We’ve now come to the point in January when the hangover has worn off, you’re back at work and those new years resolutions you made… long forgotten.
Exercise is no different from the other areas of your life in that it demands clear goals. Without clear goals you will find that your exercise is aimless in periods, sporadic and lacking in purpose.
Throughout history there have been numerous examples of people that have experienced terrific success and attributed this to clear and concise goals.
I once heard Kerri Pottharst speak, and she attributed her gold medal success to clear and concise goal setting.
One of the major problems that I find people have with goal setting is that they are vague in their detail. Vague goal setting will result in vague results.
So how do you set a goal that gives it the best possible chance of being achieved? It needs to follow these 5 guidelines:
- Be as specific as possible
Use future paced language that has definite language.
For example, rather than state your weight loss goal as ‘I want to lose 10 kg’. Try the following ‘I will weigh 80 kg at 5 pm on 30th Dec 2010’.
2. Ensure your goals are measurable
Ensure your goal has a metric attached to it so the success can be measured.
For example, instead of saying ‘I want to be fit’. A better goal would be ‘I will be running 10 km by 30th Dec 2010’.
3. Set adjustable goals
There may be times where injuries or illness stall your progress so you need to have adjustable goals. If you are aiming to run a marathon but have been inhibited by an injury then adjusting that goal to a half marathon would be a great alternative. Too often people give up on their goals when they face challenges.
4. Be realistic with your goals
Ensure the goals are challenging but physically possible to achieve. There must be a balance between having the goal set at a point that is too easy to achieve and having it set at a point that is unrealistic.
5. Have definite times for when you want to achieve your goals
Again, be as specific with your timeframes as possible. This will also apply to your objectives that you will set on your way to achieving that big goal.
The final and most important part of goal setting is the review process. Your goals need to be reviewed daily and you need to visualise the success of your goals regularly.
So what are exercise and health goals for 2011?
Happy New Year and welcome to 2010! What does this year have in store for you? For some people it may be the start of a new job, others may have a wedding to attend and others may want that fresh start they’ve been looking for in 2010. Whatever this year holds for you, the best way to arrive there is by setting yourself some New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, New Year’s resolutions seem so reasonable and practical on New Years Eve, during the first weeks of the year the even seem to grow closer; but at some stage during January or February they have disappeared out of our sights. They’re probably stacked up on the shelf next to those half-achieved resolutions from 2009 and 2008 because year in, year out; we keep on insisting that we will get them done- once and for all this year. To me, this screams a sense of urgency- screams that we need to get onto it this year, or it will start to get the better of us!
So, how are we going to make sure 2010 is any different? Those resolutions need to jump back off the shelf and stay where you can keep a close eye on them for the rest of the year!
Firstly, grab a pen and write down your main goals for this year. If they have anything to do with your health and wellbeing, make your goals SMART- Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe. For example, a client with some extra weight around her waist in 2009 was advised she had 10kg to lose for the benefit of her health and wellbeing. Together we sat down, and set her a specific exercise and eating plan for her overall goal of 5kg weight loss by June 30th, and a further 5kg lost by December 31st. To say that she was over the moon when she arrived at this very specific and realistic goal by New Years Eve would be an understatement! She looked and felt like a million dollars!
Once those goals are written down, tell someone about them. Tell your partner, your personal trainer, your boss or tell me. Whoever it is, make sure they hear you loud and clear because once you mutter those words aloud, they can hold you accountable to those goals.
The next step; what steps do you need to take to achieve these goals? If they are related to your health, you will likely need an eating plan; an exercise plan and you will definitely need to tell someone in the gym about your goals. Finally, set yourself a reward for reaching that goal. Reward your hard work with anything from that new pair of skinny jeans you’ve had your eye on to a relaxing bubble bath.
This year at Coastal Bodies, the trainers and I will combine exercise and dietary plans to enable you to achieve your goals! With that, I look forward to seeing you in the gym!
As the newest employee Coastal Bodies, I am so excited to jump on board with a team of inspired and energetic exercise scientists and use my up to date and relevant skills to assist Coastal Bodies clients in achieving their goals.
The best part about being a Dietician is the human element. Someone once told me that everything you need to know to be a Dietician is found on the back of the packet. To that comment I laughed (first and foremost), but then I challenged him by asking what kind of a packet prints things like personalized dietary plans, constant dietary monitoring or changes to one’s circumstances which need careful dietary consideration or even things like coping strategies. He then admitted to me that he actually really struggled to make any sense of the nutrition panels on packets!
I feel that the most important tool I can possibly impart is knowledge, as I believe that is the best key to success- no matter what your goals may be.
I often get asked “why is it so important to combine diet and exercise?” To best describe it, picture that your body is a truck and you have to drive it from Sydney to Melbourne. The amount of time it will take you to do the trip is dependent on how heavy the load in the truck is and how fast you can accelerate. This is similar to your body, in such that a heavy load will take a lot longer to pull along, and use more energy to get going. If you are careful about the number and types of calories you eat, you will have a lighter load to pull along through your training sessions; making it easier to get up your speed and efficiency. Naturally, this is the best way to arrive at your goal with a clear head and enough time to pick out a dress.