Setting Tiny Fitness Goals: How, Why, and When (HINT: NOW!)

Don't set too many goals at once!At some point, you’ve probably made a detailed chart of all the workouts you will do, pounds you will lose, miles you will run, yoga classes you will attend rather than just talking about attending (seriously, why does it feel so good just to talk about going to yoga)…

…and three days in there was already a gap and you gave up…

…or two weeks went by and your beautiful colored pencil graph of POUNDS I WILL LOSE didn’t match the line for what the scale said because biology is more complicated than that…

…and the detailed chart went to languish elsewhere.

More importantly, your chart probably didn’t help you get to your goal.  That’s why I’m here with

Tiny Fitness Goals.

Think of the SMALLEST step you can take toward your goal and do it.

Do you need to take a walk today?  Make it happen.  Don’t think about tomorrow; tomorrow, you can make a new goal.

Do you need to eat vegetables and protein for dinner tonight?  Make it happen, even if you don’t cook it yourself.  Don’t worry about tomorrow’s dinner yet; tomorrow, you can worry about that.

Tiny Goals = Steps to Success

Your success will be the sum of your daily efforts.  You don’t have to believe me yet, I just want you to try it.  Make something happen today that will take you one step closer to your goal.

These steps are too small.

I know, they really seem like it.  But a marathon is run one step at a time, right?  If you don’t keep taking steps, you don’t get to the finish line.  All 26 of those miles are made up of individual steps.  So, we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other if we’re going to finish this race.

What step do I take?

That depends on your goal.  If you’re trying to work out more, make time for movement in your day.  If you’re not ready to work out, remove one roadblock from your path – do you need the right shoes? The right sports bra?  If you’re trying to eat healthy, get the ingredients for what you need to cook (or pick up some healthy takeout – no judgement).

If you’re still not sure what step to take, ask me!

The journey is long.

The journey is actually a lifetime long.

Yeah.

So.

You don’t need to try to skip ahead to the finish line – it comes for all of us eventually.  Enjoy each tiny step, celebrate each tiny step, and let it lead you to the next tiny step.

Why can’t I make that detailed plan you talked about?

Detailed plans don’t usually work out because life itself is unpredictable. What happens if you block yourself into going for a long run on Thursday at 6pm and you have to work late that night? Do you make yourself run in the dark or take it off your schedule completely?  If you give yourself flexibility in your schedule, you won’t have to stress OR miss your workout – you will be ready to take the tiny step that is right for you on that day.

Also: we think we know, but we do not actually know what tiny steps we will need to take next week or next month or next year.  It is wonderful to have a vision of where you want to end up – necessary, in fact, so you know what direction to head – but your progress will surprise you along the journey.  If you lock yourself into a detailed plan, you will either have wasted your time making plans that you will never need or force yourself to take steps that don’t need to be taken. So leave space and plan to be surprised; plan for the unexpected.  Plan to have things take more and less time than you wish they would, plan to go completely off your plan sometimes, plan to let your goals evolve as your journey progresses.

Progress is achieved in tiny steps. Don’t believe me?  Consider this: fat is mostly exhaled as carbon dioxide.  This means that every “pound” you’re trying to lose will mostly be exhaled from your body one molecule at a time.  Can we get much tinier than a molecule? And, yet, pounds on the scale are made of those individual molecules.

Tiny goals are realistic…

…and I want you to reach your goals, because I know you can!  So take one tiny step today, and come back and read this again tomorrow if you need to.

PS – If you’ve failed in the past…

If you’ve failed to reach your goals in the past, don’t worry about it now! Get yourself a time machine to travel backward and change time that has already gone by, or let it go for now and just take your tiny step forward today.

 

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