“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
The trick in achieving your set fitness goals is staying focused. Staying focused will need high consistency levels throughout your fitness journey.
But how do you stay on track and be updated on your fitness progress?
Here are 4 tips that can help you meet your fitness goals
4 Tips to Stay on Track and Be updated on your progress
Look at the Big Picture
Consider why you want to attain your set fitness goal. It could be because you want to shape or gain a sense of self-fulfilment. Perhaps you have set that particular goal because you want to be ready for the next athletic games in your neighbourhood.
Whichever reason you have for your particular goal, you need to take a step back and reflect on the big picture. Reflecting on the bigger picture will give you a reason to renew that gym subscription, go for that nature walk, take that healthy meal, or avoid excessive drinking of alcohol at parties.
The big picture of your fitness goals should be reason enough to stay on track. It helps you find direction with the end goal in mind.
Set SMART Goals
This is not the first time you are reading about setting smart goals. Fitness goals should not be any different from family or career goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Be specific on the goal you want to achieve. For example, if you plan to burn 500 calories in a week, precisely record that in your notebook or wherever you keep records of your goals. Specify how you want to burn the 500 calories, for example, by swimming. Avoid non-specific goals such as “I want to lose weight” without specifying how many pounds you want to cut down and how you plan to do that.
With several fitness trackers in the market today, you will be able to check if you have managed to burn the 500 calories or not. If you have not hit your 500 targets, next time try to set a more measurable and attainable target.
Attainable fitness goals are within your ability. For example, you cannot say you want to burn 500 calories by swimming if you cannot swim- it does not make sense.
Relevant fitness goals should be within your big plan. For example, you could be having a healthy weight and lead a healthy lifestyle- but setting a goal geared towards losing weight would be irrelevant in this case. A fitness goal should appeal to your lifestyle and overall health. An example of a relevant goal is “I want to be able to sleep for 8 hours each night for this week to be fresh for my upcoming finals”.
Set a time-bound fitness goal. Avoid goals that have indefinite timelines. Those are near impossible to achieve because you will quickly lose track. Your fitness goal should be a reality someday, therefore specify when you would like it achieved. Little timelines may render your goal unachievable, very long or unspecified timelines may make you drag to start working towards them.
Have a Social Support Group
You must have heard of the famous Ratan Tata quote “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.” This applies to your fitness goals.
While following your fitness plan alone may imply a faster pace, incorporating your friends and family brings more results and fulfillment. Honestly, you are not the only one in your neighbourhood trying to cut that belly fat. You are not the only one trying to maintain a healthy weight. Several other people have similar fitness goals, and you need to find out how you can walk the fitness journey together.
Social support groups offer motivation that otherwise cannot be elsewhere. These could be people you know, for example, family and friends or people you met on a calorie calculator app. You read that right, some calorie calculator apps offer an incredible interface for discussion forums, and some offer the option of speaking directly to other users in the community.
Having friends with similar fitness goals is a great way to attain accountability. You will be accountable for your fitness journey. Whenever you feel like giving up, your support group will cheer you on. Working on your fitness goals in a group brings resilience.
You do not want to give up when you are this close to burning that last 50 calories this week- find a friend to cheer you on. Join a fitness group online and read motivations from people who have been in the same state as you and how they pushed through. You are not alone in this.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself when you sleep in and miss your Saturday walk. Forgive yourself when you notice you could not resist the temptation of junk foods at a friend’s party. Forgive yourself when you lose consistency in adhering to your calorie calculator recommendations.
Yes, learn to forgive yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself when you start getting off track.
Remember why you started your fitness journey, dust off, and move forward.
Remaining in a self-criticizing and sorry state is harmful to your progress moving forward. Your fitness goals are certainly not a do-or-die affair. Therefore, if you find it hard sticking to a schedule, break your activities into small chunks you can easily accomplish. Set shorter but realistic time frames too.
Keep a Journal and Take Photos
Keeping a routine journal can help you reflect on your fitness journey. Take note of any interesting things that happened during your online gym session. Take note of measurements such as calorie count and weight.
Taking photos and videos during your workout sessions is a good way of staying focused and being updated on your progress. You will be able to look at those photos and see how far you have come. These files can be shared with friends and family who will encourage you to push forward.
Photos and videos can also prompt you to remember why you are on that fitness journey. Take a sneak peek at them when you are not sure of your fitness journey, and see the magical motivation you will get moving forward.
Taking a fitness journey is not a simple decision. Those moments throughout the journey are worth documenting. The best way to do this is by taking photos and videos.
A fitness journey is not always smooth. It requires ultimate motivation. It needs consistency and reasons to move forward.
You can stay on track and updated on your fitness progress by setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals. Some strong support group works miracles in helping you have the resilience and encouragement you need to stay on track.
Be fair to yourself through the journey forgiving yourself and not staying in a self-criticizing state for longer periods. Love yourself.
Keep a record of your progress through keeping a journal and taking photos and videos. These simple memories can always remind you why you started and help you stay focused.