Have you ever created a fitness goal, started working towards it and seeing some results, just to get knocked down by some life event and have to start over again? Has not achieving your fitness goals ever set you back further than when you started?
All too often, well-meaning people set fitness resolutions in January, just to have given up on them several weeks or months later. Even goals set at other times of year can seem too hard to continue on a day-to-day basis.
The key to getting a return or reward on your fitness goals is not all about how hard you’re working, it’s about how smart you’re working.
You can start in January with a lofty goal of achieving a specific amount of weight loss or muscle gain. But without understanding the way the body works with the mind, you’ll have a hard time keeping up your struggle long term.
A great way to think about smart fitness goals are in the big picture and small day-to-day moments. Don’t just aim for one metric like weight to change. Long term fitness goals can help you focus on a mindset and lifestyle change rather than changing one or a few habits. The individual decisions you make about your body and your health will impact you over a lifetime. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle will improve many metrics of your health over time.
Weight loss and the sandcastle analogy
Weight loss is like building a sandcastle at the beach. What you need to focus on is how to self-manage when the waves come your way. The key is to know how to not get knocked down. And also if you do, how to stand up when your sandcastle (you) is getting knocked over.
The sandcastle analogy is like regular unexpected life events getting in the way of your fitness goals. If you let the unexpected events get in the way of your success, you will likely be interrupted from your journey to your ideal weight or other fitness goal. It can be very hard to navigate unplanned challenges that come up if we aren’t ready for them. A way to be prepared for that is to expect things to happen ahead of time. In short, stand up, take a deep breath, sit back down, move a little bit, and start again.
At Fitness Coaching, we can recommend specific tactics that are beneficial to your specific health journey. Here are a few tips:
- Try a new routine that you haven’t tried before
- Eat something different
- Try a new exercise or piece of equipment
Sometimes, the breadth of possible unexpected things is what trips people up the most. It can be hard to try to imagine them all ahead of time! For instance, when your spouse is annoying or your kids keep you up at night, or something happens at work, can you withstand the wave.
Smart fitness goal ideas to keep you on track
If you plan on making an elaborate dinner and something happens and you can’t make that nice dinner, have a healthy backup plan. If you need to modify something else, you can. Make a backup plan.
When the waves come in and knock your castle down and you don’t have a plan in place to have a backup again, think about the reason why you made the sandcastle in the first place.
This can help you get up and laugh about it. You can start to envision that maybe the fact that you were knocked down was meant to be and that something better is going to come out of this. Finding something to help you start that thought process over again is better than living in self pity.
Motivation that works
Long term effects require long term motivation. It involves focusing on the what behind the why. If the reason you’re getting fit is for anyone else, it’s not going to work. The why has to be “What am I going to lose if I don’t make a change, how is it going to affect me, not my kids, not my husband, me?” Getting fit has to be about you, what you can’t do, and what clothes in your closet you can’t fit into. For instance, some people can’t build a sand castle with their kids because they can’t get on the ground because they won’t be able to get back up again.
Goals are a lot like sand castles – you build a sand castle, the wave comes washes it away, you have to build a new goal or sand castle. It may not look the same, it may have similar processes. Lifetime fitness is perpetual, it’s a journey.
Sometimes when people reach their goal then gained their weight back. If you don’t have a goal anymore, you stop doing the things that get you to your goal. Once you achieve a goal, set a new goal.
Routine and accountability
Creating a routine, structure, and accountability lead to achieving your goal and long-term success. Here’s our tip: The single most effective way to get workouts in is to put them on your calendar and when necessary – with a trainer.
You can also schedule time for yourself to meditate, to do yoga, to go on vacation, get a massage. Whatever makes you happy, schedule take time to do it and put it on your calendar.
When you achieve your goal you have to set a new goal. Still make that part of your life a priority.
Failed New Years Resolutions? Check out our Facebook Live, coming up on January 28, 2019 at 10:30am.