In reality this question does not exist. Once you commit to bettering yourself, health and fitness becomes a LIFEstyle with all of your decisions (inside & outside the gym) fitting that mold.
A better question would be how long are my goals going to take. I know it can seem like we are just “going through the motions” every year when someone asks us to write down our goals. But in reality, this is what gives us direction for our training, sets up our mindset, and influences the decisions we make in the calendar year.
This will not be your ordinary “setting goals for 2020 new year new me”.
Your goals first have to match your intentions AND your actions.
- Example 1: if your first goal is to put 20 pounds on your back squat in the next three months, you better be ready to do the necessary mobility, strength, accessory, and recovery work necessary to get there.
- Example 2: if your goal is to drop 3% body fat and start to see a 6-pack, you better be ready be consistent with your nutrition habits, decrease your alcohol intake, improve your sleep patterns, and show up at the gym on a regular basis.
PRO TIP 1: if dropping body fat percentage, six pack, or anything that has to do with “being more lean” than you currently are is your goal, then no matter what you do in the gym, if you drink your life away on the weekend then those goals will never be met.
PRO TIP 2: If your goals are to gain lean mass, be stronger, or have more muscles you have to ask yourself: why am I only eating 1-2 meals a day? Are my decisions outside the gym, the place where I spend so much time and energy, matching with what I say I want from the gym.
Once you create clarity with your goals and the necessary work required to reach them, we go back to the original question – how long is health & fitness supposed to take? Anddddddd the answer is still forever.
Just because you lost that 3% body fat or PR’d this cycle by 10 pounds does not mean your training stops and you’ve reached the summit.
- Step 1: Set goal(s).
- Step 2: Create action plan to reach goals.
- Step 3: Follow action plan.
- Step 4: Reach current goals.
- Step 5: REPEAT FOR LIFE
So are you really about that life?
Because in this life of health and fitness there is a “never being satisfied” attitude that actually comes with making sure our goals are up to date and steadily moving. Your overall goal could be as simple as “do my first pull up”. That is enough to direct your training inside the gym and influence your decisions outside of the gym. If you want to do your first pull up, you know you have to prioritize strength in that pattern – making sure you are light enough for your body to pull yourself up on that bar as many times as you desire, and making sure what you are eating and drinking habits match getting stronger and/or lighter. Once you have mastered this goal and beat it over the head now it’s time to build on that goal. You make another goal, prioritize it in your training, mindset, and decisions outside of the gym and keep it moving.
Lastly, make sure your goals are about you. A very easy way to sabotage yourself and your goals is to base these goals off the way someone else performs, looks or acts. We can always look up to people and seek their advice. But we are all so different, physically and mentally.
Long Story Short, how long does health and fitness take? Forever.