Hey hey! How are you? Hope you’re having a great year so far. We’re slowly getting back into the routine over here and enjoying the last few days of the girls’ vacation.
It’s officially *that* time of year. The time to be flooded with an Instagram feed of fitness goals, meal prep, and PR dreams. I look forward to seeing positive changes to health, whatever that looks like, but as a personal trainer, I also hear a lot of unrealistic goals/expectations. Part of my job is to help clients focus on attainable goals that make them excited. When you set yourself up to do too much too quickly, it’s a quick recipe for burnout.
Some of the things I like to think about when I’m setting my own goals, or talking with clients about their own:
1. Do you want to do it forever?
If the answer is “no,” then RUUUUUUUUUUN.
Here’s the deal: our body gets used to the types of demands and requirements we place on it. It’s quick to adapt in order to shift its resources to solving other problems or obstacles that appear. (“Ok, since I run the same 3-mile path every day, I’m switching into cruise control to focus on boosting our immune system to fight off the cold your 2-year-old brought home.”) It gets used to the same energy burn, the same energy intake, and begins to *expect* that.
For example, if your body is used to consuming 1500 calories a day (which is pretty low btw) and you suddenly jump to 2500 on a regular basis, your body will be like wtf and probably gain weight. If you routinely run 5 miles a day, and suddenly stop, you will likely gain weight (on top of losing the cardio endurance you’ve built). If you strength train heavily and stop, you will probably experience muscle loss.
Don’t start to do something that you don’t want to do for the long haul.
This is important because when we set goals, we can often take ourselves away from “real life” as we work towards them. Like if we give up sugar, or alcohol, and accomplish our goals, then we expect to have sugar and alcohol again eventually. Why not find a way to work those into our plan as we achieve our goals?