Setting health and fitness goals is not easy. Setting realistic goals is even harder. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and dream big, but this can lead to setting goals that are simply unattainable. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve let yourself down. Feeling like you failed can set you back and make your goals actually harder to achieve. If you begin to feel down on yourself, remember you are certainly not alone. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.
You are the only one who knows your schedule, your mindset, and your work ethic; set goals that reflect your knowledge of yourself.
It doesn’t have to be New Year’s, the first of the month, or a Monday to start a new routine and try to better your health. You can show up for yourself at any moment in time.
Here are a few tips for setting a realistic health and fitness goal, so you can form a wellness routine you will stick to!
Have you heard of “biting off more than you can chew?” This especially applies to starting a new wellness routine. You don’t want to take on more than you are capable of achieving right off the bat.
It’s best to base your first goal on the routine you already have. If you normally have an extra 10 minutes in the morning or the evening, start with a 10-minute walk during that time. Walking might not seem like a major feat, but any form of moving in place of where you used to be still is already a great start.
If you usually eat veggie-less meals, try incorporating a vegetable into at least one of your daily meals as a small starting point. These are obtainable goals and a great way to get your motivation in place and start believing in yourself.
Get specific with your goals
It’s important to track your progress, so you don’t forget how far you’ve come. This also helps you to stay accountable. Some people keep a log of everything they eat in a day. There are free apps that you can download to track your calorie, fat, and water intake. There are also countless fitness apps that you can download for free workouts, to track your steps and distance, and to log your workouts for the week. Keeping all of your information in one place that you can easily access helps you to stay focused and on track.
Upper Body Strength
Upper body strength is often overlooked when starting a weight loss regime. People tend to think of weight lifting as bulking up, when in fact, weight lifting is one of the best ways to lose unwanted fat and lose weight. Some starting exercises for upper body strength are push-ups, bicep curls, mountain climbers, and even yoga. Doing a series of reps with 5-10 lb. weights while watching your favorite TV show is a small step you can take towards progress.
Cardio is most people's go-to, as it's easy to open the front door and enjoy a walk or run. It's also known to burn calories and keep your heart healthy. If you start by doing a mile (walk or run) every week at least 3-4 times per week, you will be on your way to feeling better in no time. Incorporating cardio with a few weight training days is an effective way to form your workout routine.
It's always best to consult your doctor when starting a new diet because there are many fad diets on the market that may actually end up harming you more than helping. Keeping a clean and healthy diet will not only help you lose body fat, but it will increase your energy levels and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Know what you want and go after it. Get specific with what it is you want to achieve and hold yourself accountable for every step you take forward. Mark your goals measurable, achievable, and time.
Ask for support from loved ones
It’s not impossible to stick to a diet or workout plan when the rest of your house is not, but it certainly helps to have some support! Ask your friends and family to hold you accountable, and let them know what you’re trying to accomplish. Make your fitness goals known!
If you have a fitness-forward friend, ask them for advice and help. There’s no shame in wanting to better yourself and start living healthier. They will appreciate you reaching out and want to share what they have learned. Maybe you will learn new exercises that you love to do!
Use a personal trainer or accountability coach
There are many benefits to having a professional find the right diet and exercise for your specific needs. Just how your physician or dietician can help you learn about what you should and shouldn't eat, a personal trainer can help you form an effective workout routine. The downside is, it can get pricey.
If you seriously want to lose body fat and get in better shape, a good goal to set is to work with a professional a couple of times a week. That may mean setting money aside or rebalancing priorities to do so, but it will certainly pay off when you see yourself crushing your fitness goals. You will learn proper form and take away knowledge from your sessions that you can take with you for life.
Celebrate small wins
Don’t forget to treat yourself when you hit a goal! No matter how small the goal, it was your hard work that got you there. Goals come in many shapes and sizes, and, from short-term to long-term, they should all be celebrated. Recognizing when you achieve a goal, is important to keep you feeling excited and motivated. That doesn't mean you should derail your hard work at the end of every day or every week, but with moderation, it's ok to indulge.
Even on a strict diet, it’s ok to treat yourself. You can even treat yourself more healthily, like a glass of red wine or a paleo carrot cake. Or maybe your treat looks like a new pair of shoes or a concert ticket. Just remember to celebrate your hard work from time to time.
Prepare to be sore
When you begin to work new muscles, around 24-48 hours later, you will inevitably notice your body to start to ache with soreness. Until your body gets used to the movements, you’re going to continue to feel sore. The best way to beat soreness is to keep working the muscle, keep moving and keep building strength.
If you know you are going to be training muscles you aren't use to using, be prepared to treat your sore muscles so you can push through and achieve your health goal more comfortably.
Some ideas for treating sore muscles include stretching daily, icing for inflammation, and massaging muscles. Using a CBD topical cream can also help soothe and relax throbbing muscles. Primal Bloom’s Natural CBD Soothing Cream is made with menthol for a cooling, tingling sensation. Another key ingredient in the Natural CBD Soothing Cream is emu oil, which is often used to treat muscle aches and improve overall mobility.
Don’t give up everything you love
Find a way to exercise that incorporates something you love. There are plenty of ways to stay active, so find something that you enjoy doing! That will make your daily routine more enjoyable. For example, sign up for an adult sports league or find a scenic route to walk.
Also, even while sticking to a strict diet, it’s important to be realistic. You’re trying to build a new lifestyle, so you’ll likely want to keep in some of the old habit foods. Just make sure you’re knowledgeable about when to indulge and how much you should be indulging in daily.
Building healthy habits takes time. Seeing results takes time. Progress takes time! Be prepared to put a lot of hard-working days behind you.
Also, if you fall out of routine, be patient with yourself while you get back on track. You’re going to make mistakes, but if you’re patient and focused, you will get right back to where you want to be.
We hope these tips come in handy as you begin your quest for better health. Setting fitness goals is no easy task, but you can do it. Remember to start small, keep track of your progress and stay focused!
All the best,