Success requires a bit of a plan – you’ll definitely find it easier to succeed, and stick with your training, if you have specific goals in mind. When you have specific goals – wanting to lose x% of body fat, wanting to be able to lift a certain weight, wanting to run a marathon – it’s easier to make a plan to help you reach those goals.1. Make your goals achievable. I don’t mean make them easy, they wouldn’t be goals if they didn’t need some work. But don’t make them so hard that you’ll struggle to achieve them, you can always increase your targets later. Making a goal that can be broken down into shorter term wins is also important – that way you’ll get a sense of achievement as you progress, keeping you motivated.
2. Enjoy yourself – if you hate running, chances are you’re going to find it difficult to reach a goal that relies heavily on pounding the pavement. Find something you enjoy doing and, trust me, you’ll find it much easier to stick with it and reach your goal. There are so many different options out there, so try weights, cardio, high intensity training, dancing, swimming, classes… anything you think you might enjoy.
3. Avoid inconvenience – if you join a gym that takes an hour to get to, how often do you think you’ll go? If you want to reach your fitness goals, find ways to make it easy to work on achieving them. Get your workout clothes ready the night before, so you can grab and go in the morning. Choose a gym close to work, so you can go on your way home instead of having to find the motivation to go once you’ve already started to relax.
4. Get help – working towards goals with a friend can help keep you on track, and feeling accountable to one another is a great way for both of you to stick with your plan even when you’re not feeling it. If you don’t fancy that, there are also plenty of apps to help you – Nike+ tracks your runs and monitors your progress, Fitocracy gives you points and quests as well as letting you compete against friends and strangers, and Zombies, Run is a fun way to really motivate yourself to get moving! There are plenty of others, so have a look and see what digital support works for you.
5. Don’t give up – if you miss a day or two, sometimes it can feel like it’s all over. But we all slip up sometimes, and that doesn’t mean we’ve failed. If you get off course, don’t let that discourage you; it’s part of the process. Just make sure you get back up and try again tomorrow.
Have a look at my “practical fitness and health tips” post for some more ideas that will help you reach your goals, and don’t forget that it’s only you that can achieve them, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.
Until next week …