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Setting a Personal Fitness Challenge

One of the greatest barriers we have to achieving our fitness goals is lack of motivation. In theory the desire to lose weight or improve general fitness should be motivation enough, but reality for many is that this simply isn’t the case. Even though you know you need to be doing 3 sessions a week to achieve your goals, it’s all too easy to put training off to another day when something else comes up.

Committing to a challenge is a great way to change this. You are giving yourself an extra focus, which means you can’t put training off, because you know any missed sessions are going to impact on your ability to complete the challenge. This leads us on to important issue of what challenge to choose.

There are several key general points to consider. Firstly, it must be a challenge. There is no point choosing something that is well within your capabilities as where is the motivation to train? By the same token it must be achievable, particularly within the time frame available. If you embark on training for an event that you’re going to struggle to complete, motivation will wane fast. A further key factor is desire; choose a challenge you really want to achieve. If you’ve always had a dream to run the marathon then it’s a great choice, but if you’re choosing it just because you’ve been offered a free place, you won’t have the passion to do the hard training that’s required.

Once you’ve selected the challenge – another consideration is who to tell. This is a very individual thing, telling everyone will work for some as the fear of having to tell people you’ve failed can be a great motivating factor. For others keeping the challenge to yourself will be more effective, it can take away the pressure and the potential of other peoples negativity affecting you. A third option is to carefully select who you tell, the right people can be a great help to keep you on track and give you support when you need it.

Completing a challenge, you’ve worked hard to achieve is an amazing feeling. That euphoric, if slightly weary, feeling when you reach the finish line is something that no one can take away from you and will stay with you forever. And what’s more, the goals you started out with, such as losing weight or improving your fitness will have been achieved due to the hard work that you put in to get there!

For that extra bit of motivation, read my own personal fitness challenge – How I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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