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Setting and Achieving Realistic Goals

You know that saying "You can do anything you set your mind to"?

Well it is only partially true. You can do anything realistic that you are determined to achieve. There are some goals that are unachievable and some that are not.

Yes, you can exercise and get a younger looking body... but will you end up looking like a teenager again? No, you won't.

But that should not discourage you from trying to exercise to have a younger and healthier body. You can achieve that goal and many other goals too.

Lets take some sample goals.

#1. You weigh 260 lbs and want to lose 100 lbs.

Yes, it is doable. But you don't want to do it too quickly or else you will get loose skin. Ideally you want to lose 50 lbs per year over a 2 year period. Approx. 1 lb per week. This is a goal that is certainly doable.

#2. You are on a diet and want to get nice abs.

No, not doable. If you want nice abs you need to be exercising and doing cardio. A diet will help with general weight loss, but it won't tone up the muscles or help you to lose lots of belly fat. If you take up jogging daily you can achieve your goal. Doing sit ups and crunches will help a little, but its the cardio that does most of the work.

#3. You want to eat more healthy food on a budget.

Yes, completely doable. You will need to learn which foods are healthier and also cost effective. You can also find lots of healthy recipes online.

#4. You want to become a fitness model.

Yes, doable, assuming you have the face for it and are willing to make the honest and concerted effort to do it. It isn't going to be easy, but it can be done. You will need to revamp your nutrition program, hit the weights harder than ever before and do lots of research on how to achieve this difficult goal. Don't forget tanning, protein bars and a personal trainer. It will take blood, sweat and tears on the gym floor, but it is doable.

#5. You want to fit into your skinny jeans from high school.

Yes, doable. Combination of a healthy diet and lots of cardio exercise and you will do it.

#6. Run a Marathon.

Yes, doable. But you will need to jog daily and do longer and longer runs until eventually you can handle longer distances. You will also want to do a complete physical with your doctor and get their advice. But at the same are you sure you really want to wake up early on Sunday morning, strap on a fanny pack and commit to a 40k with a running group while consuming liquid gel? (They're like liquidated gummi bears.) Truly, running a 40 km marathon is not for the faint of heart.

You should never feel discouraged from trying such things. But you also need to be aware of what your limits are and what is realistic. If you weigh 300 lbs and are morbidly obese you won't be able to run a 40 km marathon. It just isn't going to happen.

But if you want something badly enough and are willing to train hard to achieve it, then you can do it.

However lets keep some things in mind before you embark on such things.

A) Body building and endurance sports are SPORTS. They are competitive and they don't just train hard; training becomes a lifestyle. If you aren't into that lifestyle then its just not for you. You don't need to bust your ass and change your lifestyle so completely when all you want is to look good in tight pants.

B) Many athletes are physically awesome. They come from extensive backgrounds of gymnastics, track and field and other demanding sports. They have abs that should be considered lethal weapons. But do you really want to look like that? Or do you just want to look like a young Tom Selleck, Sean Connery or Burt Reynolds?

C) The exercise industry is a pissing contest. A lot of it is very macho and has nothing to do with paying for a mortgage or raising a family. Its an industry full of narcissists who like looking at themselves in a mirror. You really should not be encouraged to go into that industry unless you absolutely want to and are basically already in it.

D) Becoming a "male underwear model" like Marcus Schenkenberg won't make you happy. Yes, you will have the abs that women will drool over... but it won't make you happier. You can achieve this goal of looking 'drop dead gorgeous', but it will require daily discipline in both exercise and diet... and not everyone can make that kind of commitment.

The end result is be careful what you wish for... and remember that you can make your wishes come true if you're willing to pay the price.

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