Happy New Year!
Welcome 2017. Welcome to your goals you have made for yourself in the new year. Some of your goals you may feel are easy to accomplish while some of them may seem a bit more of a challenge. Maybe some of your goals are short term goals and maybe others are long term goals. Whatever your goals are and how you define them, having a plan to help you achieve them is really important.
It’s January 2017 and as a fitness professional I can’t not talk about the fact that many people make goals that are health and fitness related. Yay! I am so on board with these. But I also can’t not talk about how many people start out with all the excitement and force in the world for their new health or fitness goals and sadly their steam runs out and by the end of February. This is a sad statistic.
I don’t want this to happen to you. I want to help you make sure that your on the right path. Here’s a few things you can do to make sure you accomplish your goals.
First off I don’t think January 1st needs to be the day you, or anyone, decides to ‘Get Healthy!’, I am just using this date and this timely blog post, because many people use this date as a catalyst for change. So, if this is you, great! Keep reading.
I don’t think January 1st needs to be the day you, or anyone, decides to ‘Get Healthy!’
6 Tips for Accomplishing your Health & Fitness Goals
1) Make your goals SMART
- Specific: This is well defined. Rather than ‘I want to get stronger‘, a specific goal is ‘I want to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row.‘
- Measurable: This is a specific amount. As in the last example, instead of ‘I want to be able to do push-ups‘, the measurable aspect is ‘I want to be able to 10 push-ups in a row.‘
- Attainable: This is picking a goal that is challenging enough to inspire you to work for it, but not so impossible that giving up is easier. Continuing with the example; instead of saying ‘I want to be able to do 100 push-ups in a row‘, if currently you can’t do any, stating ‘I want to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row‘ is a more attainable goal. Than once you reach this goal you can certainly add 5 or 10 more push-ups onto that amount and get to work on that new goal.
- Relevant: This is your ‘WHY’. Your goals are your motivators to continue the work towards achieving your goal, so make sure they are important to you. With my example, that might be ‘I want to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row because I want to be able to progress to the next level in an aerial class.‘
- Time-Bound: This is giving your goal a time frame, an end date. This also keeps you on track for attaining your goal. Staying with the push-up example, this is ‘I want to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row in 3 months from today‘. This would also have a date attached to it so that you can use it to chart your progress.
2) Write Them Down
- Writing down your goals and having a way to record your progress is super important. Buy a planner or journal or notebook and write your goals in it. Writing your goal down helps you see where you are in the process of attaining your goal. Are you progressing nicely via hitting the steps to achieve your goal; this shows you you are making progress. Are you pulling ahead and maybe you’ll reach your goal before the time you set or are you falling behind a little and need to look at the process and steps again to get you back on track.
- Write the steps that you need to take to help you achieve your goal. If you don’t have any idea what the steps would be to achieving your goal, that’s ok, this can be difficult. You can certainly consult with friends or family or search online or you could also hire a fitness or nutritional professional. Please feel free to reach out to me or another health professional.
3) Chart Your Progress
- Once you have your goals written down and the steps to help you attain your goals, you need a way to keep track of your progress. Use your journal or planner and/or make a table with the days of the week and times of day for example and with your steps you’ve listed so that you can check off the appropriate boxes as you go. For example, you could have something similar to the photo here having the days of the week across the top and the steps you need along the left side and mark the boxes however you like to keep you on track.
4) The Long and The Short (term goals that is)
- Some of your goals might be big, like lose 50lbs or do 100 push-ups in a row, these
are long-term goals and some goals may be short-term goals like do 5 push-ups or lose 5lbs. All of these will need you to define the steps to accomplish these goals. Sticking with our push-up analogy, if you want to do 100 push-ups in a row, some of your steps, which can also be wonderful goals to hit as well, might be do 5-10 push-ups twice a week. Another step might be eat more protein, this would help support building muscle/the strength to do more push-ups. Still another might be hold a plank a few times a week or perform other arm, chest or back exercises. Maybe a goal towards this 100 push-ups in a row is increase the amount of push-ups you can do in a row by 10 each month, this in itself is a nice short-term goal and you can use some of the previous stated steps to also lead you to your goal, which ultimately leads you to your long-term goal of 100 push-up in a row.
5) Outcome and Processed Based Goals
- Outcome based goals are the outcome you want; the goal achieved: as in doing 100 push-ups in a row, losing 50lbs, meditating for 15 mins a day. Processed based goals are the habits and behaviors that you directly effect or change to help you reach you outcome based goal. How this might look for the 100 push-ups is:
- Outcome Based Goal: 100 push-ups in a row
- Process Based Goals:
- Eat protein with each meal (meat, fish or vegetarian/vegan sources)
- Strength train 3 times a week
- Included push-ups in workouts twice a week
- Allow adequate rest between strength training days
- Include planks in workouts twice a week
6) Find Like-Minded Peeps
- Spending time with people who have achieved your goal for themselves can be incredible helpful in continuing to support you on your journey. If you want to eat healthier or lift weights or do 100 push-ups, look to your friends or family to see if any of them are living the lifestyle you are working towards. Or you may need to look further outside your immediate circle and create new or closer relationships with people that are living your goal. The more you surround yourself with people doing what your goal is, the more you’ll be set up for success.
7) Share Your Goal with Someone
- Sometimes, not always, telling someone about your goal is immensely helpful. Some people find a great deal of support, encouragement and accountability if they share their goal with a close friend or relative. Sometimes having that additional accountability outside of tracking progress in a journal is what helps a person stay on track. Although others may find telling someone is not for them. This could be for a number of reasons, they’re more motivated to achieve their goal on their own or maybe they don’t know anyone in their circle of friends or family who would be supportive of their endeavors. This is important. Knowing if you have a supportive person to chose, and if you do chose them, so they can be there cheering you on, but if you don’t think anyone close to you will be your cheerleader, then keeping your goal to yourself might be the better choice. If you feel that you are the latter, than you may want to look into finding a circle of people who will help support you and your new endeavors as you work towards this goal. Having a support system can be helpful and finding like minded people (see #6) is super helpful for you in accomplishing your goals.
Whatever your goals are for 2017, have fun with them. Sure there will be challenges and set backs, but making changes in your life from how you do things now to how you will need to do things in order to attain your goals isn’t going to be easy the whole way. Change is never easy, but look for the fun and how to make it fun. There is always a bright side.
As always please feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments or if you would like me to assist you in reaching your fitness or nutrition goals. Please share this post with friends and other loved ones if you think they will find it useful.