Do you appreciate your Journey?
‘What are your goals?’ is one of the first questions I ask new clients when I see them. It’s important to establish a goal so I can make sure that the training plan is going to lead them to achieve what they want from personal training.
Losing weight, getting fit, having a flat tummy or shapely arms are the most common answers.
It’s not just about the final destination
It’s great to have a goal in mind and be working towards it, however appreciating the journey to achieve it is also important. While your working towards your main goal, try not to put too much emphasis on how great your going to feel when achieve your final goal, that you don’t notice or appreciate the changes along the way. All progress (e.g. losing a pound or running for 5 minutes more etc.) is progress. Yes, you may not have lost a stone yet or ran the full 5K but you should be really proud of yourself for each and every achievement along the way.
Self-appreciation is so important to our well-being – so make sure you learn to love who you are and where you are at every moment of your journey!
Progress is progress
As a PT and Class instructor I see a lot of people on a mission to get Fit and Healthy (obviously, it’s my job!). For those who I see week in and week out, it’s amazing to see their progress! I see fitness confidence improving, increased healthy choices being made and (as my clients will tell you) there’s nothing better than seeing some muscles emerging – it’s the best part of my job! I always make sure I tell them how well they’re doing. But what sometimes disappoints me is that they don’t always see it themselves just how fantastic they are doing, because they’re too focused on the end goal and that they’re not there yet.
Remember losing a pound is amazing, completing a workout is amazing, eating a healthy meal is amazing – any progress is amazing! Wherever you are at this very time of your life, remember you are amazing right now, so appreciate how well you’re doing.
If you’re on a Health, Fitness or Weight-loss journey, PLEASE make sure you’re loving and appreciating yourself along the way! X
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!
When Things don’t go to plan
A goal is just a wish without a plan, but what happens when the plan fails?
Progressive programming and periodisation, mathematically and scientifically calculated, works extremely well in theory – but in the real world is it really a SMART Plan for success?
The specifics for how to plan periodised training and nutrition plans to achieve accurately calculated progress are vital for programming athlete’s performance schedules, However, they may not always be as vital or effective for the average person wanting to work towards specific goals.
No matter how dedicated, committed and focused you are, unless your training and diet schedule is the top priority in your life, there are always going to be circumstances that arise in which it will take a backseat. Family, work responsibilities, injury or illness – for most of us happen! And deviating from a strict plan is sometimes inevitable – Life gets in the way!
There are going to be times that your plan will need to change, adapt and re-route to an alternative path to reach your goals so you don’t get to the point of giving up on them altogether! and rather than seeing it as a failure and feeling de-motivated when you’ve missed a scheduled training session and not stuck to your plan with military precision, you need to appreciate that you haven’t failed, you’re not halting your progress, but you’re just adapting your plan to reach your goal. Obviously, if you’re skipping your programme just because you aren’t committed enough and you have no self-control or discipline, you’re not going to be making progress, however it could mean that the programme your following just isn’t the right programme for you.
Is your Training plan torture?
There also has got to be some element of enjoyment to your training to get the most from your workout and the same applies to your diet. You’ll always give more effort if you’re enjoying it and your adherence to you programme won’t continue if you’re not!
Adapting your plan may mean choosing an alternative that’s suitable for your current state. You may have low energy that day for the workout specified on your training schedule, so you may need to switch your workout accordingly or even skip it and rest – which may sometimes be a lot more beneficial than pushing through a workout that’s too intense. Hormone levels may mean that for 3 or 4 days a month you find it impossible to stick to your calorie requirements, so rather than just blowing the diet completely, just allow for extra calories on these days. You’re not failing, you’re still on track, you’ve just varied your route!
And remember, progress isn’t only tracked by the numbers – weight, reps, measurements, calories etc. it’s also about HOW GOOD YOU FEEL!