- Get skinnier
- Get healthier
- Get stronger
- Get in shape
- Get more chicks
Do any of you have those goals? If so, I have a question for you: have you quantified them? If you don’t have quantifiable, measurable goals, how will you know when you got there? What does “healthy” feel/look/taste like to you? What is your definition of “skinnier”? How do you know when you’re in shape?
Think about the last time you started out on a trip. You had your map. Maybe you made out directions. Maybe you knew someone who knew the way and they told you some landmarks to watch out for. You didn’t just know where you were going, you knew what to look for along the way to prove that you were heading in the right direction.
Now let’s say you’re driving to the next state over to visit a friend who recently moved. You’ve never been to his house, but you know he lives in Cityville. You can’t just set out towards Cityville and expect to find him. How will you know when you’ve reached his house? Furthermore, unless you’ve been there before, how do you know how to even get to Cityville?
You plan it out!
The road of fitness I have before me is long, and I started it by thinking I’ll just go and see what happens. But I’ve been thinking deeper, and I’ve realized that’s what I had always done in the past. I don’t want to repeat the past because all it’s done for me so far is keep me fat. It’s OK to head on down the road at first, especially if you know it’s long. That might be all you know how to do. But eventually, you need to define measurable goals to make sure you know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how you know when you’ve arrived.
So set some goals. Some of mine are:
- Get to 200 – For whatever reason I’ve always been aiming for 220, and I said I would reevaluate once I got there. I want to take it a few steps further and get down to 200.
- Run a sub-8 mile – My fastest mile ever was 9:08 in 10th grade. If I see a 7 in front of my time, I’m excited.
- Run an entire 10K – I’ve done our local 10K four times. My fastest time is 1:24. If not this next one, the one after I want to run completely.
Break it down even further
Those are my ultimate goals for now. I’m sure they’ll get even more defined and perhaps more challenging. But they’re only the end picture. How will I know if I’m headed in the right direction?
- Get to 200 – I’m not just going to lose 100 pounds. That number is big and daunting. My plan is to lose 10 lbs a month. I even take it more granular than that: between 2-2.5 lbs a week.
- Run a sub-8 mile – As I get smaller, I’ll get faster. But I also need to jog. My wife and I are going out every day for 30 minutes. Right now, we’re walking. Eventually we’ll start jogging. And eventually, I’ll have my sub-8.
- Run an entire 10K – I probably won’t be able to run it this year (it’s only a month away). I have found, though, a running plan that takes you from sedentary to jogging a full 10K. It’s allegedly 13 weeks, but I think it’ll take me longer. But I know that if I follow it, even if I have to repeat some weeks a couple times, I will eventually be running a full 10K.
The goals don’t have to be huge. The point at the beginning isn’t to make outrageous goals and then be disappointed by not reaching them. If you’re like me, you’ve done that your whole life. It’s time to set small goals and achieve them. Eventually you’ll become more confident and the whole thing will be easier.
Take a second to plan out *measurable* goals and let us know what they are in the comments. It could be a helpful exercise for others who aren’t sure what goals to set!