The fitness industry loves a goal.
‘OMG you should totally set a long-term goal’.
‘SMART goals are amazing’.
‘Lose 10kg in 10 minutes’.
While they may sound important, most fat loss goals actually suck.
They’re buried under a blanket of sexy terminology, airy-fairy aspirations, and haphazard numbers that have been plucked out of the goal setting sky.
Not only are most goals considerably unattainable, but they’re actually hindering your chances of success.
It’s time to give your fat loss goals a shake up and create a plan that’s actually going to work.
I bet your current fat loss goal seems like a bazillion miles away.
10 kilos to lose, three dress sizes to drop, a particular body fat percentage to get to.
Whatever it is, I imagine it seems like you’re going to have to clamber up fifty colossal mountains with an overweight elephant strapped to your back to get there.
How am I – the person that can’t even summon up the motivation drive to the gym, let alone actually exercise – going to conquer the ongoing battle of trying to reach my goal?
Fat loss goals are overpowering. So overpowering that what ends up happening is this:
All those hours, days, and weeks spent dreaming about your ‘end goal’ result in a large chunk of your life spent doing nothing about it.
As each hour, day, and week passes that you deliberate over what you should be doing, you’re not actually doing anything. Which means that end goal ends up even further and further away.
The more you think about the actions you should be taking to improve yourself, the more you’re using up energy that could be used to change your eating habits, or start out at the gym, or take that one small step to accomplishing your goal.
Ultimately you end up stuck where you are, feeling like a failure, shovelling down all the doughnuts to make yourself feel better.
Let’s Say You Do Make A Start…
Sometimes you’ll experience a surge of intense motivation and decide you are going to do something about your life.
Steps one and two are fairly easy. You put a stop to all the chocolate and crisps you consume on a daily basis and you hit the gym four times a week. You feel great.
After a couple of weeks, however, things start to get a little fuzzy. That end goal seems to have scurried away into some deep dark corner and you feel like you can’t see even one step in front of you.
All that effort and energy you’ve put in seemingly hasn’t got you any closer to your goal. There’s no positive feedback from your troubles and you feel exasperated with the whole ‘fat loss thing’.
That’s when those damaging thoughts start to appear.
As soon as you need to adjust things, or introduce new steps into your plan, you feel like you’ve reached the end. But, because you haven’t made it to your dream physique, you feel like a failure.
Coupled with all your previous dieting disasters, your latest ‘cock-up’ only serves to add to the ever-growing thoughts of you failing to accomplish your goal – again.
Your unrealistically high expectations have only served to magnify those feelings of disappointment.
The vicious cycle then repeats itself.
Breaking Down Your Fat Loss Goals
That long-term goal you’ve been set – the one where you’ve been told to ‘imagine what you’d look like when you succeed’ – seems so far away.
Because there’s so many days, weeks, and years between where you currently are and where you want to be – so many things to do and opportunities to fail – everything seems so unrealistic.
There seems to be a predisposition in the human circuitry that underestimates what it takes to accomplish really big goals in life and overestimates the effort required to take on a series of small goals.
That huge fat loss goal you’ve set yourself hasn’t helped you – it’s screwed with your mind and expectations.
So we’re going to put the long-term goal you’ve been told to imagine to the back of the cupboard.
We’re not going to think about it for a very long time. Stop imagining the six-pack, the thigh gap, or what you’ve always imagined a lean version of you will look like.
We’re going to start at the very beginning.
100 Blocks A Day
This is a concept taken from Tim Urban.
Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes.
Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes you have each day as ‘100 10-minute blocks’. That’s what you wake up with every day.
Throughout the day, you spend 10 minutes of your life on each block, until you eventually run out of blocks and it’s time to go to sleep.
And this is where I want you to start with your fat loss goals.
In 10-minute blocks.
We’re not thinking about weeks, or months, or years down the line. We’re taking one small step each day to eventually bring us closer to that end goal.
So what are you going to fill your 10-minute blocks up with? What are you going to spend your time doing in the context of its worth to your overall goal?
Here’s what spending just 10 10-minute blocks on going to the gym and preparing meals looks like:
It doesn’t seem like too much when you break it down like this does it?
This is what spending 20 minutes tracking your food looks like. Again, it’s not a lot is it?
And finally, this is what spending just 10 minutes figuring out what you’re going to eat the following day looks like:
Assigning just one 10-minute block to perfecting small habits – that are eventually going to all add up to create your end goal – is your starting point.
Take a step back and think about how you’re going to use the 100 blocks you get each day.
How many of them do you require to achieve your overall goal? How many of them can you use up on activities you really want to do – going out with friends for example – and how many of them should you use up on activities related to your overall goal – getting an extra 1000 steps in for example?
I’m not saying you have to plan your life down to every exact 10-minute block, but figuring out what you’re going to focus the majority of your attention on, and what doesn’t require so much consideration, will go a long way in ensuring all those small actions add up.
If you prioritise just 10 10-minute blocks to getting to the gym three times a week, think about where that will get you in a years’ time.
Thinking about all the steps you need to take in order to climb those fifty mountains will only serve to make your goal seem unrealistic again.
You don’t need to go ‘all in’. You just need to begin with the tiny tasks, that over time, are going to accumulate into something bigger.
Outcome vs Process Goals
Did you notice how the 10-minute goals we set didn’t have a specific number assigned to them? ‘Lose 0.1 kilogram in 10 minutes’ for example. They were about specific tasks.
When most people set themselves goals it’s often about the outcome.
‘I want a six-pack in six weeks’. ‘I want to lose 10 kilograms’. ‘I want to weigh what I did when I lost my virginity’.
While outcome goals can be useful, these numerical or quantitative targets aren’t as motivating as they appear to be. Nor are they exclusively within your control.
Setting outcome goals often compounds the feelings of failure you experience when you fail to reach your target.
The people who successfully achieve their goals are more in sync with process goals.
Process goals focus on the behaviours that generally lead to your outcome goal. These are the little things you do have control over and are the little targets that all add up to create your bigger goal.
– Tracking your food intake every day
– Completing three strength training sessions per week
– Avoiding purchasing your trigger foods in your weekly shop
– Going for a 30-minute walk
– Having at least two different vegetables with each meal
– Drinking at least 2 litres of water every day
These goals are easier to achieve, smaller to break down, and within her control. Start focusing on the process, not necessarily the end goal, and you’ll start to find yourself living a leaner lifestyle.
This Article Was Too Long And I Didn’t Read It – Can You Summarise It Please
Your fat loss goals suck.
Mainly because they’re so big and seemingly impossible that you end up doing nothing but stare into the abyss wondering how the hell you’re actually going to get started.
Not only that but you as soon as you need to adjust things, or introduce new steps into your plan, you feel like you’ve reached the end, but because you haven’t completed your task, you feel like a failure.
The trick is to:
- Work in 10-minute blocks. Set yourself extra small goals that you can achieve from a day to day basis.
- Set yourself process goals. Work on the behaviours that are going to lead to your overall goal – not just the fantasy of your end goal.
How To Win At Fat Loss
Download my FREE eBook on How To Win At Fat Loss and you’ll learn…
- Why everyone usually fails when it comes to trying to shed body fat
- Why you should be lifting weights
- Why calories are so important
- Why weighing yourself is a no-no
- Why mastering nutritional habits are the key to success
All so you can…
- Finally stop failing and start winning at fat loss
- Finally shed inches, drop dress sizes, and actually see a change for once
- Finally transform your body and mind so you’re not constantly battling those dieting demons
- Finally figure out how to lose the fat, keep it off, and flaunt the figure you’ve always dreamt of displaying