Working out without a clear goal in mind is like driving a car without a destination – not inherently wrong, but very difficult to measure progress or success. By determining precise, reasonable goals, every workout will have more purpose. One of the most famous methods to goal setting is the S.M.A.R.T. system, which stands for key attributes of an effective goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
One of the often overlooked steps to achieving a goal is to set a realistic one in the first place. Though you may want to achieve a much larger goal in the future, it is important to set reasonable expectations (even slightly lower than you think is possible) so you don’t get discouraged. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Once you've set a S.M.A.R.T. goal, it's time to think about clear, actionable steps. These would likely have started to formulate while you were setting goals, but now it is time to solidify exactly how you will be going about achieving your goal.
- Choose a strategy that works for you and aligns with your fitness goals, taking into account your busy schedule.
- Ensure that you set a date and method to track your progress regularly.
- Set a specific date to reassess your fitness goals and routine to ensure that you’re progressing appropriately.
- Post your goals and your “why” somewhere where you will see it when you begin making excuses or lacking motivation.
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to start making the most of your energy. Cultivate discipline by setting aside your excuses and consistently reminding yourself of your priorities. Find inspiration and motivation, knowing that some days will feel harder than others. All the while, keep your focus on your fitness goal.
Find a supportive friend that you can share your health and wellness goals with but who will still hold you to a high standard when you start to make excuses. Rather than informally checking in with a friend every time you remember, set yourself up with a weekly scheduled progress report where you let your friend know when you worked out, what your routine was, and any progress that you have made in the past week. This strategy is used by many people, from beginners to fitness junkies, and is found to be 15% more effective than just holding yourself accountable.
The Right Nutrition
Training alone won’t deliver the results you’re looking for. According to an article in the Center for Nutrition Studies, exercise only contributes about 20% to healthy weight loss, with nutrition taking care of the remaining 80%. Though a well-planned fitness routine can build muscle, without eating well, your body’s fat and weight won’t make the necessary shifts to get you where you want to be.
Fueling your workout is important. With the right combination of healthy fats, proteins, and carbs, you can add power to your fitness routine, as well as rest and recover effectively. Sign up now to start receiving healthy, delicious meals delivered directly to you that will complement your workout efforts.