Caught up in the lazy, hazy days of warmer weather, we occasionally find ourselves immobilized by a case of spring fever. Motivation might be something found on the other side of a backyard fence, where the grass truly is greener due to a neighbor’s unrelenting diligence. You sit in the sun, wondering why your determination to lose weight has dissolved quicker than a preschooler’s interest in sidewalk chalk.
Despite best intentions, we sometimes fall short of our goals. (Admittedly, on occasion, we don’t even come close to reaching them.) Here are some rules on successfully setting goals and achieving them. Our focus is fitness, but these tips can apply to reaching any objectives.
Know What You Want
Without a destination, you won’t know which roads to travel to reach it. Fitness goals usually fall into one or more of several categories: becoming healthier, losing fat, gaining muscle, improving your sport, or simply enhancing your well-being. Usually, the steps for achieving these are shared. For example, weightlifting can build muscle and provide sports conditioning for your next big event or game. However, for the most effective fat-burning session, cardio exercise might be recommended.
Determine How to Accomplish It
Once you’ve established your short- and long-term goals, you can prioritize. Ultimately, you may want to compete in a triathlon. However, there are specific steps needed to get there. Know those steps. Refer to them regularly for progress checks. Discuss your routine with a personal trainer and/or Group Fitness instructor. He/she can offer insight on your exercise program to help you remain efficient and effective in your journey.
Don’t expect to bike a city-to-shore fundraiser as a beginner in the Cycling classes. Setting goals too high can be discouraging and lead to setbacks. Instead, keep your goals challenging but reasonable.
When trying to lose weight, don’t strive to drop 10 pounds in one month. If you follow an impractical–and possibly unhealthy–fitness program, you might get there. However, that doesn’t translate into an improved overall well-being. By maintaining balance in your life, and not radically adjusting all aspects for the sake of one goal, you can adapt something like weight-loss efforts into a healthier lifestyle. This is more manageable for long-term success.
Don’t simply aspire to become faster, stronger, or thinner. Track your progress with an ultimate end in mind. Set smaller goals to target along the way. If your goal is to build muscle, determine an exact weight you wish to be lifting after a certain number of months. Pump iron in 5-pound heavier increments until you reach your ultimate number. Acknowledge the small steps gained during your journey. You’ll enjoy an ongoing sense of achievement, which will propel you forward.
There’s Always Room for Improvement
Fitness gurus know that success is a journey, not a destination. Keep reaching higher, in your fitness endeavors and all aspects of life.
The Center’s personal trainers benefit from goal-setting in their personal exercise routines as well as their careers. The Center offers them the opportunity to become Tier Two trainers, which represents a stellar level of performance. “The Center fosters the growth of personal trainers through the Tier Two program. Having a higher level to which one can advance is a strong incentive to continuously improve,” shares Fitness Manager R.J. Pietrucha.
The Center’s goal in offering this growth opportunity is to create career-minded trainers who are committed to fitness for the duration. Tier Two trainers must meet stringent criteria, which includes attending advanced courses in fitness and health.
“This opportunity for trainers to advance their careers enhances the quality of their work. They reap rewards, as do Center members who benefit from the trainers’ drive to excel—to go beyond,” indicates R.J. Not to mention, the thrill of achievement is contagious.
Some personal trainers began as Center members. Their goals evolved to include sharing a passion for fitness with others. Cheryl Ziegler is exemplary of such goal climbing success. Originally, her goal was to improve her own health and fitness level as an avid exerciser. She kept reaching and became a Group Fitness instructor, ultimately followed by her current position as Regional Group Fitness Director. We all need aspirations to remain focused and excited about what we are doing.
At your next opportunity, write down a couple goals with the steps needed for achievement. Some of this may sound familiar from the New Year’s early days. Build on those past commitments or start fresh. Consider the advice shared in this article. Keep the list brief and accessible for quick viewing. Visualize yourself succeeding and make it happen.