Having realistic goals is the key. Realistic for you, not anyone else, and that takes a lot of knowing yourself, and stark, naked honesty. I will tell you a personal story about this: I have a friend who has the most gorgeous body you can imagine. She looks like a Victoria´s Secret angel. When I was younger, I yearned to have her body every time I saw her in a bikini, and felt cheated for having my body instead of hers, I have to confess I was envious of her.
One day I summed up the courage and sat her down and asked point blank what she did to have that gorgeous body. She smiled at me and recited her daily routine: I get up at 5:00 AM, rain or shine and excercise for two hours, the first hour I run and then I go to the gym for my routine excercises targeting specific body parts, like arms, abs and buttocks. At 7:00 AM I have breakfast. Typically a protein low calorie shake or a lowfat yougurt with berries. I go to work. For lunch I have a salad, no dressing, no nuts or cheese, and some animal protein low in fat, like fish or skinless chicken, no sauces of any kind, grilled, with vegetables, but only the dark green kind. For supper, if I’m at home, I have another protein shake, if I go out, I have something similar to lunch. Once a week I indulge and either have one sweet (like one chocolate), or two drinks, but not wine or anything mixed with juices (they have too much sugar). When I indulge, I excercise extra the next day, at least 15 to 30 minutes more aerobic exercise. This routine doesn’t vary. It’s the same on vacation, on holidays, wether I went to bed at ten or at four am, I still get up and exercise the next day, no excuses, ever.
I listened intently at first, demoralized after and appalled at the end. Whan she finished describing her routine I felt envious no more, I actually felt a little sorry for her with that rigidty. She deserves that body, and every admiring glance she gets, actually I think she should get more! I realized at that instant that I was completely unwilling to do that and that everything on her list was needed to attain the goal of having that beautiful body. I ammended my goal. I do not want a perfect body anymore, I settle for healthy and medium sized, with many slip ups and overindulgences in holidays, celebrations and trips. I know I have to ammend the damage when I get back to my routine, and I do. This goal is attainable for me, and it is an effort for me to maintain even this level, but I can do it. Ammending my goal put me in the reality zone, in my reality zone.
So, in conclusion, when you have your list of the things you need to do to get where you want to be, take yourself for coffee and have a serious, open, honest look inside yourself and decide if this goal you are setting is attainable for you. If not, don’t give up, modify it to suit you, your reality right now. It can always be upgraded further along in the process. The list has to be doable NOW, with the conditions you have today.