How to set fitness goals you'll actually stick to
We’ve all been there, half way through a pack of biscuits justifying it to ourselves that we’ll eat the whole pack now and that means there’ll be gone; ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ and the diet can start tomorrow! Two weeks later, you’re half way through another pack of biscuits. When it comes to setting fitness and health goals we often approach it from a negative angle by placing our focus on losing weight and looking a certain way, ‘When I’m 7lbs lighter THEN i’ll be happy’, ‘When I’m two sizes smaller, then i’ll feel good’.
And so we enter a calorie obsessed world where we stop doing and eating the things we love and often deprive ourselves. We spend double the amount of time in the supermarket scanning the back of packets looking at which brand has the least grams of fat in it and only do the exercises class that burn the most calories, rather than the ones that make us feel good! And you know what, it sucks! It sucks real bad!
Subsequently, there are usually two outcomes in this scenario.
You decide life’s too short to be miserable and then binge eat ALL the things you’ve been craving. This is fun for all of about 10mins but ultimately you end up feeling worse and thinking you’ve failed.
You stick with it and hit your target weight and you feel great for a while. But then a few weeks later some friends invite you out for dinner. You relax, have a nice meal, enjoy a few glasses of wine and when you come home you’ve put on 2lbs! All of a sudden, this wonderful night out that should have been a positive thing is tainted. Rather than feeling happy that you caught up with some amazing people, you can feel anxious and upset that you let yourself relax and have fun and now you’re not at your ‘happy weight’.
In our quest to be ‘healthy’, I would argue that neither of these options are anywhere close! So how do we change this?
Rather than focusing on external factors, the next time you set a goal, think about how you want to FEEL. This should align with your core values, when you work towards something you truly believe is important it is far easier to hold the vision and trust the process.
Do you want to feel Strong? Confident? Do you want to have more energy? Write those feelings down, connect to them, say them out loud as positive affirmations if it helps, but it should feel good as you read or say it!
When we focus our goals on gaining something positive, all of a sudden we have positive choices. We’re not depriving ourselves of anything, we’re only adding to our lives.
Want to feel strong? Find a way of incorporating some weighted exercises into your day. I personally love District’s Box class because I feel like an indestructible Warrior! I still get an amazing workout but more than that I feel de-stressed and like I could conquer the world!
Want to feel alive? Grab your best mate and go do something that ignites a fire in your belly. That might be hiking a mountain, kayaking in a lake or trying something brand new and fun like a rhythm ride class at District (hint hint!!)
Whatever you choose, when you achieve that next step towards your goal, you should feel a sense of fulfilment. That’s the pathway to healthy and happy!
Even though the activity itself might be challenging and tough, the pain will pass and you will be left with a feeling of pride, strength and confidence. These emotions are firstly much more positive and secondly, they’re encouraging! Do the things that make you feel good, do the things that make you happy and I guarantee you’ll stick to them!
When I wanted to be thin, I looked at my body and saw all the negatives I wanted to change. I focused on making everything smaller. Now I choose to be strong, I look at my body and I honestly love it! Not because of the shape but for all the miles it has carried me and how invincible I feel when I cross a finish line or stand at the top of a mountain. Now I feel healthy in both my body and mind and all it took was a change of perspective and setting the right goal.
Our 30 Day challenge is a great opportunity to set positive goals that will last beyond the challenge and ensure you continue to make happy, healthy decisions that will ultimately improve your lifestyle.