Today’s post is all about goals. This post might be most appropriate on, say, January 1st, but let’s talk about it now! My new-client base ramps up every fall, as it is right now, and I’ve been having lots of “goal talks” with them.
Before I even begin to start writing a training program for clients, I have a lengthy discussion with them about their goals: What are they? Why are they? Why are they now? Why weren’t they 1 year ago? How will they reach them? How do they know they’re committed this time? And so on…
By the end of the discussion, we’re both a little mentally exhausted, but more often than not, the client is much more committed, and truly knows the reasons why they’ve decided to improve their health at this moment, and how.
So let’s say you have a goal in mind for fitness or weight loss, and say you know why it’s your goal. Now let’s talk about the how. How do you set yourself up for success when setting goals?
1. Set Realistic Goals.
Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard this one plenty of times before. But that’s because it’s true. It’s not easy to lose a pound of fat a week, let alone 2-3 pounds (if fat loss is that goal.) If you set a small goal – say, not going out to eat at all for one week – and you accomplish that goal, you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, it’s that much easier to keep on going.
2. Set Goals for your Goals.
This is a big one during my initial client assessment, and it sometimes brings out the waterworks. You have to know why you’re setting these goals in the first place, and then how you’re going to achieve them. How are you going to set yourself up for success?
Don’t just say I’m going to go to the gym every morning before work. Say: I’m going to go to the gym every morning before work by setting my alarm 60 minutes earlier, and getting to bed by 9:00pm every night.
3. Start working with an esteemed trainer.
Go to the people who know more than you. Go to someone who is very educated, who has produced tangible results for other clients of theirs. Make sure you have a plan from someone you respect, so you know what you’re doing will produce results. It doesn’t even have to be a personal trainer at a gym or studio. Research some great trainers who have written solid fitness books with training programs and advice. Some of my favorites are Alwyn Cosgrove, Greg Cook, Mike Robertson, Bret Contreras, and more.
4. Eliminate the frustrations
Including diet and/or exercise. Take away what makes you fail! Take whatever you’re good at, and run with it. Are you awesome at getting your butt to the gym at 5:30am and getting your workout in? Start there. Not so good at snacking too much? Be aware of it, but don’t put your entire focus on it. You don’t need to do everything all at once. Start with consistency in one area, and then once you master that, move on to the next. Setting goals is about a lifestyle – not about adding or subtracting.
5. Schedule a break.
If you’re busting your ass for 2 months with diet and exercise, it can be very mentally and emotionally alleviating to know that in not too long, you can have a break – a few days or a week – to take it easy on yourself. Go out with friends and enjoy a beer, burger, and fries. Have dessert. Take it easy in the gym. Enjoy it, and then move on, and start back up. Chances are, by the end of that week, you’ll be ready to get back at it again…knowing that you’ll have another break soon
Do you have any current fitness goals? What are they?