Being Rigid and Flexible During Your Fitness Journey

Setting fitness goals is an essential part of transforming your health and body. Studies have shown that writing your goals down increases your chances of achieving them.

That said, when it comes to fitness goals, you’ll need to be both rigid and flexible at the same time. This is something that escapes most people and causes them to quit on their fitness goals.


  • Unpredictability

Unlike business goals or career goals which are mostly under your control, when it comes to health and fitness, for the most part, your body will dictate the rate of progress and recovery.

For example, if you’re in sales, your target may be 10 sales a day. You have an absolute number to hit and if you hit it daily, you can be sure that you’ll meet your income goal by the end of the month.

However, with fitness, you may have a daily goal of eating a fixed number of calories and following a strict training regimen. However, despite your best efforts, you might not lose as much weight as you expected… or see as much performance improvements in your workouts.

You’re doing your best, but your body is taking its own sweet time to respond and adapt. Because of this hitting absolute targets becomes very tricky.


  • Coping with unpredictability

When setting fitness goals, your goal should not be on the end result. While it’s good to have the big picture in mind, your focus should be on completing the daily requirements you’ve set for yourself. Aiming for 100% compliance with your diet and training is the goal.

Let’s assume you wish to lose about 3 pounds of fat a week. You know what foods you need to eat, how many calories to consume and how often you should train. Your goal will be to do stick to the plan as well as you can.

When you weigh yourself after a week, you may notice that you only lost 2 pounds instead of your target of 3 pounds. This may seem disappointing, but take heart. You STILL made progress.

As long as you’re making progress, even if it’s slow, you must stay the course. Trying to do too much too soon to hasten the process will only result in you getting burnout and quitting.


  • Staying rigid, yet flexible

This concept is akin to being like a bamboo plant. No matter how strong the wind blows, the bamboo will sway with the wind, but seldom cracks.

When you set a goal to lose weight or build muscle by a certain date, you really CANNOT be sure if you’ll reach your goal by the deadline. You may lose quite a bit of weight but not hit the target. Or you may pack on several pounds of lean muscle on your frame, but your legs may look undeveloped.

This is par for the course. At times like these, you must be flexible enough to set a new deadline. Give yourself another month or two to reach the target. Sometimes, all you need is more time.

If you lose hope just because you didn’t meet the deadline and quit, guess what? You’ll NEVER achieve your goals. Be flexible with the time you give yourself and stay on track.

That said, rigidity is important in other areas. If you’re practicing intermittent fasting, you need to be rigid with your eating times. If you’re on a clean diet, you need to be rigid and avoid junk food. Only have cheat meals on scheduled days and not otherwise.

Rigidity is imperative when following the plan. However, common sense must apply. If your upped body is aching and tired, but your workout calls for another ‘shoulders and biceps’ day… be flexible and switch it for a leg workout instead.

Listen to the signals your body gives you and work accordingly. Be rigid when it’s crucial to achieving your goals and flexible when you’ve done your best and need to deal with temporary setbacks.

This will help you stay motivated and keep you going without you beating yourself up for being a perceived failure.

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” – Earl Nightingale

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