YOU DID IT!!!!  You hit your goal weight, marathon mile, pants size or whatever it may be.   What do you do now?  That is a very tough question for many people.

Some people will take some time off and relax from their workout schedule, others will slow down the pace of their workouts to only a couple days per week.  However, what inevitably happens is you will slowly but surely, without even noticing it, slip back into your old ways and soon enough, you’ll be back where you started.

This is a problem facing millions of people around the globe.  You’ll work for months to get in shape to fit into that dress, or finish that marathon, only to end up right back where you started a couple months later.  “Maintaining” is one of the biggest problems facing post-goal achieving individuals.  For a classic example, look at the winners of the T.V. show “The Biggest Loser”.  Several of the winners of that show have wound up right back where they started, and in some cases worse off.

Once we hit out desired goal, our mindset changes.  We think, “I hit my goal, I’ll reward myself.”  Whether its cookies, an extra dessert, or simply lounging on the couch, we feel “entitled” to a reward after we have hit our goal, and rightfully so!  We worked hard to achieve that goal, and want to feel a sense of accomplishment and reward for our hard work and dedication.  However, that week off from the gym, quickly turns into two week, which then turns into, “I’ll start on Monday….gotta get back on track”, which turns into a month missed without any physical activity.  Then, off to the gym or pool or track we go, thinking we’ll get right back into it.  We do our normal workout, thinking, you haven’t lost that much since they last time at the gym.  The next day is a different story.  Tight muscles, sore arms and legs.  So, we skip the next day or two because we are to sore to do another workout.  Pretty soon, its another week gone and we are that much further away from where we once were.  We begin to get frustrated with ourselves because we’ve gained five pounds, or a dress size, but we think, “its ok, i’ll get back in the gym and work it off….”.  But the problem is, that doesn’t happen.  We get lazy and depressed and slip back into our old ways, and they the cycle soon repeats itself once more, and will continue to do so until we learn our lesson.

That lesson my friends, is motivation.  Once we hit our goal, we need to immediately create another one.  Without motivation, we have nothing pushing us towards achievement.  We did a great piece on motivation back in November.  In that article we talk about how to get motivated and stay motivated to stay on track.

Once we hit our goals, its not quitting time…..its GO TIME.  Look at a goal as just a milestone you’ve hit.  Try setting goals out 3 months, 6 months and 1 year out.  Once you hit one, simply add a new one on to the end.  Keep a rolling window of goals to keep yourself motivated.