Having a goal is good. Target-setting is healthy. Challenges are empowering. There’s no doubt about it – having a passion and feeling driven by something adds an element of excitement to your life. So my main message today is rather than shy away from things, and think “I could never do that”, get ready to kick ass and embrace the challenges that give you the opportunity to succeed and all the positive feelings of accomplishment that go with it. This is truly applicable to our life on a daily basis – optimising health and boosting fitness should be used to lift our spirits, make us feel awesome and create deeper personal satisfaction.
How can we be sure we’ll achieve when it comes to health and fitness? How do we make sure we hit our goals? How do we put ourselves in the strongest possible position to succeed?
- We accept it’s a process.
We’re in it for the long haul and we understand that changes won’t come fast, but that’s OK.
It’s our new lifestyle, a path we’ve chosen to take, and we appreciate the obstacles and successes along the way. The obstacles, the struggles, the mistakes – they are what’s important here. They improve our coping mechanism, strengthen our character and teach us how not to do it. Whilst, the ‘get rich quick’ scheme sounds glamorous, the effects are temporary and they lack depth of feeling and staying power. Small, consistent, maintainable habits is where it’s at, so stick with it and appreciate all the lessons along the way.
- We don’t do excuses.
It’s easy to make excuses, heck sometimes we even try to justify them to ourselves. But, the reality is, if we keep making excuses, we won’t get anywhere.
So we have to put a stop to them. Right now. If our partner, colleagues, friends can do it, then why can’t we? Rather than focus on all the things that could hold us back or slow us down, we need to strategise carefully and figure out how to change them. Or even better, use these difficult situations to our advantage. There’s always another way of doing things. Haven’t got time to cook healthy meals every evening? Cook in bulk and freeze. Struggling to keep up with your gym membership? Get a pair of dumbbells and find a selection of effective home workouts. Work causing you to run late again? Have that go-to health snack on hand. Baby need looking after? Pram-run it is! You get the gist. Changing your perception of certain situations can make for some serious successes. Those who truly want to succeed always find a way.
- We look outside of the gym.
The state of health can be found in places that allow us to be active, eat well and feel our best. For some people, this isn’t the gym.
It’s also about enjoying yourself, experiencing new things, spending time with like-minded people and generally doing the things that make you feel happy. We may find different ways of exercising, keeping active or strengthening our bodies such as walking, climbing, swimming or yoga. We find happiness in the people around us, our job, our ability to be a good mum, daughter and friend. Health doesn’t mean exclusively physical appearance but also doing possessing the energy to do what you enjoy to become a stronger, happier, more confident version of yourself. Often it’s giving as well as receiving. It’s being in your happy place so spend more time there and learn to appreciate life for all its positives.
- We are SMART.
Using the SMART formula for our goal-setting means we’re much more likely to succeed.
It’s an effective way to make sure you can track and achieve the goals set. By checking what we want is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based, we are more likely to reach our goals because we can monitor and modify as we go. By knowing we can truly, realistically, achieve the goal(s) set, we’re in a strong position and it’s far less likely we’ll lose our mojo or give in when the going gets tough. Being so clear and focussed on the objective adds fuel to our fire and keeps us motivated to finish the task at hand.
- We recognise success.
One of the biggest reasons for failure? We simply didn’t recognise success!
What if you have been succeeding all along? What if you just didn’t recognise it or stop to even think about it? Perhaps we are already achieving but our focus rests so heavily on the end goal and we become so pre-occupied with that single outcome that we don’t notice other areas in which we have progressed. It’s not easy to recognise change in ourselves and often rely on others to tell us e.g. how healthy we look, how much happier we are, how much our confidence has grown etc. So, if you have been working hard to achieve a particular goal, take a step back now and ask yourself, have I progressed in other areas of my life? Have I changed the way I am, think, look, feel? Have I achieved with something else that’s totally unrelated but equally that I am proud of? Now is the time to see the good in yourself and understand your successes for what they really are.
I hope you now have the chance to reflect on the points mentioned above and it gives you some things to really think about when you set out on a healthier way of living. Yes, goal-setting and taking on new challenges is good for you and gets you doing things that you never thought you could do. My advice? Don’t let fear hold you back from doing something that you’ve always wanted. There’s always a positive to be drawn from your actions and circumstances, so take advantage of this and learn. If you are clear on what you want and apply yourself in the best possible way, you will succeed. Most definitely.