Yes, it is a new year and it is time to re-check your fitness goal.
Although it is nice to reach your target weight, or manage to run a first 10 K race, if you did not achieved the fitness goal you setup last year, maybe you want to set a different type of fitness goal this year; a “process” fitness goal. Instead of losing 10 pounds, you set your goal to be to work out 3 times a week and eat healthy food.
What is the difference? The target goal (losing 10 pound) is a goal which you need to reach whatever the means are. A process goal (working out three times a week) is the goal “to do” something whatever the results may be. An extreme case of the former is that you will choose to have surgery to remove 10 pounds of body fat.
Seasoned achievers tend to combined both and they have a higher success rate, but, as a beginner, setting up a process goal is far easier, and, once you’ve achieved the goals you set up, you will have a much easier time to set up target goals and achieving them.
So, how should you start?
First, you need to set find a goal which is easily achievable. For example, working out three times a week. It does not say anything about how long or what you need to do. If you did 5 minutes of a workout, say you walked 5 minutes three times the week, or you went to a gym and stretched three times the week, you reached the goal. I believe that you can accomplish this type goal quite easily.
Of course, there is more. You want to make a rating system for the target. If you did a workout three times a week, you give 3, but you will give a 10, if you worked out 30 minutes all three days. If you worked out 20 minutes each day, then 7, etc. On average, you want to keep your score above a certain level (which you need to decide upon), but anything above 0 is a good week.
You can put more than 10. If you worked out one hour in one day, or you worked out 4 days instead of 3 days, you will give yourself extra 3 points. Or if you did a hard interval training one day, you can credit yourself 2 extra points for that.
Do the rating per week, not every day. It is far more useful to see the average number of points than daily points as the daily points could fluctuate too much. For example, if the boss gave you an extra assignment on the day you we were planning to work out and you could not do your workout, then you need to give yourself 0. But you may be able to work out on the weekend. That is why it is better to rate your effort for the week.
There are some process goals that you may want to rate every day. One is eating as it is not easy to remember what you ate a week after. Just keep the daily record (as points) and take a sum of the points at the end of the week. You give one point every time you chose a healthy food. This does not mean that you can never eat donuts. You can eat a donut, but then you won’t give a point to yourself, but, instead of the donut, you ate an apple, you give yourself a point.
Of course, there are millions of definitions for healthy foods and I won’t go into details but you need to decide how to give points for your choice of healthy food.
One process goal I really recommend to everyone is a “micro” relaxation. The micro relaxation is something that you can do in less than a minute. For example, take a deep breath and slowly breathe out. You just do it a few times a day, just once each time. It should not take more than one minute total. Add a smile and relaxing your shoulders while doing this. If you do this every day, you will be happier, less stressed, and healthier. Isn’t that a great goal to achieve?