Your Fitness Goal: What’s your Level of Ambition?

We all have fitness goals to varying degrees, but some people are more ambitious to achieve them than others. Why is this? It’s because people have different levels of desire, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and support. And it’s also because some people use the techniques of goal-setting and visualisation more effectively than others.

Let’s take weight-loss as an example, although it could equally be a goal for muscle growth, or improving your performance in your favourite sport.

Read the three statements below, and see which one sounds most like you.

Ambition Level 1:

“I really want to lose weight, and I’m trying hard to eat less and exercise more, but the weight won’t shift. I’m not sure exactly how much weight I want to lose, and to be honest I can’t really imagine myself as slim, but I’ll keep trying. I’ve only told a couple of people that I’m trying to lose weight, because I don’t want to be regarded as a failure if the weight doesn’t come off. If I don’t manage to lose weight, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Ambition Level 2:

“I want to lose a stone (around 7 kg) in weight, but I don’t want to put myself under the pressure of setting a date. After all, there are lots of social events coming up, and I’m very busy at work, so there’s no point putting a deadline on it. I’ve taken some advice from a personal trainer at my gym, so I’ve got an workout routine and eating plan to follow, and so far I’m sticking to it whenever I can (about half the time hehe). I’ve told everyone to encourage me to lose the weight, which is helping a lot. I’ll get there eventually (hopefully).”

Ambition Level 3:

“I want to lose a stone (6.4kg) in weight in 14 weeks from today, so that means I’ll lose an average of 1lb a week, and I’ll reach my target weight by Wednesday 30th November. I’ve got a burning desire to get there this time, and I’ve got a workout and eating plan mapped out. Everyone knows I want to lose this stone, and if anyone tries to knock me off course they’ll get an earful. My fitness regime includes lots of thing I like doing, so I won’t get bored. And my eating plan is varied and full of tasty meals and snacks so I won’t feel deprived. Every night before I go to sleep I visualise my new body, and I go through all the reasons why I want to lose this weight (I’ve got 8 reasons, written on a sheet of paper and pinned up on the fridge). I can see myself in my mind’s eye, one stone lighter, and this spurs me on. Once a week I’ll weigh myself and keep track of my progress. No more excuses, I’m going to do it this time.”

Which level of ambition best describes you? Leave a comment in the comments section below…..

4 Comments

  • Paulo says:

    I guess I’m closest to the 2nd level you’ve described cause I don’t tend to set a deadline on my goals. I realise it’s a bit of a cop-out not to set a date, so I’ll start doing that. Should give me a bit more direction in the gym. I like the sound of the level 3 statement, it’s very purposeful and determined.

    • Dom says:

      hi Paulo – if you set a deadline on your goals it will focus you more. I advise all my personal training clients in London to set a date by which they want to lose a stone in weight, or whatever their goal is.

      Good luck with you goal. Make sure you monitor your progress every week. If you’re slipping behind, work out why and make adjustments in your approach. In other words, keep fine-tuning your activities to make sure you’re training and eating with increasing effectiveness.

  • Kerry says:

    I thought I was so motivated until I read this and realised I am actually level 1 to 2. I now understand why i’m not shifting the excess weight! I need to set specific goals and be positive! (my problem is a sweet tooth! so any tips for low fat / calorie sweet fix would be fab) x

    • Dom says:

      hi Kim – yes most people think they’re more ambitious to achieve a goal than they actually are. You mention your sweet tooth – a good snack is dates, which are quite sweet but also contain lots of goodness. Also try snacking on blueberries. But don’t exceed 3 portions of fruit a day.

      When I first became a personal trainer in London I advised one of my first ever clients to eat more fruit, and then discovered he was eating 10 portions a day! Excessive fruit-eating can cause you to gain body-fat, so stick to 3 portions a day and no more.

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