So you want to lose weight and get in shape. Who doesn't? However, if you're like me and many other people, sometimes just getting started seems like a monumental task. Just one more handful of pretzels, or a couple M&M's. I'll "get serious" tomorrow. Been there, done that!
Diet and fitness goal setting is a key part of any weight loss program. Without goals it becomes very easy to lose sight of where you want to be, and how you're going to get there. Calories from random snacking and holiday dinners tend to sneak in unnoticed. Without a clear fitness goal it's easy to lose yourself in the moment and tell yourself "it's OK just this once." However, those "just this once's" tend to pile up very fast.
There are a few simple ways to keep your diet on track and your fitness goals within reach.
First, take a calendar and put it up on your wall. Treat yourself to a nice one...you'll be looking at it for a while! It should be the type with a one month block, with plenty of room in each day box to write some information. Decide on a fitness goal--fitting into your favorite dress by Thanksgiving, or wearing a size smaller by Christmas. Write this in your calendar, and then count backward from that day, writing in the time you have left every Saturday, for example.
A calendar is also a great place to write in specific fitness workouts or key diet days. Having a visual reminder of what you want to do that day is a great way to successful diet and fitness goal setting. For example, every other day you could write in that you're doing upper body weight training, or write in each day the mileage you hope to jog. Then, as you come to the end of each day take a big marker and put a big check on the day as incentive. When you see the checks piling up you know you're on the right track!
Write in the days of special parties to remind yourself that if you want a piece of cake, you'll have to work out a little harder before hand.
Rewards tend to work well with diet and fitness goals. Treat yourself to a new clothing item...but only if it's a size down. Or give yourself an incentive: you'll get a new book or magazine if you reach a specific weight goal. Make your rewards good enough that you'll reach the goals, but don't break your bank. A new car might only be a reward if you successfully lose 75 pounds.
However you do it, it helps to be creative. Diet and fitness goal setting can actually be fun and keep you motivated. Remember--the key to getting in shape is not to drive yourself like a slave, but to enjoy the journey to better health.