1 Key to Getting in Shape
Category : Weight Loss
Pick a goal! Yup, that seemingly obvious thing is actually the magic key to success. So simple, yet so often overlooked. We’ll dive deeper into what magical properties goal-setting can unlock, but first, let’s cover some basics.
This shouldn’t be just any goal. Pick a goal that is measurable and definable. It has to be something you can write down on a piece of paper and make reference to as you progress towards it.
Too many people want to simply “get in shape”. This goal is so nebulous as to be almost meaningless. Without applying very specific criteria to what “in shape” actually means, how can anyone actually track or observe their progress. How do you know when you are 10% more “in shape” than you used to be?
Everyone is a little different and there are some people who can adhere to a diet or workout program without concrete result-tracking, but many a person has fallen off of the healthy lifestyle bandwagon precisely because they couldn’t tangibly see the results that they were working so hard to achieve.
Now, for the real magic.
Goal-setting allows us to harness addiction and greed. These instincts are powerful behavioral modifiers that we are all endowed with and can tap into given the right framing. While these words are typically used in a negative context, these instincts exist in us because they have potentially valuable and productive uses. In addition to their normally negative uses, these words can equally be applied to the phenomenon of developing a strong habit of continuous self improvement.
Crossfit, for all of its flaws, does a great job of tapping these instincts for productive and beneficial means. As a training system, they teach a variety of skills and provide constant opportunities to test these skills and demonstrate improvement. That not only feels good, but it can also be very addicting. Just as one can become addicted to Angry Birds or Candy Crush because these games provide frequent opportunities to achieve rewards and demonstrate progress, so too can fitness if you simply make a game out of it.
So, back to goals. The exact nature of the goal is not of huge consequence. If you’re starting from a place of generally wanting to get into shape you’ll be doing yourself a big favor by picking a skill, a movement, a lift, or a feat of some kind to focus your attention on. This gives you something objective to measure your progress against and to feel rewarded when you do demonstrate progress. Addiction requires specificity, so your goal needs to be specific.
As cliche as it might be to say: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. If you currently can only do five push ups in a row and you have set a goal of getting that number up to 50, it should be obvious that you will be in significantly better overall physical condition by the time you get even half way to this goal. In this way, the goal is not useless up until it is achieved. It is all of the actions taken along the way to reaching that goal from which the value of the goal is derived.
For those of you who are too lazy to think of your own goal (shame on you), allow me to start you off with this guide to doing 50 push ups:
There. No more excuses. Make a game of fitness. Get addicted to it.