When we're setting out to change something in our bodies, some times you have to know how to make those things happen. It's not easy to just dive into something without a plan.
For me, I think setting goals are great for making things happen. I need to know what I want and then warm up to it. It's like starting a car, I have to turn the engine on before I drive. If I'm taking on a new sport, or exercise routine, I want to think about what I want to gain from it. Otherwise, I might just start out strong and end with a whimper when I get a little bored. If I just think ahead before I enter into that new routine, I can set some goals that keep me going. I want an awesome plan for me. I deserve it. You do too. I really want to make something happen, I don't want to waste my time. It's all just a little psychology that our minds need to get our bodies to stick with the program.
Here are a few ways to help you get started...Make your goals specific. Don't just give yourself one goal though, surely there is more than one benefit from the exercise routine you are about to start. Identify those specific goals and let yourself have more than one. For example: I want to work out X times a week and lose X amount of weight. I want to work on getting rid of my bad posture and sit up straighter (this takes some core strength and even some flexibility). I want to strengthen my core, so my chronic back pain is alleviated. I want to get an all around body workout and see some muscle tone in my body. Come into your class or session prepared to reach some goals.
Once you set some specific goals, how will you measure them? If you want to look great and fit into your clothes better, how long will give yourself, how will you measure the results and how often will you measure? Make sure you set measurements in place. Write down your results on your calendar, or in a notebook, and check in on yourself. Do measure them. Don't skip this part, because If you can't measure your goals, you may never see them clearly or feel like you've achieved anything. Did I get better posture today? That one might be harder to measure than losing a pound, but I can look in the mirror and check my posture, I can think about it while I'm at the computer, I can also feel it in my body and so yes, I can measure it.
Did you set goals that were attainable? I hope so. There is no use in setting goals so high that you can't reach them before you give up. High goals can be attained, but just take those steps to get to them and make those steps reasonable. I want to have a stronger core in two months. This is attainable if you put the work into it, and perhaps doing a little work at home in between your sessions. I want to get much stronger shoulders and arms, and be able to do 6-10 push ups with collapsing within a few months. I want to learn how to limber my hamstrings and strengthen my back in ten sessions. These are all reasonable and attainable goals for most people.
When setting your goals this one is pretty simple to do - make them realistic. It's a little like attainability, but one step further and that is do your goals fit your lifestyle? I want to build strength in my core and get more limber in my back and hamstrings, by doing Pilates twice a week. Is that realistic for you? Are you willing and able to do that? A realistic goal needs to be one that you are willing to take on, and one that you are able to do, within the boundaries of your lifestyle.
Give yourself time to achieve your goals, and check in on yourself often. I want to achieve X in three months and then I want to work on Y. For example, this week I want to focus on learning the intermediate reformer routine and gain some strength in my arms, maybe even focus on my balance. By the end of the month I want to be strong enough to be able to learn more intermediate exercises. Give yourself a carrot to chase and let yourself get there. If you don't give yourself a decent timeframe, it may never happen.
Make yourself accountable. It matters. Have I dropped the ball? Did I feel tired last week and skip my exercises for a few days? If so, no big deal, but get right back on the "horse." Don't spend too much time kicking yourself over a little break. Sometimes we need them.
Stability and Staying Power
Transforming your body into something different takes a little time, it also requires stability as well as staying power. Without those two things, that carrot will be hard to get. Don't stop if nothing happens at first. Hang in there. Be consistent and stay with it and make things happen for you!
In short I call this being a S.M.A.R.T.A.S.S. (the good kind)
Set some specific goals, make an awesome plan for yourself = S
Make your goals measurable = M
Make your goals attainable = A
Make your goals realistic = R
Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to achieve the goals = T
Make yourself accountable = A
Be stable and have some staying power = SS
Stay with it!
#makethingshappen for you!!