Have you ever wondered how you can actually have long-term success at changing your diet and fitness routine? The answer is your goals.
It’s great to do a one-week fitness camp that’s really hard and kicks your butt, but as great as it is in the moment, it will not create lasting success. Success in anything lies in persistence. I started my plant-based healing and cleansing journey 20 years ago, and I had my ups and downs over the years. Even with the few small setbacks of eating food that didn’t serve me or getting lazy about exercise, I persisted in keeping it alive in my life by surrounding myself with like minded people and continuing to read and research things that support health and longevity.
I’ve noticed that the people who stay healthy and succeed long-term have made health and fitness the thing they do every day. Sure there are days for splurging and “going off the wagon,” but the biggest key is to stick to your plan 95% of the time. Humans need to fully immerse themselves into a new habit for at least 30 days to make a lasting change. In fact, that is just the beginning. After that, having ongoing SMART goals is the way to keep and stay motivated, fit and healthy.
Where do you start with getting healthy and feeling great? Here is a list of things you can start with. If you’ve already succeeded at all of these, congratulations! See list 2 below that.
In his 2003 book, “Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond,” Paul J. Meyer explains how to make something achievable. Below is a synopsis:
Pick one or two things you want to change and be clear about it . Examples: What exact weight do you want to acheive? Do you have a fitness goal? How about your skin? Is it as clear or ageless as you want it to be? Do you have a personal growth goal such as meditating 20 minutes a day or being more grateful?
Example -- Visualize your ideal body and how you want it to look and feel. How do you want to feel every day? Lots of energy, good sleep, clothes fit perfectly? What about your fitness levels? Perhaps being able to do a hard 3-mile hike/climb in 40 minutes? How much water do you drink everyday? Do you need to increase it? Is there something you want to eliminate from your diet such as sugar, wheat or gluten? Maybe if you have been eating well for a while it can be a new goal such as not complaining or gossiping for a whole week or month.
It’s important to have measurable goals, so that you can stay motivated. Writing down and tracking your progress helps you to stay focused and on on track, meet your deadlines, and get excited about achieving your goal.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
Example -- I will be at my ideal weight (fill in the blank) and fitness level (_____ miles, _____push ups, ____ minutes of planks) by this date _________.
Your health goals need to be realistic and do-able. Be willing to stretch yourself, but still remain within the attainable realm.
Example -- You might need to ask yourself if going off of gluten, sugar, alcohol and losing 20 pounds in 3 months is realistic. For example, did you give yourself enough time to complete the required training effectively? Are there too many things all at once? Are there any obstacles that might be seen or unseen that could discourage you such as a spouse, other family members or friends? If so you will want to get everyone on board before you start or find a friend who is supportive.
This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it is in alignment with your other goals. You may need support and assistance in achieving your goals, and it’s also important to retain control over them. So, make sure that if you are asking for help and support from others, that you are still ultimately responsible for achieving your own goals (dont’ give your power away or blame someone else for not getting things done). Don’t let anyone else tell you it’s not possible either.
Example -- Does this goal fit into my lifes right now? Is this something doable now? If you are going on vacation, it might not be the best time to start a cleanse, but it’s a great time to add more water and get more exercise.
Set a specific date to be at your goal. Once you have achieved that goal at the set date, celebrate, then create a weekly or monthly check in to make sure you continue to stay fit and healthy.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
Example -- Set your weight and fitness goal for 1-month from now with something that is achievable and realistic. Once you have reached that goal, celebrate, then create a new date with the continued goal of staying fit and healthy.
Now get out your journal or calendar and start writing down your new, acheivable goals!
P.S. The holidays are coming, so instead of waiting until they are over, make the goal of losing instead of gaining weight this season. That way in January you will be ahead of the game and feeling great about yourself!
Article by Elaina Love, Faculty Member here at the BodyMind Institute
Elaina Love's Raw Chef Certification
Elaina's Live Classes: http://purejoyplanet.com/
~ Professional Chef, Instructor and Detox Counselor at PureJoyAcademy.com, Lifestyle Counselor, Co-owner of Pure Joy Academy and Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com Elaina Love began teaching raw food courses in 1998. She is a pioneer of low-glycemic and gourmet raw foods. She has created some of the recipes and everyday products which are used by professional raw chefs around the planet. Elaina has authored 3 popular recipe books, and is known for her “recipes that work!” In 2010, after 12 years of teaching, Elaina co-founded Pure Joy Culinary Academy. Since the academy opened, she has thoughtfully certified hundreds of students around the world. Each of these proud graduates now knows exactly how to be a raw food chef, and can instruct others around then–with an emphasis on Holistic Nutrition! Elaina has created the online "Raw Chef Certification" available exclusively here at the BodyMind Institute. Visit Elaina Loves' Pure Joy Academy here >
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