Thoughts From Denise On The Fitness Journey Over 50

Want To Get Healthy? Create Goals and Set Deadlines.

One of my personal favorite quotes of all time is “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” ~ Zig Ziglar.  This is where many people run into problems on their health and fitness journeys. They delay taking that first step and getting started.  I’ve been reading a fantastic book that advises we look at goals in 12 week increments instead of annually.  What happens is that our deadline to reach our goals is sooner which helps to keep us on track.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

That got me to thinking in terms of getting healthy and fit.  We always use future dates in our fitness or health goals.   We want to lose weight before summer.  We want to fit into a certain dress before we go to a special event such as a wedding or party.  We want to wear a bikini in 2 weeks when we leave for vacation. In terms of future events, we want to lose so many pounds this year.   We want to run a marathon in 10 months.  The problems arise for two reasons.  The first reason is that we are unrealistic with our deadlines.  The second reason is that we put the deadlines too far out.  Both are equally damaging to meeting your goals.

dontreatstart zig ziglar

First by creating unrealistic deadlines, we essentially set ourselves up to fail. As an example, you want to lose 25 pounds in 2 weeks before a special event. Take a step back and really think about this.  You might decide that you need to eat very little and exercise 3 hours per day each day of the week.  What are the chances that you will be successful in losing that amount of weight in that time-frame?  Slim to none.  You did not gain 25 pounds overnight why would you believe you can lose 25 pounds in two weeks unless you literally starve yourself?

On the other side, when we set our goals too far out we might create reasons why we do not need to stick to a plan to reach the goal.  You want to run a marathon in 10 months and you create a schedule to help you do that.  However, in your mind, you are thinking the marathon is 10 months away.  I can get started next week or next month.   Or you want to lose 26 pounds this year which is very doable by the way – that is only ½ pound per week.  But you tell yourself you don’t have to change the way you eat today or start to exercise this week.  You have time.  The problem with that train of thought is that you never start – you keep putting it off because you think you have “time.”

My medical issue slowed my weight loss down but I never stopped exercising.  I continued to train for the next event on my schedule whether it was a local 5K or a triathlon. Also lucky for me I have Coach Becky and a fitness family that has been with me through the ups and downs of the past year and helped me stay on track with exercise and to quickly get back on track with my weight loss by eating clean.  BUT I took the first step.  I started.  I hope you do too.

To your health,


Coach Denise

Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area.  She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses.   She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at

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2 thoughts on “Want To Get Healthy? Create Goals and Set Deadlines.

  1. Denise,
    I have been following your emails that I’ve received, for quite some time now. Although they are motivational, I have a health setback that seems to be keeping me from taking that first step. My health issue is that, I have an abdominal hernia that came about from an old scar from an esaughagenial hernia repair back in 1999. I’ve had this hernia now for about a year and a half. I was advised by my doctor to not do any strenuous exercising. I’d like to do something but don’t know what would be safe at this point. I’m 56 years old, am 5’4, and weigh 220 lbs. My blood pressure has been in the 140/86 range (border-line hypertension). The worst part of this is that I work part-time as a housekeeper at the local YMCA, and see all types of people daily coming into work out. One more thing; since I work there, I am eligible for a free membership. I’m a single mom and can’t afford to take off work to have the surgery, because I need the money coming in so as to pay the bills. I’m taking an on-line college program and get financial grant loans, and when the money is distributed to pay for my online course and books, I get what’s called a stipends as the left over money (this comes approx. about every 6 months). Every time I make plans that I’m going to get my surgery when my stipends comes, something else always happens to where I need to use the money. It’s a viscous cycle. What can I do?



  2. Hi Cindy,

    Has your doctor advised that you are able to exercise and what you can do? One of the least strenuous things to do is walking or swimming and both will provide you with great benefits. Let me know what the doctor advises then we can move forward from there. 🙂


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