When you have a weight loss goal, it is easy to make it a big goal, like losing 50 pounds. Large goals can be very daunting — especially when you think about the time and total effort it will take to lose that amount of weight. Losing a pound a week is a realistic goal to start. But, that means if the goal is to lose 50 pounds, that would take 50 weeks. That’s a long time — almost 12 months, in fact.
Usually, these plans don’t always go as you expect because life gets in the way. Often, we get delayed in our progress due to life factors outside of our control. Instead of avoiding major life changes like moving or starting a new job, you should begin by setting realistic and incremental goals for yourself. With advice from Holly Gatto and the help of personal training in Pittsburgh, you can start working toward achievable weight loss goals.
There’s nothing wrong with having a big goal—you just need to make sure your goal is realistic. To get started setting a realistic goal, consider the steps it will take to achieve your goal. Then, shift your focus to tackle each step one at a time. After all, in real life if you try to take too many steps at once, you’ll end up falling down the stairs!
Once you’ve outlined the steps it will take for you to achieve your big goal, you need to adjust your mindset to think of each step as it’s own goal. When you begin personal training in Pittsburgh, one of the first steps Holly will walk you through is establishing 5-minute actions. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator could be a 5-minute action. Taking a walk on your lunch break could also be a 5-minute action. These examples, or any other small goals you set for yourself that can be easily completed during a regular day, will set you up for success later on in your weight loss journey. As a result of this, you will gain momentum that produces results.
The other advantage of thinking of small goals is that they can help you get back on track after you hit a roadblock. Often when people suffer a setback during an exercise program or while trying to clean up their nutrition, it feels overwhelming to overcome any fitness roadblocks. It is common to feel shame or hopelessness — which is enough for some to throw in the towel. Often, this is something that happens to people who have set lofty goals without considering the steps they need to take in between.
Having a “big goal” is a great thing to think about. You can envision yourself reaching your goal and it can help you stay motivated. However, you only start to build real momentum when you achieve several of those smaller goals. When you are making consistent progress you will be more likely to keep going after the next goal since you’ve already achieved several goals along the way.
An important part of setting small goals is taking inventory of your habits. Habits are defined as a regular tendency or practice, especially one that is difficult to change. If a habit is easy to change, then it isn’t truly a habit.
When taking inventory of your habits, take time to look at each habit one by one. Consider possible triggers throughout your day that might lead you to these negative habits. What was going on at that time? What were your thoughts? Were you stressed? Were you worrying about something? These are the kinds of situations that can lead to setbacks in your weight loss journey.
When you notice these thoughts, the key is to change your behavior once they come up. For example, if negative thoughts make you want to skip a workout, you need to make a change in your behavior to stay on track despite negative thought patterns.
Changing your behavior like this is not easy. So, what do you do if you are having a hard time trying to change that behavior? Think like a sculptor who is slowly chipping away at a piece of marble. The sculptor chips away small pieces of marble over a long period of time. Eventually the sculpture takes shape and is complete after months of work.
How does the story of a sculptor relate to changing your negative habits? You can “chip away” at changing your behavior by implementing a 5-minute action instead of your previous habitual reaction.
Now that we’ve gone over how to identify and change your behavior, it’s time to find out how you can ensure that these habits are consistent. Only by implementing these changes can you reach your incremental and end goals. If the initial 5-minute action isn’t working for you, then it is time to try something new. It will take time to find the right behavior and make permanent changes, so you need to keep trying.
Remember, one small action is a move in the right direction. As you progress, it is beneficial to jot down your thoughts in a journal. That way you can keep track of your thoughts and feelings as you get fit. Journaling helps you think more clearly and you can also use your entries to hold yourself accountable to your end goal.
The Health Habits Guideline can help you get started on this process by getting you to think about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions that cause behavior patterns. With personal training in Pittsburgh and a health coaching plan, you’ll get in touch with your body and learn how to stay on track with your health goals. Ready to get started? Get in touch with Holly Gatto Fitness or download the free Health Habits Guideline to start working towards your fitness goals today!
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