Part 2/2: How to Sustain Your Fitness Goals
Continue what you’ve started
When you achieve your fitness goal — whether it be fat loss, muscle gain, physique tone, or combination of those — you’re one step forward to real definition of success; because achievement is one thing, and sustainability is another. As a sustainer myself, I’ve seen the predicament of fitness achievers, especially first-time ones, in maintaining their lifestyle, diet, and workout plans — no matter how life-changing the results these plans have brought. In fact, it’s natural instinct for us to lose interest on our goal, or move toward another once we have garnered it. While for some, it’s the contrary: being addicted to the point that you just can’t afford to miss a day without doing your fitness routine—talk about sheer dedication.
So why does this happen? It has something to do with the underlying mindset each distinct achiever possess and the thought process that comes along with it. Simply put, there are many ways to approach our goals. Having examined these myself, making sure your fit body remains for the long-term means enacting the cornerstones from a series of perspectives. Let me arbitrate each:
1. Process-oriented vs. Goal-oriented
Being process-oriented is about constant activity, gearing away from idle moments and not putting so much focus on the tactical improvements, regardless how insubstantial. It’s concerned with movement, which eventually leads to gain of momentum. If you also just add slightly more effort each succeeding opportunity, you can achieve a state of compounded development, which is better than sustainability alone. Think about the association with avalanche. Hence, it’s more of an open-ended obligation than having a specific stop—no matter how “good enough” your accomplishment may seem. When you focus on the process and not the goal, you’d be freeing yourself from the negativities that may bombard you when you don’t make substantial improvements or the “good enough” mindset you’re bound to make when you’ve satisfied your expectations.
2. Long-term vs. Short-term
Many of us have been accustomed to be short-term goal-setters. This is usually reflected through creating a long list of items to accomplish in our “bucket list” that are acceptable enough, and also marks the death thereof after being “ticked off.” There are no follow-ups, monitoring, and, of course, sustenance. This is also a problem of consummation paralysis. Though this practice isn’t necessarily bad, it should be done with the acknowledgement of another variable’s presence: growth and depreciation value of the goal. This answers the dilemma of deciphering whether a goal is good only for one-time (short-term) or for an extended period of time (long-term). To say such is a good short-term goal means having a numbness for growth and a steady or no depreciation value (goals tied up to leisure and adventure, material collection and possession, etc.), which doesn’t require for a need to sustain it. Whereas to say such is a good long-term goal means having an influence for growth and a depreciation value (goals tied up to health and fitness, knowledge and education, etc.), which requires for a need to sustain it.
3. Value vs. Motivation
The real root of all accomplishments is personal values, not the presence of motivational factors. To simplify, in order to be motivated, you need to have underlying values that support it. Such values, in the realm of fitness, can be healthy living, obsession with captivating physique, among others. While having motivation, such as incentives and cues, are good in creating urgency with accomplishing a task, but not necessarily so in sustainability. Moreover, you aren’t doing tasks that’ll make you closer to your goal because you’re simply motivated to do so — unless you were pushed so.
In today’s culture, more and more people seem to value the flip side of what I compared: goal-oriented over process-oriented, short-term over long-term, and motivation over value. We must also address the mindset of giving up at such an early stage, especially when we’re merely halfway from accomplishing our fitness goal. An eminent example is how we deal with our new year’s resolutions goals — being only good enough on January but fail to retain come February.
About The Author: Josh L. Doman discovered his devotion to writing after serving as a journalist then managing editor for his college’s official school paper and publications. His father, an investor, engineer, and scholar who authored a book in theology and spirituality; inspired his writings to delve on the moralistic, ethical, and inspirational implications of living in the present times. Publications are reflection of anecdotal encounters in entrepreneurship, fitness, and the military; and accrued readings about behavioral economics, self-help, and spirituality.