January 1st, 2017
A New Fitness Challenge For The New Year: Goal Setting In The Technology Age
When you pause and reflect on the past year as you look ahead to a new one, it really makes you think. It makes you appreciate how short life is, how valuable time is and how quickly the time can pass you by – with nothing to show for it, if you don’t plan otherwise. That’s why the passing of another year can sometimes feel like a wake up call as much as a fresh start. On the eve of another new year, looking at the technological wonders that surround us, I also can’t help thinking it feels like science fiction…
Technology Today is Amazing
I’m still in awe of the Internet. The satellite navigation system in my car amazes me every time I drive. I can store a library of books in a device that fits in my pocket. It blows my mind that we can speak to each other face to face through a mobile phone live on video. That’s straight from Star Trek! And those are just the everyday little things we take for granted.
National Geographic Channel just aired the first season of the Mars series – but it’s not fiction – it’s really happening! Elon Musk’s company, Space X has announced that we really are going to the red planet!
It’s the greatest time to be alive in all of human history!
Unfortunately, some of today’s modern conveniences come with a dark side…
Rising obesity has paralleled the march of technology. The chair-bound, desk-job, computer, car, elevator, television based society of today is helping to make millions of people fat and lazy. Our current way of life is less than a century old, yet our biology hasn’t changed a bit. Our bodies were designed to move and work, not sit and click.
We’ve become spoiled. Complacent. Dependent. And we are paying a price for it. We are fatter than ever before in all of human history. More than two thirds of Americans are now overweight. One third are obese. People are dying because they‘re too fat.
New Technology Cannot Solve Our Body Fat Problem
Ironically, some of the newest technology that’s supposed to make us fitter can even backfire. Look at gadgets like the Fitbit. I love the FitBit. But, many people are using these kinds of devices all wrong.
Activity trackers are fantastic when you use the step tracking function as a tool keep yourself moving and aware of your activity (NEAT) and use the social features to add even more motivation and accountability. But you’ll be worse off than before if you use them to make decisions on how much you can eat (“Wow, look at how many steps I took… now I can eat more!)
Even if you use them right, electronics are never going to do the work for you.
There’s no easy way. No gadget. No machine. No pill. More research and knowledge isn’t going to help. We already have most of the solutions. We know more about the human body than ever before. But it’s all academic. The problem lies in the doing. You have to do the work – in the gym and in the kitchen. Hard work, that most people are unwilling to do.
We are a quick fix society. It’s partly human nature, but technology is making us more impatient. We can have products delivered to us with one click and even do it from our cell phones. Pretty soon Amazon is going to be dropping your packages down from drones!
We have instant downloads, movies on demand, and drive through coffee shops. We get our food made and delivered in just minutes while we are sitting in our cars, and it’s still not quick enough. And if our cars aren’t convenient enough, pretty soon they’ll be driving themselves! The internet is blazingly fast, but most people will abandon a web page in seconds if it hasn’t loaded.
It’s no different with fat loss. We want six pack abs yesterday.
Simultaneously fighting the pull of human nature and the convenience of new technology is no easy task. But that’s our challenge today.
Solution: Future Orientation
The most successful people in the world today are those who have a long-term perspective. They plan for the year ahead, but also for 5-10 years in advance and beyond.
This idea is not in opposition to mindfulness. Successful people know how to enjoy and live in the present moment, but they create plans, take action and make decisions based on their future vision. That’s what it took to deliver all the technologies we already have, that’s what it’s going to take to send people to Mars, and that’s what it’s going to take for you to get strong, healthy and fit… and stay that way.
Approaching the end of yet another year makes you take stock of yourself and your achievements, or lack thereof. “What did I accomplish in the last year? In the last 5 years? In the last 10 years? How much personal development has taken place since then? Am I a better person today than I was then?” If you don’t like the answers, then it’s time to finally get serious about your future because the next 10 years are going to fly by even faster than the last 10 as the pace of life and society continues to accelerate.
Your Challenge For the New Age of Technology:
I challenge you to think beyond new year’s resolutions. Think beyond the 12 week fitness goal. As you write your goals this year, don’t stop with 3 month or even 1 year goals.
Project yourself into the future, 5 and even 10 years. For each point, dream, fantasize, visualize: if your body, your health your physical performance were perfect in every way, what would that look like? Describe it in vivid detail.
You may not be used to thinking this far ahead. Do it anyway. The more time you spend on it, the more excited you’ll become as you think about the possibilities.
You may have done this before. I’ve asked readers to do it in previous blogs. Do it again. You’re older now and things change. Values change. Lifestyles change and of course, technology has changed, bringing new challenges.
With our ingrained penchant for quick fixes, we often over-estimate what we can achieve in the short term and set unrealistic deadlines on our short term goals. But the flipside is that we often underestimate what we can achieve in the long term, so we set our long term goals too low. Do you realize that people have gone from broke to billionaire in 10 years? In this technology age, some have done it even faster.
My challenge for you this year is to start thinking about your body and your life with the same type of creativity that has lead to our greatest technological advances: Not the same thoughts as yesterday. Not just positive thoughts. Not just bigger thoughts. NEW THOUGHTS! From new thoughts will spring new goals, new actions and new achievements.
Fitness goals should not take over your life, they should enhance every other part of it. Everything is better with fitness and optimal health. So take this opportunity to achieve balance. Set long term goals for every area of your life – health, fitness, finances, career, relationships, experiences, travel, possessions and spiritual growth.
Most people don’t set goals and commit them to writing. They’re among the masses – the 97% – who are in the same place today as they were years ago.
Some people only set short term goals, so they accomplished a few little things, but then stopped, as if a goal were a final destination rather than a stepping stone along a never-ending path.
Other people set goals but didn’t follow through on them. They forgot that goal setting and goal achieving are two different things. Don’t fall into these traps.
The Start of a New Year: The Perfect Time to Map Out a New Plan
Although I’m urging you not to think in terms of typical “resolutions,” the new year really is a great time to set goals because it feels like you have a clean slate.
In previous blog posts, I’ve written about the power of accountability to yourself and others. You’ve heard about it, now use it. When you complete your goal setting exercise, share your goals with someone else. If you like, post them in the comments here on the Burn The Fat Blog.
If you need help with in the goal setting process – from the daily and weekly baby steps to the long term goals and dreams that span 1 year, 5 years and even a decade – crack open Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle, if you already have it. Now is the time to revisit it. If you want personal attention, join our Burn The Fat Inner Circle community.
Remember, goal setting is just the start. Goal achieving requires taking action on a fitness and nutrition plan, and Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the most comprehensive fat loss plan of its kind covering every element of success: nutrition, cardio training, weight training and “mental training” (goal setting and success-thinking).
Average people make resolutions. Smart people set well-formed goals. But long term goals are the goals that almost everyone forgets to set.
If you don’t have long term goals on paper, then do it now. If you do, I guarantee that next year, and in 5 years, and in 10 years, you’ll not only find yourself living at a whole new level, you’ll find yourself living in another world. It may not be Mars, yet, but it will be even better – it will be the world of your own creation.
Train hard and expect success,