Saturday, March 24, 2012

Setting Realistic Expectations

Before you jump into a lifestyle makeover for you (and possibly your family) its very important to make sure you have realistic expectations for yourself. You can't expect 6-pack abs over night. Lasting change takes time and persistence.
I challenge you to journal (or at least reflect on) your thoughts on the following questions:

  • What are you NOT willing to give up from your diet?
    • Let's just be honest: there might be some things you aren't ready to give up yet. You may not even know these things until you start thinking about it! Maybe its your morning cup of coffee with creamer or your weekly pizza and movie date with your boyfriend. You have to be real with yourself. Think about what those things mean to you and why you aren't ready to let go. Are you willing to find alternatives?
  • How much time are you willing to make for exercise? (Duration and number of workouts per week)
    • This is a biggie! I understand that your busy. I understand that you get tired. If this matters to you, you will make time. Set realistic time frames for your workouts. You do not need to be at the gym for hours on end to get great results. Quick workouts at home are possible and do work
  • What exercise do you hate or find boring?
    • Don't run just because you think you have to run to lose weight. You don't. Select workouts you know you will enjoy so that it's more likely you'll actually do them. Planning and doing are two different things. We want to give ourselves the best odds at completing both.
  • Do you prefer to workout at the gym or at home? In groups or alone?
    • Some people feed off of a gym atmosphere or group classes while others prefer to put on some headphones and workout in the zone. Either way, you must figure out what will make you enjoy working out. Maybe a mix of both?
  • What are your goals?
    • Setting goals for yourself are important but so is understanding how to achieve those goals. Different goals (fat loss, muscle gain, endurance training, flexibility improvement, strength training, etc.) all require different routes.
    • Once you've written your goals, read over 'what you're NOT willing to give up'. Is it realistic to get from point A to point B? Write HOW you plan on getting to your goals.

Lastly, you have to research and learn. That takes time and effort. If you don't understand something, ask someone who does know. Read books and articles for yourself. No one said this process was easy but I'll tell you that it can be done and no one has ever said it wasn't worth it.

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