The majority of people I come across have goals. Goals, defined as the object of our ambition or effort, tend to drive us to want to make that initial change to exercise regime, diet or general lifestyle. Sounds like a pretty good thing, right?
That being said, as a wellbeing coach who wants to improve your health, fitness and overall wellbeing, once I find out what your goals are...I want you to forget about them.
Yup, forget about them. And I'll tell you for why.
1) Whilst long-term goals might motivate you to make the first step, they're not so great at motivating you day-to-day
Long-term goals, as their name suggests, take a long time to achieve. Most of us give up on our goals because we so desperately want to achieve the long-term goal, that for every day that passes that we aren't there yet, we become increasingly frustrated, bored, and despondent.
2) Health and fitness goals don't always make us healthier
Let's be real. Human beings are inherently lazy and impatient. We want to get the most gain from the least effort, right? The trouble with this is that we are willing to take short cuts, and when it comes to weight loss or fitness related goals, this is very often our downfall. Why do fad diets have such a strong appeal? Because they promise enormous amounts of weight loss in the minimum amount of time. Will this make you healthier? Absolutely bloody not. The same goes for fitness or physique based goals. Being totally gung ho about your long-term goal and wanting to get there as quickly as possible can lead to things such as yo-yo dieting and the health implications that come with it, overtraining and/or injury.
3) Long-term goals can make you forget about all the great things you have achieved TODAY
Let's use our mate Bridgette here as an example. Let's say she wants to lose a stone. She's been at it for a solid
week, exercising for an hour every day, eating 3 balanced meals, a couple healthy snacks, a boat load of vegetables. Not even a SNIFF of processed food. Go on Bridge. She steps on the scales to soak in the glory of how much closer she is to that 1 stone loss. Alack, alas, she hasn't lost a single pound. So what's the point? If we were only to look at the long-term goal, she may as well continue living exclusively off hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes. It totally undermines all the amazing work she's done over the last week, and all the other health benefits she will gain from improving her lifestyle in the way that she has.
What we want to do, instead, is focus on daily habits and consistency. That's where success truly lies.