By Eric Marionneaux, Rock Star Coach at FormWell
Why are so many people unsuccessful in maintaining their ideal health and fitness goals? Most of the time there are multiple reasons why. However, a lot of the time these “reasons” are really just excuses. We have all heard of the most common ones: not having enough time, enough motivation, or enough energy. If someone puts off exercising until the perfect time then it will never come or if it does then they will quit as soon as it becomes inconvenient again. In this post I would like to discuss they ways to make sure you are successful with your fitness goals and in all other areas of your life.
Step 1: Take Responsibility
The first step in being able to achieve your goals is taking responsibility. You are responsible for where you are in your health and fitness levels and if you are not where you would like to be then there is no one else to blame. Do not blame it on your job, your genetics, your upbringing, or that the dollar menu is the best way to save some money. Yes I know I do not understand what you have had to deal with in your life and circumstances surrounding it. But I do know there is always someone who has had it tougher and has been able to overcome it. For example, Joshua Sundquist who lost his leg from cancer when he was 9 years old.
Or Scott Belkner and his incredible story.
The point is if you put your mind to it then you can achieve it. From here on out start taking full responsibility for everything in your life. Once you are able to take responsibility you can start making changes towards everything in your life and health which you want to improve.
Step 2: Decide What It Is You Want To Achieve
As Will Smith says in his interview, “Just Decide!” Decide what it is you want to achieve with your health and fitness goals. Do you want to be as strong as you can be, as toned as you can be, as athletic as possible, or just look good enough in a bathing suit so that you don’t feel embarrassed going to the beach? Do you want to feel more energetic and healthy, or just look good? Make sure you understand WHY you want to achieve what it is you want, as this will help strengthen your commitment when things get tough. Do you want to look better so you will have more confidence in life and meeting other people? Do you want to be more healthy because diabetes runs in your family and you realize preventative care is the best course? Whatever it is, decide on it, realize your personal reasons for it, and set your mind towards achieving it.
Step 3: Set And Write Your Goals
Now that you have decided what it is you truly want to achieve it is time to set your goals. In my recent blog post I discussed setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed. Since you now know your general goal it is time to make it more SMART. Lets say you have decided you want to be as lean as possible while having a slightly above average amount of muscle. Great! Now make it SMART! Specify by saying “I weigh 175 lbs and have 10% or less bodyfat (if you’re a guy) on (certain date)”. This goal is specific with the pounds and bodyfat %, it is measurable since you can measure both of those, it is achievable provided you set an appropriate date, it is relevant as these measurements have to do with your fitness levels, and it is timed by setting a date. Notice that I also wrote the goal in present tense. This is an affirmation strategy to help reinforce your goals. Once you set a final goal, set smaller goals that will make it easier to reach that final goal. Narrow down to quarterly, monthly, and weekly. Your big goal may seem impossible at first, but setting your mind to it and breaking it down to to smaller goals makes it much more attainable!
Step 4: Do It For Yourself, Not By Yourself
Once you have written down all of your goals it is time to do work on them. You can try to do them by yourself, but it will be a much easier and quicker process with the help of others. Don’t be afraid to ask! Use the help of a personal trainer to design the correct program for your goals and train you if needed. Tell your family and friends your goals and have them keep you accountable. Educate yourself by reading and researching on information relevant to achieving your goals. A great way may to be finding someone who has already accomplished the path you are about to partake and reading about what they say helped them.
Step 5: Measure Your Progress And Share
Since you now have written goals and education on the best way to achieve them it is time to start measuring your progress! Make sure you record whether you hit your goal or if not how far away you were from achieving it. A great way to keep yourself motivated is to keep your friends and family updated on your progress when you achieve your smaller goals! Since they will be helping keep you accountable it will remind them to ask you about it from time to time as well. If you have notebook where goals are written then write down your accomplishing results next them. Take a picture of it and send to those holding you accountable so they can see your results and share the victory with you!
Step 6: Keep It Enjoyable
If you often have trouble pushing yourself and dread going to the gym then either you will eventually learn to enjoy it or you will quit. Personally, I feel that most people start to enjoy it once they start seeing results and learn how to do it properly. If you do not think you are wired that way then try out other physical activities to get in shape; then use exercise as a way to help you improve in these activities. Some good ones I enjoy doing are hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, snowboarding, water skiing, and swimming. If it is tough for you to be outside because of where you live try indoor ones such as a martial art, basketball, indoor rock climbing, or racquetball. Once you have found one you enjoy then exercise will become much more efficient at relieving your stress!
Step 7: Help Others
The final step to you being successful is helping others be successful with their goals! Once you have accomplished your goals then you will become an inspiration for others attempting to reach similar goals. Helping others is a great way for you to stay committed to maintaining or improving from the goal you have met, as it will keep you remembering the hard work you put in and how much better you feel. That, plus it just feels great to help others!
Well now you know what you need to know to accomplish all of your health and fitness goals and hopefully any other goals in life you would like to set. Have fun and good luck!