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January 24, 2013

Got goals? Get some!

We talk a lot in fitness about goals. Not soccer goals, not field goals, but health goals!

Goals are so important in achieving long term changes, and short term success. It is important when setting goals in fitness and health to incorporate a short term goal - getting started with something that can be conquered before we peter out and quit.  It is also important to set a long term goal - looking forward towards something that seems out of touch now leads to even bigger feelings of success when we finally reach it. Long term goals also keep us motivated on days when we feel like we might be "doing okay" and are ready to "maintain" rather than grow.  Don't fall into that trap - keep challenging yourself! 

Check out what the experts at the Mayo Clinic have to say about staying motivated in health and fitness: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/HQ01543

They highlight several aspects of how to stay motivated in fitness, many of which can be met by trying MAC fit's program with a team of humble women reaching similar goals!

  • Set goals.
  • Make it fun.
  • Make physical activity part of your daily routine.
  • Put it on paper.
  • Join forces with friends!
  • Reward yourself.
  • Be flexible.

Let's talk a little bit about short term goals. What would some of them look like? Try to keep them attainable in the next week to month. Try to stay away from "weight" and "pounds" related goals, they can be so decieving.  Rather, choose activity and schedule related goals that will leave a long term impact.

Commonly, short term goals can include some of the following:
  • Walking 3 days a week this week - holding yourself accountable to making the time.
  • Lift 2 times this week.
  • Learning a new abdominal exercise or strength lift. (come to MAC fit class, we can help with that!)
  • Giving up a food/drink for a short time that you know is not healthy for you.  Frequently, overcoming that short time without it makes giving it up for good much easier!
  • Be able to do a pushup or pull up in correct form.
  • Try a fitness class or a new kind of exercise (cross country ski, take the kids swimming, raquetball, etc)
  • run a mile or bike for 30 minutes without stopping.

Long term goals can correlate with some of your short term goals, or they can be crazy and out there!  Again, try to stay away from weight and body image related goals. Achieving these physical goals can happen simply by changing your lifestyle using activity goals instead! And those are much healthier for your mental state, leaving body image goals out of the equation.

Long term goals should be set upon the idea of being attainable anywhere from 6 months out to by the end of your lifetime, and can look like:

  • Run a 5k this year with a friend.
  • Be able to do X# of pushups/ pull ups without stopping. (Kacey can help you understand what a reasonable goal would be for the long term)
  • Be able to make it up the stairs at work/home without huffing and puffing.
  • Run a marathon! (oy, not for me...)
  • Be able to bump up the poundage of the weights you use during your strength training time!
  • Stop smoking, give up an unhealthy beverage or food for good!
  • Learn a new sport, or join a new club!
  • Be able to increase your vertical jump, or your length of time walking without getting tired.
It's a good idea to write down what you are able to do NOW, as well as the progress you are making throughout your health journey.  Sometimes gals, we forget just how far we've come! And it will steal the joy of your triumph over those fitness foes.  You might forget after having run your 10k next fall that on Jan 24th you couldn't even run a mile without stopping.  Document your journey - and look back on it as an empowered, changed you!

It's important to open up about our goals, so we don't feel like we are just battling our own mind and determination to get there. We can get help, have fun, and stay motivated together! Remember, God wants you to be healthy - and he wants you to feel good! With the right kind of goals - God empowered goals - you can reach anything you set your mind to.  Let this year be a year of change - closer to God and closer to the YOU you've wanted to be.