want to eat better for example, make 1 or 2 changes to your current diet and commit to those changes. Once they become habitual, make another small change or two. Make short term reasonable goals that you can incorporate into your life so that you can achieve long term health success.
3/ Hold yourself accountable – If you’re like most people, you’re busy. However, that’s no reason to neglect your health. And while an accountably partner helps, the truth is, no one is going to hold you accountable as well as you. If you’re serious about achieving health and fitness success, you simply HAVE to make time for it. Schedule your exercise sessions in advance and commit to them. In doing this, you’re holding yourself accountable, which is crucial to health success.
4/ Visualise your goals coming true – The best way to stay motivated and disciplined is seeing your goals coming true. If you want a new home, what does it look like? If you want to lose 20kg, what will you look like? Create clear visuals in your mind of you achieving your goals.
5/ Enjoy the journey – While achieving big goals is challenging and takes perseverance, enjoy the journey. Encourage yourself daily. Congratulate yourself when you do things that challenge you. Give yourself a ‘fist bump’ every time you push yourself outside your comfort zone. As you reach a milestone, reward yourself.
So before you go on a mission to ‘eat an elephant whole’, stop. Step back, plan, visualise and implement appropriate changes that will ensure you are motivated, focused and driven to succeed. Remember, achieving smaller, bite size goals are extremely effective in bringing you to that ultimate, HUGE goal down the track.