Realistic Goal Setting
January is the month when many people are super-motivated and make their resolutions for the year ahead. But do you set the same goals each year? And do you reach your goals?
If what you tried last time didn’t work, what makes you think that doing the same thing all over again is going to give you a different outcome?. Because if it didn’t work last time you tried, you need to change your plan of action!
Losing weight and getting fit is one of the most common resolutions, especially after spending the festive season eating and drinking so much. This is the reason why the gyms are packed this month, but after a couple of months of the initial ‘I’m going to lose weight and get fit’ motivation many give up.
But you don’t need to be one of the quitters! There are strategies for success in keeping that Health and Fitness motivation going all year.
Make it a Social thing……
Social interaction has been shown to make people more likely to workout so join a fitness class, a local running or sports group, get yourself a gym buddy or hire a personal trainer. Paying out in advance for things may be a financial commitment, however, combine it with a commitment to another person and you’re much more likely to stick with your program. If you can’t make it to a group, having an online social fitness community (e.g., Facebook group) can also inspire you to keep working towards your goals.
Set and Commit to a specific goal…….
Although the long-term goal may be to lose 2 stone or run a 10k, it’s a good idea to set short term goals too. Sign up to the race and put it in your diary, but also set yourself weekly/monthly challenges that will lead you to your main goal. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time framed) and write them down!
Find the Best Exercise and Diet Plan for you……..
The best Exercise and Diet plan for you is the one that you enjoy doing!. You are far more likely to stay consistent if you actually enjoy what you’re doing and therefore this commitment will bring the greater long-term results. If you find it boring, you won’t stick to it so try something else!
Those low moments when you feel like stuffing your face or cancelling your gym session are bound to happen so plan a strategy for dealing with it. If you blow it on a night out, get back on it the next day, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed – you only fail when you give up!
You don’t have to exercise or eat like an Athlete, It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last and so what if you didn’t get a slimmer of the week award!. The most important thing to making your New Year’s resolutions work in 2019 is to keep at it!
Happy 2019 – Here’s to your Health, Fitness and SUCCESS!
Are you a Slave to the Scales?
Getting weighed on a regular basis can be a great indicator to your weight loss progress and help to keep you on track, however, if you’ve had a really good week of healthy eating and exercise and it doesn’t immediately show on the scales, don’t be disheartened that you’re not seeing results overnight. Unless you overate by 3500 calories, the change in your weight on the scales is water, not fat.
Our bodies are 70% water, so usually the daily fluctuations are water.
Many people don’t automatically see a weight-loss when they start to exercise either, in fact sometimes the number on the scales goes up – but it’s not a reason to stop exercising!
A few reasons you see fluctuations on the scale may be:
Recent increase in cardio activity
Cardio increases blood volume, so if you’ve recently taken up more exercise than usual, its common to see an increase in weight until it stabilises
Recent increase of weight training
Sore muscles retain water and eventually this leads to muscle gain.
Illness, Soreness, injury or bruising
This causes inflammation which leads to local water retention.
Change of meal timings
Although your calorie intake maybe exactly the same, eating meals later on an evening can affect the weight on the scales the next morning.
Single unusually large meal
Large meals take days to digest, along with the equivalent mass of water will remain in your gut.
Increasing your carbs
If you’ve had a low carb phase in your diet, a sudden increase will cause your liver and muscles to increase glycogen stores which will again increase your water weight.
Again, this will affect your bodies blood volume which will show up on the scales.
Change in fibre
This will affect your poo weight!
In short – trust your calorie intake! If you’re tracking your food accurately and are eating at a calorie deficit, you WILL be losing fat. The fat loss is just hidden on the scales by many causes of fluctuation in water and digestive waste.
The answer isn’t to eat less but to trust in your body and give it time to make any adjustments. Just don’t give up because of a number!
The Pre- Xmas Weight loss panic is here!
Are you one of the many people who started the year with good intentions of losing weight, exercising more and becoming fit and healthy, but lost the plot somewhere along the way?
If so, you may (sadly) be ending the year exactly where you started.
If you’re still determined for that last-minute attempt at losing the 2 stone you’d promised yourself you would lose by the end of the year, you’re probably now debating the following choices to drop the weight before Xmas.
- Eat lettuce only (NOT recommended)
- Spend all your cash on miracle shakes (NOT recommended)
- Spend 8 hours a day at the gym (NOT recommended if you’ve not moved from the sofa in a while)
All of which at this late stage can be tempting to try and you may lose weight (not necessarily bodyfat but more likely water) temporarily, but you could also end up gaining more weight than before when you start on the Christmas day indulgences.
OR (and this is the sensible suggestion that nobody wants to hear at this late stage)
Learn from your past mistakes, make a sensible plan and make a head start now with the healthy habits.
Yes, I know that changing your lifestyle, eating healthy and becoming more active won’t make you drop 2 stone in time for your Xmas party (but you may lose a few pounds, drop a dress size and feel good!) However, long term the results are far greater.
So, rather than thinking about dropping the pounds as fast as you can, think about making a plan so this time you keep the weight off for good.
Because If the plan didn’t work for you last time – you need a new plan!
Nobody wants to lose a stone fast and put it back on the next month, do they?
But in order to achieve PERMANENT RESULTS you need to make PERMANENT CHANGES.
So, with 7 weeks remaining this year, you CAN start by changing a few habits that (if repeated each day) will give you a head start to your new 2019 SENSIBLE Resolutions and make 2019 the year that you finally ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS!
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals?
If you want to lose a stone, drop a dress size, run a 10k or get fit and healthy – what’s stopping you from achieving it?
Whatever kind of Goal you’re trying to reach it’s rarely going to be easy. There will be barriers along the way that will test your determination and willpower, but it all comes down to how important your goal is and how much of a priority you make it.
You have a choice – either you do it or you don’t!
Firstly, you must make sure the Goal you have set yourself is for all the right reasons. It should be something that YOU want to achieve, not something you think you should, or that someone else has told you to do – a goal should be personal.
We all have a set of core beliefs about what we believe we are possible of achieving. Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right. You have to believe in yourself if you want to achieve your goal as you’ll never achieve anything that you don’t believe you can.
So, if you’ve already decided on your goal, make sure it’s a S.M.A.R.T Goal.
Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve?
Measured – How will you track your progress?
Achievable – Are you capable of reaching it?
Realistic – Is it a sensible goal to set?
Time-framed – When do you want to achieve it by?
If your goal isn’t S.M.A.R.T you could be setting yourself up for a failure from the start. Setting your goals too high is the most common way NOT to reach your goals. For this reason, I’ve never been one to promote quick fix diets and gruelling exercise programmes. I’ve seen it happen time after time – embarking on a plan that becomes a chore to do and although it may have instant results, it’s just not attainable in the long run and often leads to injury, gluttony, burn out and ultimately you end up back to where you originally were. If you want to make permanent changes, it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to require you to be committed and will require a Lifestyle overhaul, not a month of extremely low-calorie diets and over exercising. Again, the choice is yours.
If you’re guilty of any of the following excuses there’s a back up plan for them all!
1. Putting it off until ‘someday.’
As ‘someday’ never appears on the calendar, you’ll never accomplish your goals if you keep putting them off. If a goal is important to you, create a time framed plan of action and stick to it
2. Waiting to take action until you ‘feel’ ready.
If you wait until you feel ready to tackle something tough you may be waiting a long time so act now!
3. Not being prepared
Change isn’t easy – there’ll always be barriers in your path to your success sent to try you, so be prepared! Some days are harder than others but once you develop a plan for dealing with those situations you’ll feel more confident in your own abilities to keep going. Use your mental strength to keep reminding yourself you’re going to need to work hard to achieve your goals.
4. Seeing mistakes as failure.
Progression rarely happens in a straight line. Sometimes, you’ll have a blip and take one step back but it doesn’t mean you’ve gone all the way back to square one. Just because you failed to reach a goal in the past, it doesn’t mean you will fail again. Don’t let your past experiences doubt your future aspirations. Rather than thinking you’re destined for failure, learn from it, move on and get back on track.
5. Not making your goal a priority.
Goals are easy to set but actually doing the work is another story as you have to decide what kind of priority you’re going to give your goal. Otherwise, all your other daily activities will take over. Whatever your plan is – write it down and put it in your diary and again STICK TO IT!
6. Giving up before you see results.
Everyone wants results to happen immediately but just because you can’t see results, doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. You need to stick to your goals longer than you might think before you start to see and experience the changes.
7. Sabotaging your goals just before the finish line.
This one may sound strange, however, the fear of successfully reaching your goal can sometimes be a real problem. Perhaps you don’t believe you’re worthy of success? Be honest with yourself and be on the lookout for warning signs that you might be about to give up.
8. Setting your sights too high.
If you’re really excited about making positive changes, you might be tempted to set the bar too high but if you take on too much too fast, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Set some short-term achievements and celebrate each milestone along the way.
Are you prepared for the Challenge?
Once you’ve decided on your personal goal, you’ll need to be fully prepared if you’re going to achieve it so preparing in advance is vital. Having a sensible plan and being mentally prepared is what will make or break your achievements.
Excuses will arise that may prevent you from taking action, however try taking away all the negative thoughts and reasons you CAN’T do it and replace them with reasons you CAN!
Think positive – you’ve got this!
A Day in my Life
As a Personal Trainer, Class Instructor, Writer, Business owner and a single Mum, I have no choice but to lead a super organised lifestyle. In fact if I haven’t got each day planned out in advance I get too stressed out to manage it all, so being organised is my No.1 priority. I’m very lucky to be able to say that although my weekdays are hectic, I really love my lifestyle and all the challenges that go with it!
The Morning routine……
My alarm goes off at 5.45am each morning. I’ll be completely honest here – I don’t jump up full of motivation. I hate getting out of bed BUT once I’m up, dressed and I’ve talked myself round, I feel ready to tackle the day ahead.
After my breakfast (usually porridge) I generally train with clients from 7am to 12.30pm. Now that my children are older I’d rather be out of the way of the usual ‘are you up and dressed and ready for school yet?’ chaos!. If I don’t have to leave until later, I use the time to go for a run before work (again I don’t always feel like it but the feeling of going out for a run before I start my day is great so I have to talk myself into it!).
I always make the time every day for my own training (I schedule it in my diary at the beginning of each week). I usually go to the gym or go for a run as soon as I’ve finished training with clients. My clients sessions inspire me, especially if someone’s done a kick ass session – I go to the gym and do the same!
Going back to the diary……I’m a creature of habit. I like to do the same thing at the same time everyday which may sound really boring to some, but it helps me feel more organised and in turn I get more done.
After my gym session or run, I go home and have lunch which is generally some kind of salad, chicken or eggs and rice combination. I’m not the greatest of cooks but I try to be as creative as possible and if I’m taking a photo of my lunch to post on social media, I find I try a little bit harder with the presentation and in turn it actually tastes nicer. I then walk my dog and I use this time to re-charge my brain.
If you’ve got a hectic lifestyle it’s so important to look after yourself. As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty vessel’. It’s not being selfish, its self-care. I switch my phone off for just 20-30 minutes and try to clear my mind of any stress that’s going on. It’s not always easy to turn off from the outside world, but it’s very beneficial to your personal well-being and mental health to take just a bit of time each day to get some head space. Just breath and live in the moment without any distractions – even if it is while walking the dog in the rain!
So, after my half an hour of calm, the madness begins for round 2!
As the kids are returning from school I have my crazy 2 hours of the day. You know the scenario……I’m sat at my laptop trying to write, do my admin, pay bills, sort client folders etc. and the kids are asking ‘When’s tea ready?’ ‘Where’s my rugby shorts?’ ‘Can my friend come for tea?’ the dogs running around like a lunatic, the window cleaners knocking at the door and while you’ve successfully managed to sit and have a wee in private you get interrupted by a PPI call!
I constantly feel like I should do more with my kids – they always see me working, on my phone or going out to work. However, I was a stay at home mum whilst they were both pre-school so I suppose its good for them to see me now running a business and I’m hopefully inspiring them to do something they love and to work hard at it.
After our evening meal (which I always try to sit down as a family to eat) I’m back out to work to train my evening clients or class members. If it wasn’t for the fact that I love my job, there is no way I’d leave the house on a night. I’m a real home bird and could quite easily stay at home all day, but when I get to my class and see my class members giving it their all, I just love it! I’ve got a great team at my classes and along with my PT clients, as much as it’s MY job to motivate them all to work hard – they really motivate ME to do my best too.
I usually have a couple of hours on an evening before I go to bed and if I’ve got everything on my list done for that day I get chance to put my feet up and watch TV or read. Actually, this very rarely happens if I’m honest! In reality, I tend to walk the dog (again), pick up my phone, text clients, google workouts and post on social media (I’m working on not doing this as much BUT it’s a vital part of my job!). Then just as I’m about to get into bed I’m usually reminded that I haven’t washed a P.E. kit that needs to be ready for the next day!
Now I’d like to say I switch my bedside light off at 10pm and fall fast asleep but I currently have a bit of a problem with my sleep pattern. Sleep is so important for good health and I know I should go straight to sleep but my brain doesn’t seem to agree – this again, is an area I need to work on, but it’s so hard when you have a zillion ideas buzzing though your mind when your head hits the pillow.
So, this is my daily routine Monday to Friday and by the time the weekend arrives I generally switch mode. I’m an all or nothing type of person and although I love going for a long run on a Saturday morning, I also love slobbing on the settee in the afternoon. It’s the same with food, I eat healthily 90% of time but, I can eat A LOT, so I really look forward to my Saturday night Meal out or takeaway – it’s all about the overall balance. I haven’t drunk alcohol for over 2 years now and it makes a massive difference to my weekends, in fact it makes a difference to my working week too. Since giving up the booze I’m more productive, I perform my job a lot better and I seem to have more time as I don’t have to nurse a hangover which is a good job really as when my alarm goes off at 545am on Monday morning, I’m ready to do it all over again!.