Set a Performance Goal, Not a Weight Loss Goal, To Get Ready for Summer

It’s the time of year when we start to get all the ridiculous, “Get a Bathing Suit Body For the Summer,” articles. I am constantly amazed that this crap gets re-cycled every year in magazines, newspapers and television shows. The same weight loss based garbage every year. I cannot believe editors keep asking for these stories and writers keep churning them out. And people pay attention to them.

In general, weight loss goals are a bad idea. “Weighing less” is meaningless. Making a short-term effort to lose 15-pounds by Memorial Day, even if you do it, will usually be worse for you in the long run, and doesn’t even mean that you will look better.

Set a goal of improving performance of a given task by the time you have to get into your bathing suit rather than focusing on weight or appearance. If you can’t do a push-up, make a concerted effort to do a push-up. And if you can do 5, work to be able to do 10. The same goes with just about any other exercise, especially the ones you avoid because you can’t do them or because they are “too hard.”


Pursuing these performance-based goals will give you the best chance to appreciably change your look while improving your fitness and capability level. Over a 6-8 week period if you work diligently to improve your performance you WILL look better.

The catch is you have to work hard at things that are hard to do; 60-yard shuttles, squats, jump rope, push-ups, pull-ups. In my experience these are all activities that most people avoid because of their degree of difficulty, but at the same time represent the opportunity give a person the chance to truly improve. Weight loss doesn’t represent improvement, but learning how to do pull-ups or any of these other meaningful tasks – genuinely trying – is the definition of improvement.

And even if you don’t reach your goal, whether it’s doing a pull-up, a push-up, completing five 60-yard shuttles in a given period of time, you will have improved your performance and will NOT have failed. People who set out to lose weight, and don’t, or do and gain it back, always feel like they have failed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *