Track your progress to reach your fitness goals faster
It’s March! How’s your weight loss program coming along? If it fizzled a little in February, now is the time to put a little spring in your step. The weather’s warming up and it’s staying lighter a little longer. So now that you, ahem, have no more excuses not to devote a little time to your fitness program… let’s take a closer look at your goals—and your progress. And let’s start seeing some weight loss success!
Is your goal vague or concrete?
New Year’s Resolutions are tricky: they leave a big, wide 12-month expanse to get the task done. They invite procrastination. Maybe you want to lose 40 pounds this year, but the finish line is so far away that you haven’t committed yet. But by the end of the year, your goal has slipped away into oblivion. So you set the same goal for next year. (In fact, maybe this was your goal last year, and you never got around to it.)
Unless you divide your 2010 goal into 12 monthly “mini goals” you’re not going to reach it. We’re two months into 2010: if you’re going to lose 40 pounds, you should have lost 6 so far. (By the way, did you remember to take your weight and measurements on January 1? If not, do it now.)
So what is your goal, exactly?
Do you want to:
Determine your goals—define them specifically, even if you hate numbers and math—and write them down. Then, write down exactly what you need to do each day/week/month to get there.
Have you been measuring your results?
Would you put $5,000 in a CD or other investment and then forget to measure your returns? Not likely. So why invest time and effort into a weight loss plan and not tally up the results? Evaluating your weight loss program is kind of like having a financial assessment: you may discover that you could be getting a lot more for your money, so to speak, by putting it somewhere else.
You need to be able to see quantifiable results. Otherwise you might question whether the plan is effective. Or you’ll think it’s working when it isn’t. And each milestone you overtake will add to your momentum and confidence. I keep a list of my goals taped to the bathroom mirror, and alongside it I track each month’s measurements—even when I can’t see a difference in the mirror, I see the numbers decrease, and that makes me excited to keep at it.
Doing the math
Sit down today and list all the components of your program: what are you eating? What supplements are you using? What are the specifics of your exercise regimen? Are you getting enough sleep?
Then take stock of where you are now. Pick a regular day—the first of the month, maybe, or the last—to check in. Don’t just weigh yourself. Take your measurements. And because you probably have many health and fitness goals, beyond whittling down your inches, you may want to take note of your energy levels, quality of sleep, how heavy you’re lifting, your speed or stamina, and your mood.
Measuring the results of your program will not only keep you motivated, it will help you make the most of your plan. You’ll see what you need to ditch and what you should be doing more of. When you find out what works perfectly for you, you can accomplish a lot more with less effort.
Stay tuned for the upcoming results of our four-week weight loss challenge, during which we gave our clients a goal, a deadline and a planp for tracking their way to their ideal shape. We announce the winner and share success stories next week!