Christmas has passed, as have all the good excuses for eating a whole box of chocolates in one sitting... And the new year is now in full swing, along with all our fresh new resolutions! But how many of those resolutions actually stick? And is it because we are setting too many challenging goals for ourselves at once? Well this year I have chosen to make NO New Years Resolutions. Why? I can't think of any, nor do I feel I need any. Instead I'm focusing my mind on progression & being more constructive overall.
So if you're like me & can't think of or want a New Years resolution, then maybe it's the perfect time to reassess some old goals, to make this a productive & positive year for us all! These goals don't have to be just fitness, you can reassess any in a similar way, but today we are focusing on those fitness goals.
Step 1 - Where Are You Now?
It's time to access your currant status, so ask yourself these questions...
What are my goals? Why do I exercise? The basic questions. Personally my general goals are to loose body fat & build muscle, whilst increasing my overall fitness level. I exercise because I love how it makes me feel & the results of working hard are addictive!
Are you seeing results now? If not, were you before? It's important to access how well you're progressing & if you need to up the anty. I am still seeing results, but then I do always push myself - be that 5 more minutes of cardio, extra reps or heavier weights - I push my body, to make sure I am working as hard as I can that day. If you're no longer seeing results, it might be time to change or increase the intensity of your workout.
How much do you really want your goal vs What are you willing to give up? You have to understand that you won't necessarily get that six pack if you love eating junk food... You have to decide what makes you happier & if there's an balance you can set your sights on instead. I have a small treat each day, but it fits into my macros, so I am able to find that balance.
What are my excuses? Mine normally is that I'm too tired, it's too late or it's raining (I walk to the gym). Your excuses could be what's holding you back. Be honest with yourself as to whether it is an excuse or a genuine reasons. By all means don't push yourself to exhaustion, but do recognise when an excuse is preventing progress.
Am I over reaching? Every one is different & what is possible for one person within a certain time frame, isn't necessarily possible for another. So work hard, but don't be too hard on yourself if you're not reaching your goals quickly, instead celebrate the small changes & keep pushing, because with hard work comes success. Plus don't set too many goals or overly ambiguous goals for yourself, or it becomes tricky measuring progress.
Now you know your current fitness levels, you can start analysing what could change.
Do you enjoy what you are doing? The most important question! If exercise currently feels like a punishment, you need to find something you enjoy. You don't need a treadmill or a set of weights to get fit - explore classes, home workouts & sports, to find what you most enjoy. The more you enjoy something, the more often you'll want to do it. I used to do purely cardio & found it so tedious; but now I can't get enough of weight training & learning new things within it.
Is your diet effecting your goals? It's time to be honest with what you eat in a day! The best method I find, is to work out your macro nutrients & use an app to see if your typical daily food exceeds this. Or perhaps it could be too much processed foods within your diet? Or too many sugary drinks that are tripping you up? Alternatively, are you eating enough? If you're low on carbs, you'll be low on energy. If you're not eating much protein, your muscles will be sore longer & never grow. Your body needs each food group for different processes, so don't deprive it. Check out some of my meal ideas on the food section of my blog, to help inspire you.
What to change? Next it's time to decide on what needs changing? If something isn't working well for you, you're bored of it or perhaps don't enjoy it - find another activity. If you love what you do, but the routine is easy, find new workouts & up the intensity. Isolate something that isn't working for you & replace it with something that will.
How often can you train? If you set yourself a goal of an hour a day, but realistically don't have the time, you're setting yourself up to fail. Work out how often you can train & when. For example I train 5-6 times per week for around an hour & that works well for me.
Are you working hard enough? Your goal may be purely to push yourself more & give it 100%. It can be hard, but just think of the results. If you need some extra inspiration, try finding inspiring individuals on social media to follow - for me I love Carly Rowena & Heidi Somers, as they're so down to earth & have such huge work ethics, that it always inspires me to keep pushing. For others inspiration may come in the form of a playlist to get you focused, a special ocassion that you want to look your best for or in the form of a personal trainer, of whom you work harder for because they know how to push you.
My goals for 2017
General long term goals for the year Cut body fat percentage through nutritious diet (eating as clean as possible) & HIIT cardio. Then later build muscle & strength, by altering my macro ratios & lifting heavier but with fewer reps.
Specific short term goals Work my way to doing strict pull ups, by frequently starting a workout with assisted pull ups & by building upper body strength over all. Drop body fat percentage, by eating cleaner, with a 200-300 calorie deficit, but making sure to get plenty of protein & to space small meals throughout the day, to stay full! Drink more water. Continue to build my cardiovascular strength, by ending working with cardio & gradually upping it's intensity.
Need more inspiration? Find an area you're weakest in & comment bellow, google or ask a trainer how you could improve. For example a particular exercise you can't do, you want to decrease body fat percentage, increase your cardiovascular endurance, build on your strength or perhaps become more flexible?
One final thought to end on - did you know, that it takes just 2 weeks for something new to become a habit? So if you can push through the initial 2 weeks, it'll get easier & easier!
With thanks to Parker Pens for the Jotter Portobello Purple Chrome Trim Ballpoint Pen, that has helped me record all my goals for 2017!
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