Kyle Clarke tells you why breaking your goals into manageable and achievable steps is the secret for long term success.

The first week of a new program can leave you feeling great and hunting for a dozen new goals. However, after less than a week of dieting, training hard and consistent cardio you’re tired, cranky and sore. You want to continue pushing through but your body is screaming for a break. You persist for a few more days and then throw in the towel.

What went wrong? You had a goal, a plan and a deadline. You should’ve been able to master this just like the other areas of your life. The problem is, your mind and body cannot take so much change at once. You need time to adjust and grow. Follow these three steps instead of completely restructuring your lifestyle.


Choose exercise wisely

My advice is to start with a six-to-eight-week fitness program that’s challenging, but won’t leave you painfully sore every day. When you do this you may want to leave your diet completely alone, because your body will need those calories to repair your muscles from this new way of life.

You should, however, add supplementation to maximize your results from your workouts. Whey isolate protein, a low level caffeine pre-workout and BCAAs are very beneficial to a training program, no matter what level. I’ve mentioned my favorites in the box below.


Rethink your kitchen

After those six to eight weeks, assess your progress. Congratulate yourself and create a more challenging program. This time you should slightly adjust your nutrition as well, so you start fueling your body with the essential nutrients it needs – not just what it wants.

Here are some rock-solid tips on nutrition:

  • Minimize simple carbohydrates and saturated fats.
  • Cut down on fast food and eating out at unhealthy restaurants if it’s possible.
  • Make your biggest meal of the day your breakfast and the smallest meal your dinner.
  • Drink a gallon of water a day.
  • Avoid sodas, energy drinks and sugary sports beverages.

Embrace accountability

The best way to keep yourself motivated and striving towards your goal is to have someone in your life that holds you accountable. If you know someone with similar fitness goals and matching schedules, it would be extremely beneficial to make them your fitness partner. When you’re working out alone, all you have to do is convince yourself that it’s OK to take the day off.

When you have a partner that depends on you, it’s much harder to cancel on yourself because you’ll also be letting the other person down. Most of the time, the thought of canceling won’t even be an option in your mind, and that’s exactly what will keep you on track.

Change your fitness routine, then change your diet and do it all with someone as motivated as you are. You’ll soon enjoy the new reflection staring back at you in the mirror and set the platform that builds on this success so you’re constantly improving for all of 2015.


Find health advice and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.