How big of a bite?

I'm sure you've heard the saying...

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. 

It's a great analogy for taking a large task and breaking it down into smaller tasks to make the overall task seem not as big or daunting. 

When setting goals in fitness it can be challenging to pick a duration. 

Just like everything else, it's a spectrum. 

On one side you have the one-week goal or the one-day goal. 

These are the goals like: 

1500 calories TODAY.

3 workouts this WEEK.

The duration is pretty short. 

We like these goals because they're short and manageable, however, they do have a negative. 

If you don't hit your three workouts in the week do you consider yourself a failure, give up, and just go back to your old habits?

If so, the mental frustration of having a daily or weekly goal may not be best for you. 

One the other side of the spectrum is a long-term goal like...

I want to lose 50lbs. 

I want to drop 10 pant sizes. 

Again, great goals and this approach have both a positive and negative outcome. 

The positive is it allows you to think long-term and if you do have a "off" week, there is still plenty of catch up time. 

The negative to a long-term goal like above is it can seem daunting, overwhelming, and you may lose focus over that long of a stretch. 

Right in the middle of the spectrum are 30 and 90-day goals. 

We've been experimenting with 30-day goals and we really like them. 

In the past, we would recommend 90-day goal setting (and we still do sometimes) because behavioral research shows that's about as far out as a human can emotionally think. 

Meaning, anything past that seems like a stretch, and too far away to get emotionally attached to it.

However, even 90 days can seem like a stretch, and a lot can change in 90 days. 

So, as always, you have to experiment with what duration of focus works well with you. 

In reality, there all the same goal. The one-week goal is working towards the 30-day goal which is keeping you on track for the 90-day goal, which is holding you accountable to the one-year goal. 

The 30-day goal right now seems to be the sweet spot. 


Ask yourself this question:

What does success look like 30 days from now?

Write it down and look at it every single day. 

Each daily action moves you closer to that 30-day goal. 

As far as setting goals within that time frame it may look something like this:

-12 workouts

-200 hours of sleep

-X number of miles run per month

-X number of pounds lifted per month

-less than 4 dinners out


Again, we're taking that daily or weekly goal and just extracting it out to 30 days. 

We like this because if one week things get crazy (which they will) and you can only get in one or two workouts, you don't chuck it up as a failure (which you would if you had a weekly goal of 3 workouts), you just see it as I have to do some catch up the remaining three weeks of the month. 

We find that by taking your goal away from the day or week duration and extracting it out to the 30-day duration it allows for life distractions to happen and allows you to "make up" later on in the month. 

Give it a try and let us know how it goes. 

I'll be back tomorrow with another golden nugget. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling