Whenever you decide to get fit, there are a number of big decisions you have to make. The main one is what fitness goal will you set for yourself that'll put you on the path to success?
I know there are many occasions in the past where I decided to get in shape but didn't end up following through. I now know one of the big reasons why is that I didn't set the right kind of goals.
SETTING YOUR FITNESS GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP TO ACHIEVING THEM.
WHY WE FAIL WITH OUR FITNESS GOALS
A lot of people set a fitness goal and try to keep up the good work. After a couple of days or weeks of effort, however, they tend to give up. In some cases, they might be in even worse shape than before due to an injury caused by overdoing things, or not doing an exercise properly.
We often fail to reach our goals because they're too vague, and/or because we think we have to be “perfect.”
SETTING A SMART GOAL
Goals often sound like this:
“I want to get more fit.”
“I want to lose weight.”
The trouble is these aren't SMART goals. SMART =
In terms of specific, what does more mean? How much weight? Some people decide to spend 30 minutes working out every day. Others set a goal to follow a specific workout plan.
Your goal should be measurable so you can track your progress. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Or, decide on a plan and know that you've reached your goal when you finish the workout programmed for that particular day.
Most goals are attainable, but it is a question of whether or not they're realistic within a given time frame, the “T” in SMART goals. With a gym goal, it would be foolish to start with 30 minutes every day if you have been a couch potato for years. However, this could be your goal within two to three months.
If you want to lose 20 pounds overnight, that's not realistic. It took time to gain weight, so it'll take time to lose it. A safe rate of weight loss averages at one to 2 pounds per week, so if you said you wanted to drop 20 pounds within 3 months, that would be possible. I, however, don't recommend you weigh yourself regularly as that can contribute to a feeling of discouragement if you don't see the results you're after - when in fact, you're likely transforming your body in far more important (and even more visible ways!).
GIVING UP THE IDEA OF PERFECTION
A lot of people wonder what the best fitness program is. The honest answer is: “The one you will stick to.” You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to do your best. But your fitness program is in your hands. If you want to work out every day, fine. If you want to skip a day, that’s all right too. The main thing is to be consistent and track each session in your fitness journal to make sure it is advancing you towards the goal you have set.
I'm the perfect example of this. I tried to years to follow intense cardio programs because that's what I thought would et me the body I wanted. Plus I thought that's what women were "supposed" to do when they worked out. I always ended up feeling discouraged and giving up. It wasn't until I found a workout plan I really enjoyed, that I was able to follow through consistently and actually get fit. Now, when I start feeling like I want to quit, I find something else that works so I can continue to be consistent.
SETTING YOUR FITNESS GOALS IS LIKE LAYING OUT A ROAD MAP FOR YOUR WORKOUTS
Once you set your goal, it is important to track it. A notebook and a plan can help. When are you going to set aside time for working out or going to the gym? What days will you do cardio (to raise the heart rate) and what days will you do strength training in order to build long, lean muscle?
Plan ahead and see what a difference it can make to achieving your fitness goals.
If you like to work out on your own, I personally use and recommend the SWEAT app on your phone as there are multiple different trainers and styles of working out. This lets you try some different things, figure out what works for you, and switch it up if you need a change... so you can follow through. Click here to get a free 7-day trial! I don't anything out of you signing up. But definitely let me know what you think if you try it out!