When considering goals, we often set them along a long time-table. “I want to lose 30 pounds in 7 months”. Or just blanket statements; “I want to get toned and healthier”. They are all great achievements, but about your “now goals”? What are some things you can begin to hold yourself accountable for right now? Not Monday. Not January 1st. Right now?
Alright. Let’s consider ‘Sally’. (I chose Sally simply because I don’t know an actual Sally, but I know many “Sallies”. Catch my drift?) So, Sally is a woman who comes to Personal Trainer Jess, (I know a Personal Trainer Jess. I happen to be Personal Trainer Jess) and needs some help. Sally’s looking to lose 50 pounds. After having a baby 3 years ago and dealing with the trials and tribulations that we call life, she has put herself last. I mean dead last. Husband, work, kid and anything else that can come before her does. Sally, like many others, is pumped. She is ready to just go all out, ransack her pantry, buy a new gym wardrobe, and highlights every new class she wants to try at the gym. She comes to me with open arms and says, “You’re my Jillian Michaels. I’m your biggest loser!” While I appreciate Sally’s enthusiasm, I’ve seen it before. I’m not saying that an all or nothing attitude can’t get things done, but it needs to be put into perspective.
First of all, you can’t change your life over night. If you are your only responsiblity (no kids, no job, no financial concerns) then hell yea. Do it. But, back down here on earth we have a lot of things on our plate and unfortunately getting healthy isn’t the bulk of it. Know that small changes make significant differences because it’s about changing your attitude and approach. Once you say “no more ice cream, no more beer, no more pasta”, you are already looking at getting healthy as a punishment. It should be quite the opposite. Maybe make a few changes your first week and make THAT your now goal.
One of the first things I tell clients to do is in the first week of their healthy endeavours, drink more water. Most likely double what they are drinking now. How do you do this? Crystal light isn’t going to cut it, by the way. Suck it up and drink water. “But water’s gross!” Okay – bugs, mud, blood and guts are gross. Water tastes like NOTHING so quit whining. Anyway, if you work in a sedentary environment, keep a 32 oz water bottle at your desk. Not only does drinking water do wonders for curbing your appetite, but you are going to have to pee and it will get you up from your desk a lot more than you used to. Who cares what other people think? This is not about them.
Another great goal is simply cutting out one of your vices, for now. Remember, it’s usually the connection to food that’s the issue and not just the food itself. Chocolate at 3:30pm doesn’t just unwrap itself and jump into your mouth. If you know that midday lull is your challenge, prepare. Start with one serving of really dark chocolate. Only bring one serving. As you get better at mastering that smaller portion, opt for a healthy “sweet”, like a small apple or orange. They not only have natural sugar, but they are much more satisfying than a dinky piece of chocolate. A little reality check: One serving of Dover Rich Dark Chocolate is 210 (unnecessary) calories. There are 55 calories in one small apple. There’s a no brainer. Dr. Andrew Siegel, author of “Promiscuous Eating; Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food” and fabulous human being states, “…we consume stealth calories — calories we sneak into ourselves when we are not being attentive and that tend to make us gain weight.”
The best now goal is to quit night eating. And by best goal I also mean most difficult. Night eating completely sabotages dieters. HOWEVER, because it is so devastating to killing a diet, it is that much more rewarding when you are trying to lose weight. Night eating is habitual and needs to be stopped. The day is winding down, you’re in front of the tv and you need to munch. The first few weeks are hard, but it’s a magnificently rewarding feeling to conquer night-time eating. It seems silly, but it gives you back the power that you may have lost.
Another now goal is about a small amount of weight you may want to lose; 3 pounds in 10 days. This is real and attainable and will be a success felt within the first week of your master plans, which feels really good and does wonders for the ego.
Now goals don’t always have to be about weight loss or eating either. Set now goals such as “this weekend I will take the 7am spin class I’ve been avoiding because I’m scared in that dark, sweaty, powerful room.” And that’s the thing. It is scary because it’s new. But for anyone who says I can’t do it doesn’t want to because they are scared to try. Once you get yourself to do something such as take on a new fitness class, the possibilities are endless. Why? Because you’ve relieved yourself of self-doubt. Self doubt is the devil; it keeps you from even trying.
So, what are you waiting for? You know it’s exciting to try something new and achieve a new goal. Set a now goal so the success becomes contagious. Share it with people and be their inspiration. Get rid of the excuses and forget the times it didn’t work. Make this time different. “…genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.” – Dr. Andrew Siegel.