I would like to encourage you to make sure you are acknowledging how far you have already come in your health and fitness journey– not always judging yourself negatively on how far you still have to go. For example, did you wake up and feel great today? Yes? Ok then–who cares if the scale did not move in the direction you wanted it to this week? As much as we need to prioritize getting our bodies healthy, we also need to prioritize celebrating small victories, such as waking up feeling great, versus waking up feeling blah. Celebrate having great energy during a Boot Camp class, versus struggling every minute of the hour like day one.
Let’s face it, we often think that the only thing that can make us happy is that long term goal; it’s the only thing that is going to fulfill us or bring a sense of happiness. However, the truth is, small victories make us happy RIGHT NOW! I had a great example of this in front of me these past couple weeks. My middle son, Kade, is a triathlete, and recently decided to take up golf! If you have ever played golf, then you know it is not as easy as the pros make it look. Long story short, my son now wants to be a professional golfer (long term goal). After several trips to the driving range, he finally hit the ball straight down the fairway. He was ecstatic!! He is by no means ready for the PGA Tour, but that one straight shot gave him the happiness and confidence he needs to keep striving for his long term goal. Confidence–this is something that should never be underestimated. This is the secret stuff that allows you keep trucking through the tougher days.
A goal without a plan will be very hard to reach. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you see your progress.
Goal: I want to lose weight.
Well to get this goal S.M.A.R.T., we have a lot of details to fill in.
*Who: Who is involved? If I am seeking professional help, have I registered or contacted them? Do I need to line up childcare to fit in exercise time? Have I talked with my family about my goal?
*What: What do I want to accomplish? The list can be long on this one: feel better, eat more nutritiously, get healthy, have more energy, fit into clothes more comfortably, etc, etc.
*Where: Identify logistics/location How long is the commute to these classes? How much time will I need to be able to properly plan my day?
*When: Establish a time frame. When am I starting? How many days a week will I be exercising? What nutritional changes do I need to make?
*Why: Reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal. I will have more energy to do homework and play with my kids, I will be able to come off my blood pressure meds, etc.
Specific: Your goal should be very clear and easy to understand.
“I want to get in shape and eat nutritiously while losing 10lbs.”
Measurable: Measurable means that we are putting numbers with it. How will you track your progress? How many days a week will you be exercising? How often will you track your weight and inches lost? How often will you reflect on the cardio and strength improvements you see during exercise?
Attainable: Setting a goal to lose 25 lbs in one month is not attainable in a healthy manner. Setting goals that are unattainable will only set you up for discouragement. Setting something attainable will keep you encouraged and ready to move on to the next S.M.A.R.T. goal!
Relevant: This goal should be relevant and meaningful to YOU. Make sure all goals are YOUR goals, not anyone else’s, or a goal that you just think you should have. When you have chosen a goal that is deeply rooted in your wants, needs, and desires, you will have much more motivation to reach for it daily. It is on day-to-day basis that ANY goal is met–not month-to-month.
Time-Bound: “I am going to register for twice a week Boot Camp and My Healthy Goals STARTING NEXT WEEK! And I will keep it up for two months, then revisit my goal!”
Since healthy and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week, you should put a goal date of 5-10 weeks to lose 10 lbs.
NOW…Remember my opening paragraph? You have to now make another list of short S.M.A.R.T. goals to add to your victorious days!
I will bring my lunch to work 3 days a week.
I will drink a minimum of 8, 8oz glasses of water per day.
I will eat breakfast 5 days a week.
And yet, we still need to enjoy and be thankful!
Are you enjoying your healthy and fit lifestyle or just mindlessly chasing a goal? As fitness enthusiasts, we are often very forward-thinking and goal-oriented. This helps you to stay motivated, but does it help you stay positive and happy? Are you focused on the fact that you can’t do twenty pull ups? Or focused on the fact that you can finally do your S.M.A.R.T. goal of one unassisted pull up? Enjoy the success of your S.M.A.R.T. goals, and pursue happiness first. CHOOSE to enjoy life itself, as it is a blessing.
There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. We all know that, but do we remind ourselves of that often enough and highlight the blessings around us? There are people in your life that are supporting you and rooting for you to succeed. Keep that in your back pocket when you start to feel discouraged or crummy. There will always be rough days, and sometimes rough seasons, but we should focus on the half glass full side of life–truly, we should be thankful that we even that we have a glass to fill!