Tag archive: fitness

5

How to Set Effective Goals

It happens before every summer, and every new year: people will make resolutions to lose weight, eat right, and get healthy. Unfortunately, up to 88% of people fall through on their goals in record time. So how can we make our personal goals stick, and avoid the usual pitfalls? Here are a few tips to help with making effective goals on the way to any achievement:

Set Your Horizon:
Your journey cannot begin without a destination. A goal always starts with the driving factor which is the long term outcome you want to achieve. Whether its ”I want to change my eating habits,” ”I want to lose 50 lbs” or, “I want to quit smoking”, you must decide on the end point.

Make a Plan:
To create an outcome is the first step, but it is completely hollow unless it is followed with “I will achieve this by…” This is also the best time to do research. Research may include collecting healthy diet recipes, finding a workout plan that best suits your lifestyle and interests, or browsing the local gyms for one you would feel comfortable working out in. It may also include looking into the success stories of others, and asking questions: some of the best advice you can receive is from someone who has reached a similar goal. The planning stage is the best time to set a realistic deadline for when you want to be successful by. Not only does this keep you on track, it helps you evaluate your progress over time, to better understand how far you can go. (Research is also very useful for understanding what a reasonable timeline is for your specified goal).

Be realistic, and start with small goals:
Once you have determined an end point and a plan to follow, its time to plan a few pit stops. Progress does not happen over night, and small goals help gratify our successes while keeping us focused on the end outcome. If your overall goal is to lose 100 lbs, start with 15, and celebrate your achievement. Start with dropping a pant size, lifting 5 lbs more than you can at the moment, or switching to whole grains. The success of these small goals replenish our drive to reach our final destination, and encourage us through those long phases in between, where it may feel as if we are not getting very far.

Find a support group:
Share your goal with your friends and family, and ask someone to join you on your journey. Exercise partners are a great way to keep yourself accountable, and motivated! Support groups can help facilitate the research portion of your planning, share their own experiences, and help you when you are struggling. In many cases, people find that their immediate friends may not be the most supportive to their plans, but do not be discouraged by this! There are people everywhere who will support you, and you may gain new friends in the process.

Be accountable and honest:
One of the largest pitfalls associated with exercise, health and diet goals is denial, so do not be afraid to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Everyone is capable of making an excuse for why they didn’t make their workout, and we all know they’re usually tenuous at best. But the excuse game is in no way is beneficial towards reaching your goal. If you don’t have an excuse, don’t try and make one. Acknowledge your slip up, take responsibility, and move on. It is only through acknowledging our faults, weaknesses, failures and slip ups, that we are able to meet them head on and achieve better in the future.

Do not succumb to guilt:
Regret over an indulgence or a missed workout often leads to an entire guilt trip, causing the person to fall further and further behind on their goals, or starting all over, which we know can be so discouraging. Many people also consider their exercise to be, “all or nothing.” Slipping up once, means its just not going to happen for them. This is ridiculous! So you skipped the gym, so you had that cupcake, is it worth throwing everything away? Mistakes happen, and so do missed workouts. You may not feel good about it, but it is not the end of the world. Pick up where you left off, because lamenting gets you no closer to your goals. Those who wallow in guilt rather than face their problems head on are more likely to repeat the guilty action, or fall out of the habits entirely. Do not be a victim of your guilt!

Keep Track:
Write everything down. Your weight, what you eat, what weight you were using for your reps, everything. By having the information handy, not only can you see where you are progressing and have a better understanding of how to increase your intensity at a reasonable rate, but you can also see where your weaknesses are. Does your weight shoot up after a lazy weekend? Are you not eating as healthily as you should when you’re out of the house? Tracking your progress on a regular basis helps you evaluate your patterns, and improve upon them.

Reward yourself in the proper ways that promote your new, healthier lifestyle:
 A reward for your hard work should motivate you to move further, not act as a setback. There is something so counterproductive about treating yourself to sweats for succeeding in healthy eating, or taking a week off at the gym to celebrate six months of consistency. Try little treats that will excite you about your health and fitness – a new workout outfit or a new piece of equipment you’ve been eying, new supportive shoes, a day at the beach, a new supplement, or something that reminds you of what it took to achieve. Also, ensure that the reward match the accomplishment; losing that first ten 10lbs is a huge step in the right direction, but not quite worth that trip to Africa. Save that for your last ten lbs when you can show off your beach body with pride.

Most importantly, never stagnate!
Continue to make regular, active goals, even once you have achieved your milestone. The ceaseless drive to improve and the endless pursuit of success will always enrich your life. Once you have achieved your endpoint, strive for personal bests, better diet, harder muscles, anything that will keep you chasing happiness and health! The fulfillment of your triumphs will inspire others, and leave many memories for you to be proud of.

What do you want to achieve? What are you waiting for? You can do anything, as long as you make those first few steps.

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11

Creating a Better Fit!

Today I am getting involved with a movement asking “How would you change the fitness industry?”

Happy with my natural body!

This topic is near and dear to my heart, not only for what fitness has done for me and my life, but for what I have been able to share with others to encourage them towards their happiest, healthiest selves. Fitness is what I eat, sleep and breathe, this is what keeps me going, what makes me happy, healthy and strong. It is my passion, and I strive every day to live and act as a positive example and role model of what I believe.

Therefore, my answer to this question comes without a second thought: less artificiality. 

Fake boobs, fake nails, fake tans, and fake bodies from steroids are NOT what health and fitness is about, yet it is impossible to open a fitness magazine or website without seeing at least one, if not all of the above, on the front pages. In my heartfelt opinion, these are not things that we should be promoting as ideals – instead, we need to be stressing the natural: natural health, natural results, and natural beauty.

This is an issue I struggle with every day, and it bothers me constantly, especially as a fitness professional who refuses to go under the knife or get fake for success. To me, fitness and the fitness industry should be about promoting health, confidence, and loving yourself for who you are – and who you can become through hard work and consistency. These values are what drew me in and changed my life, and they should be the paramount priority.

If your body came from a scalpel, or a pill or an injection… it doesn’t mean as much to me. The real heroes of fitness are those who gained their bodies from eating right, and working out consistently with intensity. These are the values I want to glorify – these are the values that I continue to encourage, and embody. Should we truly be promoting the idea that the only way to a perfect body is through drugs and surgery? I hate the notion.

So, my proposal for creating a better fit is to see more natural models being displayed to demonstrate the benefits of hard work and dedication. I would like to see a stronger condemnation for the use of illicit substances, and a discouragement of plastic surgery for the sake of aesthetics.

Let’s be happy with who we are, and what we can achieve through our own means!!

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0

How to Motivate Others

This article was written for ActivewearUSA.

Motivation is the key to your success: it can make or break your diet and workout plan, encourage consistency, and help push you through to the next level. Motivation is what gets you out of bed an hour early to get in a workout before the work day, and it’s what keeps you from indulging in that disastrously tempting bowl of ice cream in the evening. Everyone knows just how important motivation is, yet some people find motivation extremely difficult to come by. Stress, time crunches and the road blocks that life throws at us are often the cause of these dips in our motivation levels, and once one falls off the motivation wagon, it can be very difficult to board again.

Similarly, we all have that one person in our lives who just isn’t motivated. They may complain about the way they feel about their bodies, yet they never seem to follow through on the initiative to start exercising or adopt a healthy diet. It can be very tough when these people are a member of our immediate family, best friend, or significant other: all you want to do is help them succeed, and realize their greatest potential, right? It is because of this, that whenever I am interviewed, I am always asked “How can I motivate my girlfriend to work out?”, “how can I convince my friend who constantly complains about their weight to eat healthy?” or “how can I get my family member to join me in the gym?” It is a concern to health-minded individuals to share their happiness with others!

However, as Steven R. Covey once said, ““Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” No truer words have been spoken on the subject – when you want to achieve something, it is not the photo on the wall that pushes you, it is that inner voice that tells you “Yes, I want this, and I want it badly.” Encouragement is intensely valuable, but if the fire’s not burning, you can’t blow on the coals!

So how then can you motivate the people in your life? Is it possible to help make a difference?

The answer is yes! And I have the secret: Set an example.

If you’re looking to encourage and motivate someone else, chances are that your own personal motivation is on track. And that is fantastic! Keep at it! By continuing on the path of health and fitness, not only will you reap the results and become happier and healthier, the people in your life are going to be aware of your successes. This is motivating! I am not suggesting that you should brag about your progress, or talk of nothing else, but if you are constantly making healthy positive choices, it will have an influence on those around you – and a bigger one than trying to convince them to do something they just don’t want to.

Setting a positive example for the people in your life is the foundation of motivating others, but it is not all you can do. Sometimes, subtle actions are paramount. Become an encouraging workout buddy! People are often more receptive to the idea of working out if they don’t have to go it alone, and if they know they’re going with someone who can make it fun! Become a great hostess! Throw parties, and serve your most delicious clean eating recipes – you’ll have people asking for them before the night is over. Be the outing planner! If you are stuck in a rut going out to eat at unhealthy restaurants with your friends, plan a picnic instead, or a day at the beach or even a fun drop in swing dancing class! Bearing these ideas in mind, not only will you help motivate those around you, you will find yourself even more fired up!

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