By: Tracy Magwire @tmagfit
Have you ever made the decision to accomplish a goal only to bail after a few weeks when your motivation wanes? Or perhaps you gave up before you even started because you weren’t sure where to begin. Maybe your New Year’s resolution involved losing weight and getting ripped but instead resulted in months of wasted membership fees and gym clothes that long to see the light of day. Maybe you had a couple of solid weeks only to revert back to old habits once the novelty wore off. Let’s change that pattern!
As a career music educator, setting goals, making a plan to accomplish those goals, and routinely analyzing progress are all a regular part of my day to day life. Applying this same philosophy to your fitness routine will help you stay focused and achieve your goals!
Aspire - Set a realistic goal
As I made my way through pandemic/quarantine life over the past 12 months, I found myself on a newly energized fitness journey that started with a small and attainable goal; Keep up with and complete the 10 day workout series that was being posted in my online fitness group.
Set a goal that is realistic for YOU. While it would be nice to have 6 pack abs like Nick Jonas, if you haven’t worked out in a decade and eat more junk food than not, this is not a reasonable place to start! Being overly ambitious in this step can actually set you up for failure. Instead, try setting targets that can be more easily attained for example, exercising 30 minutes at least 3 days per week .
Success breeds success and reaching these smaller milestones will help build the confidence you need to accomplish more down the road!
Act - Make a Plan & Follow Through
In order to make it through the Fast & Furiously Fit workout series with @bodyrockseanlight, I had to make a plan. I set aside a specific time each day that I would workout, got my family on board, and made sure I had all of the equipment I needed. The trick then became figuring out how to keep the momentum going after the novelty wore off.
Holding yourself accountable in a way that works for YOU is the key to being able to follow through when the going gets tough. Maybe the feedback from friends, trainers, and even strangers motivates you to continue and posting about your goals on social media is enough. Perhaps you prefer accountability to just one or two people and may find something like a personal trainer or a workout partner more beneficial. Or maybe you are intrinsically motivated and things like journaling or the promise of a reward upon completion is enough to keep you going. Don’t know which one best fits you? Start experimenting and see what works!
Achieve - Analyze & Find Success
My fitness journey success was visible rather quickly. Within a couple of months I had more energy, my clothes were fitting looser - or not at all - and I was happier with the face looking back at me in the mirror. After a while though, I felt like my progress was stalling. It was time to take an honest look at where I was: What things were going well? What changes did I need to make to continue to take steps forward?
While this step can be an uncomfortable one, it is arguably the most important. One of my college professors used to tell us that we had to think like doctors and “Analyze, Diagnose, and Prescribe”.
- Analyze - What is/is not working?
- Diagnose - What is the underlying cause of any problem areas?
- Prescribe - What is the best way to fix them?
We are only able to make true progress towards our goals if we are able to look honestly at our current state, analyze our shortcomings, and make a plan to remedy them. If your fitness journey is not progressing as hoped, is your diet right? Are you lifting heavy enough? Are you pushing hard enough through each rep?
Mistakes and setbacks are the way that we humans learn and get better - it is only a failure if you give up! - so give yourself grace and patience and use your mistakes to grow instead of derailing all of the progress you have already made!
Pablo Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” You really can accomplish anything that you set your mind to, but you need to have a plan to get there, a support system to keep you motivated, and the resilience to push through challenges. Need help determining a path forward or breaking out of a rut? Reach out - I am more than happy to help! You’ve got this!