After taking stock on 2016, our next step is usually to set some new goals for 2017. Maybe you’ve already done this. Perhaps you haven’t. Either way, I hope this is of some use to you.
Sometimes you need to just continue doing what you’re doing. If you’ve been working toward a goal not yet achieved, that’s fine. You’re on your way. Stay on track and keep making progress. Hold your throttle down.
Often times, we realize that for some reason, we just didn’t get the job done. Perhaps we fell way short of a goal, or even fell off the wagon. Not good, but that’s ok. It’s time to pick up. If that goal is still important to you, the answer is simply to just get started again.
This happens a lot with people trying to lose weight. You go down, then up, then down, then back up again. It’s so common, they have a name for it: “The Yo-Yo Syndrome.”
Rather than spend too much time beating yourself up, you might as well let it go. Sure, you need to resolve to do better, and make a new commitment. But in the end, you really have to just get started again.
Just treat it like a new goal. Here are a few things you can do to make your goal much more likely to be achieved. If you do these things, I promise you’ll do better this year.
Make your goal very specific, as in “I want to lose 30 lbs.” If it’s too general, like “I want to lose some weight”, it won’t have enough power to pull you into it.
Put a time frame on it, like “I want to lose 30 lbs by the start of Summer.” Now this is more meaningful, and it has some urgency to it. You can also see that you have five months to lose the 30 lbs. That means you’d have to lose 6 lbs a month, or 1.5 pounds a week. That’s very doable.
Your goal also needs to be measurable. That helps you keep track of how things are going. It lets you see what kind of progress you’re making. Or lack of progress. Either way, you know how you’re doing.
Of course, weight loss is very measurable. That’s why we do weekly weigh-ins. Just know that I don’t put too much stock in any one measurement. Things can vary. Now two good weeks in a row tells me something, and three is a trend. But you’ve got to measure it!
Finally, goals need to be realistic. They have to be attainable. One way to look at this, is by studying what other people have done. Were they similar to you, without any extra advantages? Then you can do it too. Let me repeat. You can do it too.
Break down your large goals into smaller ones. Keep the big picture in mind, but focus on the weekly progress. If the goal is to lose 30 pounds, it’s the smaller goals of a pound a week that will get you there. Little successes lead to big ones.
Be diligent in your efforts. If you remain focused, you’ll get what you want. But if you get sloppy in your efforts, you won’t want what you get. In the end, you don’t have to be great or amazing. You simply have to be determined.
If you have more daily successes than failures, you’ll succeed. That’s because every day, you’re getting a little bit closer. Success usually isn’t one massive breakthrough, it’s a series of smaller ones.
Stay committed. Be all in on it. If you fall off a little bit, get over it. Get back on it. You can do it. Remember, just get started, again.
Next time, I’ll finish this series with some tricks you can use to get the ball rolling.
Master Tom Dolan
6th Degree Black Belt
M.A. Exercise Physiology