Setting a health goal for yourself is probably one of the most important things you can do when starting a weight loss program. Goals are intended to keep you focused and motivated on achieving what you set out to do. When a goal is achieved there is a sense of accomplishment and success. But what happens after you reach your goal? What do you do when you lost the weight you wanted for your niece’s wedding or the summer vacation is over. Do you go back to your old habits? Do you slowing put on the weight that you worked so hard to take off? There was a mother and daughter at a gym I worked at that did just this.
From the very beginning, I would see them working out quite often. When I went over to introduce myself they explained to me that their goal was to lose some fat and to bring their dress size down a couple sizes. Over the next few months I would regularly see them attending group exercise classes and weight training together. It was obvious to me that they were beginning to reach their goals and shed some major pounds.
After not seeing either of them for months, I noticed them walking on the treadmill together. It was just after the New Year, the busiest time of year, when gyms are packed with people fulfilling their annual resolutions. Noticing they each put on the weight they pushed so hard to lose, I made my way over to see how they were doing and ask where they had been. After some small talk, I asked why I had not seen them in such a long time and the mother and daughter gave me the same answer. “I lost the weight and reached my goals so I quit coming to work out.” As a trainer, this is not something you take pleasure hearing. Having plans for what you want to do when your goals are reached, keeps you motivated to living a healthy life.
What does someone do when they reach their goal(s)? I can think of two things.
- Push towards another goal. You can continue to push and work towards long-term goals. It keeps it fun, interesting, and challenging.
- If you prefer not to set another goal the next option I would give you is find a way to maintain the progress you made. The worst thing to do would is to return back to the place you started. In the health and fitness world if you stop working out and eat poorly, it’s just a matter of time before you start to fall back.
I applaud those who accomplish their health and fitness goals, but I do compel you to reach even higher. Step up to a new challenge for yourself and don’t look back.