How to set fitness goals and achieve them.

What’s your dream?

Most of us have one major motivating factor that sets us off on a fitness journey.  As women, that goal is usually something along the lines of ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to tone up’ or ‘I want to get healthy’.

As wishes, these are great but they are too broad and too ambiguous to be achievable goals.

“A dream is just a dream. 

A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline”

Define the Details.

Write down all the things that contribute to you why you want to lose weight, tone up, get abs etc?

Is there a deadline?

Is there an important event coming up that you would like to feel good for, such as a wedding, your birthday, a reunion or a holiday?  For me, I had a major family holiday planned to Florida, so I wanted to be looking and feeling my best by a very specific and scary 4 month deadline.

Can you measure it?.

Is there a particular size you want to be?  Is there a particular item of clothing you want to get back into?  Are there a certain number of inches you want lose?  Or maybe you want to see an increase muscle mass.  I was anxious to get back to my pre-pregnancy size, but most important to me, was feeling good in a bikini again.  It wasn’t a numerical measurement but it was certainly a visual measurement that kept me accountable.  Maybe you want to feel great in skinny jeans again, or your wedding dress is your goal, or maybe it’s how you see yourself in your birthday suit that counts.

How do you want to feel about yourself?

Do you want to feel proud, confident, healthy, strong, sexy?  For me, I wanted to feel successful at something.

How do you want to see yourself?

I wanted to ditch my mumsy, post baby image and feel young and attractive again.  I wanted to look in the mirror and like what I saw.

These are more emotional goals but they can be just as powerful as physical ones, if not more so.

Did you write it all down? Well done!  These are all your biggest motivators. These will be your driving forces.   On days when you feel like you want to quit you will be able to look back at them and re-read them and remember why you started.

“Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods”

SMART Goals

One of the best known methods for setting great goals is to make them SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

Whilst I don’t always use this principle exactly as its intended, I do try to keep it in the forefront of my mind when deciding on a plan of action.  For instance my goal might be to reduce bloating and increase my water intake.  Whilst that is a great, specific goal there’s no target. Therefore you are unlikely to feel like you ever really achieved that goal.  But if I say, I will drink 8 glasses of water a day, the goal immediately becomes clear and I know exactly what I have to do to reach it.   I can easily keep track of it and I can now feel successful when hit my target for the day.

This is another great reason to keep your goals small.  The smaller, more realistic and shorter timescale your goals are, the more opportunities you give yourself to succeed. Smaller actionable steps such as ‘I will workout for 30 mins today’ are the stepping stones to those landmark moments.  Focus on one week at a time and set an attainable target to make each day a success.

Don’t worry about being too easy on yourself, it’s not just those end goals that are worthy of a celebration. Remember that little changes add up to big transformations.  Lots and lots of small steps will get you much further down the road than a couple of major leaps.  Give your self every chance you can, to feel good about yourself, as often as possible.  Be your own biggest cheerleader. This is one of the hardest and almost unnatural things to do for yourself, but it’s so important. So make sure you praise yourself for each and every step taken in the right direction.

Success is contagious

Success is a powerful feeling and it is the key to achieving your goals.  Just a little taste of it early on and consistently after that, will keep you motivated and striving to achieve more and more.  So stop believing you will fail, put those small, manageable goals in place and let yourself succeed.

 

Example of my goals

The Dream :

To lose all of my baby-weight and be slim and fit forever.

Major Goals:

To be my pre-pregnancy size by September 8th 2015

To look toned/in good shape in a bikini by the time I go on holiday.

To have a healthy, balanced relationship with food that allows me to eat well and enjoy everything.

Minor Goals (eg: Monthly):

To have completed 4 weeks of the Bikini Body Guide.

To prioritise my fitness schedule.  No missed workouts.

Only take 5 sec breaks during workouts.

Do unmodified push ups on my toes.

90% clean diet and no added sugar  – (replace with honey or other natural sweeteners).

Only 10% treats

To see visible improvement on my 4 week progress picture.

Lose half an inch from my tummy.

Weekly goals Example:

Increase water intake.

Eat clean 6.5 days of the week

Half a day for eating treats.

3 x resistance workouts

3 x LISS

1x stretch and rehab session

1 x rest day ( just as important as a workout day)

Daily Goals Example:

Drink 8 glasses of water today

Workout for 30 mins

All meals to be clean today.

Take a clean pre-prepared lunch/snack with me when I go out/go to work etc

 

Insta-goal-agram.

Instagram is a super effective tool for setting, keeping and achieving goals. I would encourage anyone who is embarking on a fitness journey to consider setting up a ’fitsagram’.   You don’t have to have a public account like I did, as even on a private setting it’s a great way of verbalising your intentions and keeping you accountable to those goals.

There are a whole host of benefits to putting your fitness journey on a social networking site like this.  There are amazing communities dedicated to every type of exercise/workout program going.  There are endless amounts of useful resources available.  Like-minded people willing to cheer you on, nutritional advice, modifications for exercises, success stories to learn from and transformations galore to motivate you and help you stay committed to your goal.

Keeping a photographic journal of your efforts is ‘virtually’ addictive; it also provides a great perspective over where you’ve come from to where you are going.  For me, I do it for the #postworkoutselfie.  Nothing quite beats the high of celebrating those small but important, everyday successes.  To this day I look forward to working out because of them and it keeps me consistently coming back for more.   Give it a go!  I promise you wont be disappointed and when you do ultimately reach those goals, you will be so grateful you have a picture to look back on, of every step you took to change your life.

Some of my all time favourite instagram #postworkoutselfies from the very beginning

“ What you get by achieving your goals

is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”

image

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