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TIP No.3 “MAKE A GAME OF IT, WITH ADDED INCREMENTS

(, “Staying At IT” ..continued. Be sure you read previous posts on this subject)

In an effort to set yourself up for success, not failure, establish long term (two months or more), medium term (one month), and short term (weekly) goals.

Let’s say you went to the gym and fell in love with the elliptical trainer. This machine is low impact, it’s aerobic, and it will even add some muscle strength to your body – overall, not a bad machine. You’ve worked on it two, three or four times and you want to continue but even now you realize it’s starting to get boring, especially in the long term. You clearly see the benefits but can’t envision doing this exercise day in and day out for weeks, yet alone months. So here’s what you need to do – make a game of it. If you’re currently on the machine for 25 minutes a day set your short term goal to 30 minutes, or 29 minutes, or 28 minutes (- it really doesn’t matter) but set a  “realistic” a short term goal with progressive added increments in time and intensity.For example, tell yourself, “At the end of the week I want to train on the elliptical for 28 minutes a day. That is my short term goal”. Sure you could probably do a lot more but why burn yourself out? You have time. It probably took you many months, or even years to be as out of shape as you are – why do you need to get back in shape in a very short time – remember fitness is a life style.

Over-exercising is a sure fire way to give yourself a reason to quit your program because soon you will be saying, “I’m tired all the time, I just can’t do it anymore.” But if our stated short tem  goal is reasonable, it won’t wear you out. In fact, you just need to add increments of 60 or 120 seconds or so a day to each workout.

Now that you’ve decided on your short term goal,  write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in plain sight – this will serve to motivate you each day, because you have “made a game of it” and not a chore.

The next step is making a medium term goal and achieving it. When you have accomplished your short term goal and your medium term goal, continue adding increments and continue making a game of it, and set your long term goal – and keep staying  at it.

Pretty soon your long  term goal will have become your short term goal and will continue adding increments to develop new medium term goals and new long tem goals. Eventually this will become a life-long lifestyle!

Step It Up! Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities


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