No matter what your health goals are, there are realistic ways to achieve them. Whether you want to lose a couple of pounds, improve your endurance, or run a marathon, a tried and tested training plan will get you to where you want to be.
Of course, there’s so much conflicting advice when it comes to meeting your health and fitness goals and this can make it tricky to know where to start. If you’re eager to enhance your well-being, take a look at these eight steps you can take to meet your health goals:
1. Set Realistic Goals
You can reach almost any goal you set yourself, providing you’re realistic about it. If you want to train for a marathon but you haven’t been active in years, you’ll need to give yourself enough time to train safely, for example.
Similarly, if you want to lose weight, you’ll need to determine what a realistic timeframe is. Many people are eager to shed pounds quickly but this can lead to subsequent rapid gains. If your main priority is weight loss, it’s important to determine which method is right for you. Once you know how much you want to lose and how you’re going to do it, you’ll be able to calculate how long it should take you.
2. Break Goals Into Smaller Targets
Getting fitter, losing weight, and improving your health can take time, which means it may take a while to reach your ultimate goals. To ensure you don’t lose motivation, it can be helpful to break your goals into smaller targets.
If you want to be able to run 5km, for example, start by aiming to run 1km without stopping. When you’re able to do this, aim to reach 2km and so on. Similarly, if you want to lose 50 pounds, make losing 10 pounds your first target.
3. Think About What You’ll Gain
If you’re aiming to lose weight, it’s easy to focus on the more difficult aspects of your journey. You might crave foods you’re trying to avoid, for example, or get caught up thinking about the snacks you know aren’t good for you. By reframing the situation, however, you can change your outlook and focus on the positive benefits you’ll gain.
Instead of thinking about what you can’t do right now, for example, focus on the things you’re going to do once you’ve hit your goal. Maybe you’re planning to treat yourself to a new wardrobe or go on vacation with your family? Perhaps you’re slimming down for a big event, like a wedding or anniversary? Alternatively, you might want to play with your kids in the garden without getting out of breath? Whatever your goals are, remember to focus on the ‘non-scale benefits’ that you’ll reap.
4. Don’t Be Excessive
When you first commit to a new health regime, it’s tempting to go over the top and be too strict with yourself. Not only can this be unhealthy, but it can also actually make it harder to hit your goals. By accepting that it may take time to get to where you want to be, you can create workable strategies that help you to get there.
If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, for example, cutting it completely is one way to achieve your goals. However, gradually reducing your sugar intake is a viable alternative and one which may prove to be easier to stick to in the long-term.
5. Prioritize Consistency
No matter what your goals are or what methods you’re using, consistency is always the key to success. You may not lose weight or improve your endurance overnight but, with consistency, you will hit your targets. It’s easy to be motivated on the first day of a lifestyle change, but what about the days and weeks after? Find new ways to motivate yourself so that you aren’t tempted back into old habits.
6. Identify Unhealthy Triggers
Unhealthy habits are usually a pattern of behavior, which means you can avoid them by changing what you do and how you act. If you struggle to eat healthy when you go out to a restaurant, for example, you may want to practice your cooking skills so that you can whip up delicious, healthy meals at home.
Alternatively, you may find it helpful to avoid your usual haunts and try new restaurants or venues. When you aren’t tempted by the same dishes or you’re not in the same environment, it can make it far easier to break unhealthy habits.
7. Get Professional Advice
It’s always a good idea to consult your physician before you embrace a new wellness program. In addition to this, you can seek advice from doctors, nutritionists, and personal trainers at any time. If you want to increase your strength but bodyweight exercises aren’t cutting it, for example, a personal trainer can help you to create a strength training routine that will help you to hit your targets.
Similarly, a dietician or nutritionist can help you to create a healthy eating strategy that you can use to achieve your weight loss goals. When you can incorporate the foods you enjoy and still lose weight, the journey becomes a whole lot easier.
8. Be Kind to Yourself
Successfully improving your health and boosting your fitness isn’t always easy, so make the effort to be kind to yourself. Recognizing your achievements is essential, so plan rewards for yourself. Whether it’s a long soak in the bath, a special night out, or a new purchase, finding a way to celebrate your success will help to spur you on.
Setting The Right Goals
It’s possible to achieve almost any goal, but you want to feel real benefits when you do. This means it’s important to set the right goals from the start. Spend time thinking about what you want to achieve and why. By doing so, you can identify the targets that are most important to you and create a winning strategy to help you smash them.