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Setting Realistic Workout Goals

We live in a fast-paced world amidst technology that makes things happen in an instant. Hence, we expect every aspect of our lives to follow suit, we even feel think that losing weight or obtaining the perfect body should be instantaneous.

It isn't easy to admit that such a feat takes time; magic pill ads and fit celebrities obscure the realization that to achieve a great body (for good) takes time!

The most common New Year's resolution is to "lose weight." This is also the time of year when the rate of new gym memberships skyrocket. However, most don't follow through with their resolution and end up wasting money on an unused membership. Coming face to face with unrealistic body images again makes things even more depressing at this point.

So what makes us throw in the towel so easily? If your goal is to lose weight, it is a fact that a "healthy" loss is equivalent to a mere 1 to 2 pounds per week. This may not seem like much and will take longer than a fast plan, but let's face it: the weight will be kept off.

It is important to re-evaluate your goals, and figure out why you want to get in shape. Regularly working out puts you in great physical shape and you will gain more energy, a better metabolism, and a happier psyche. You have to be honest with yourself here; are you working out just to look good for others, or do you truly want to reap the healthy benefits of working out?
Those who work out for their health stick to their plans in the long-run. Working out to them isn't merely a fad to make yourself look good in social situations, but has a higher purpose. When you feel better, your outlook on life changes and you will be more satisfied.

How do you get there? There is no magic pill or short-cut to achieve your workout goals. You must start off small or otherwise risk failure. If you do too much to start, you won't feel good and will risk injury. This is enough to turn anyone off from working out. Instead, take small steps towards your goal and be proud of your accomplishments! Walking for ten minutes for someone unaccustomed to exercise is an achievement. Just keep walking further and longer each time.

Another reason people fail is because they get bored with their work-outs. Make sure you mix your routine up with different types of exercise and try something new once in a while. For example, if you normally run, try a Pilates routine. Doing something out of the ordinary is also beneficial for your muscles, challenging them in different ways.

Write down your workouts into your planner, just as you would any other appointment. This way, you will hold yourself more accountable. Also make sure to give yourself a day of rest, so you won't get burned out. Occasionally evaluate how you are doing and where you would like to tweak your routine. Do you need to increase the length or intensity? Do you want to try something new? By achieving smaller goals first, you are more likely to achieve even greater ones.
It can take several months, at the very least to achieve your workout goals. If this seems too long, then you need to re-evaluate the reasons why you want to get in shape in the first place. By practicing healthy habits over a long period of time, you are more likely to stick with them. Keep yourself motivated with a workout buddy, and treat yourself when you achieve your goals with new equipment, iPod tracks for your runs, or a spa treatment.

With that being said, if you slip up one day, don't punish yourself; pick up and get going again! Once you stick to your routine without faltering, you will feel and look better, while maintaining these healthy habits for life.