Setting Realistic Goals To Achieve Health and Fitness Success


I heard an interesting comment on the news the other day. The report was on the number of overweight children in this country. The reporter pointed out that part of the problem is that there are currently so many children who are overweight, that it is hard to tell what is normal. We can carry that one step further and see that the same is true for us adults, as well. Our ego, or body based intellect, is always in the process of comparing ourselves to others around us and it’s a very normal thing for us to do as human beings. As with many things in life, if everything looks “normal” then it’s hard to see that there are any “problems”. However, if we look a little deeper into ourselves, we begin to see things in a different light. And, if we look still deeper, we can see things even clearer.

This approach is a discipline for the “care and feeding” of our body through intellectual and spiritual awareness. It is neither a “religion” nor a “quick fix” to any physical or emotional condition. It is a way of looking at ourselves as individuals and following a lifestyle that leads to a healthier, more robust and happier way of life. As a personal trainer and fitness professional for over thirty years, I have seen that the single most important part of achieving a successful health and fitness lifestyle change is by setting realistic goals.

One of the most often asked questions I receive is “How do I know what my goals should be?” The answer is, “there is no one answer for that question”. Goals are personal choices, which we set to accomplish individual desires. Goals are widely varied and are set by us for many different reasons. But a goal to achieve a desired effect is useless and nothing more than a “wish”, unless we actively put into motion those things that need to be done to proceed toward that goal. This is what is referred to as “intellectual awareness”. It is that part of our mind that determines whether or not we have the genetics to achieve our goal, the determination to find out what to do and the dedication to stick with our plan. Simply put, it is the “Three Ds” to success which are Desire, Determination and Dedication. All must be present to successfully reach our goals.

goal-achievement-non-conscious-mind-1Beyond intellectual awareness lies a deeper understanding of how we can use our natural energy flow to achieve success. It is a natural, universal energy flow that runs through everything, including ourselves and allows us to continually unfold. In other words, our bodies are predestined to live, grow, be active and stay healthy. What prevents us from achieving a specific desire or goal is our ego, or body based intellect, that places obstacles in the path of that natural flow of energy.

This past week, I overheard a conversation at the gym by two fellow gym members. They were discussing what they wanted to achieve with their workouts. One of the individuals pointed to a very muscular and well-defined young man and said, “That’s the kind of body I want.” The other person said, “I just want to look better than I do now, get rid of the extra body fat and look toned.” Both of these goals are valid. They are based on the wants and desires of each individual. However, many times I have heard the word “but” following statements like those above. For example, “I would really like to have a well-defined body, but I don’t have the time to devote to it, or I can’t afford to join a gym.” By defining why you cannot achieve a particular goal or desire, ensures that you will not achieve it. You have just set up a “roadblock” or obstacle to the flow of the energy it will take to accomplish that goal.

In the example above, each of the two gym members have expressed their respective goals. The next step would be for each of those individuals to evaluate whether or not their goals are realistic. The person who wants to gain muscle needs to evaluate his own genetic abilities, to see if he indeed can develop and maintain the physique that he saw at the gym. Likewise, the individual who wants to drop body fat must also examine his genetics to see if the lean body he desires is even possible. What your body can do is different from what someone else’s body can do.

If we focus on developing our own body to its optimum potential, then we stand a high chance for success. If we try to make our body look like someone else’s, then we leave ourselves open to failure, disappointment and unhappiness. Those people we admire or use as inspiration in health and fitness development, in all probability, have already applied this concept. The famous bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great example of someone who developed his God-given abilities to the fullest extent possible. That’s why his physique looked like it did. You have the power to do that, too. Focus on your own abilities and unique characteristics to achieve maximum results. That way you will be able to clear a path to allow that desire to flow into reality!

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About Author

Dennis Mason

Dennis Mason is a Palm Springs personal trainer specializing in Senior Fitness but works with all age groups. Dennis has over 25 years of experience in teaching fitness to others and owned a gym for 10 years. Dennis trains at a local gym and at his home where he conducts one-on-one boot camp and free weight workouts. See my profile page for more information!

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