With 2015 less than a month away, I thought I would address the subject of goal setting. You’ve probably heard of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. as it applies to setting your goals. I’ve tweaked it a little to add a few aspects that will pertain more to your health and fitness goals.
“S” is for SERIOUS: Bottom Line: If you don’t take your goal seriously you’ll never reach it. Commitment is one of the keys to success in anything we hope to accomplish. And if you are serious you will write it down and keep it in front of you regularly.
“M” is for MEASURABLE: What result are you looking for? A smaller dress or pant size, a lower body fat %, a sub-27 min 5K time? All of these are measurable. Be as specific as possible. For example, my goal for 2015 is to get back into my size 32 pants (I’m a 33 now.). I purposely left out body weight as a goal for a reason. Body weight is one of several ways to measure your progress, but it shouldn’t be the only way. More about that in a future post.
“A” is for ACCOUNTABILITY: Accountability can be several things:
Post your specific goal on social media for all to see.
Better yet, invite someone to join you on your adventure to a better, healthier you.
Use a mobile app (like Nike Plus or RunKeeper) that tracks your activity and sends it to someone or automatically posts it on social media is another good way.
Use whatever works to keep you motivated towards your goal. And here’s the most important aspect of accountability: you must give permission to give you a hard time if you aren’t sticking to your success plan.
“R” is for REALISTIC: If you’re 50 years old and your goal is to fit into your old high school jeans, that’s probably not a realistic goal. However, losing a few inches off of your waist or hips is realistic. Also, be realistic about your expectations. It took years to put all of that extra fat on your body; it’s not going to come off in two weeks. Be committed and be patient. DON’T GIVE UP!!
“T” is for TIME BASED: Any goal should have a end date to hit. But again, make it realistic. We’ll talk later about how to pick that elusive end date. For most health/fitness related goals 3-6 months is a minimum.
“E” is for EVALUATE: For your goal to be measurable, you’ll need a starting point (measurements, weight, before pic, and possibly % bodyfat, etc.) that you can periodically check against to see how you’re progressing. I’m not saying you have to record every calorie and every rep, but the easiest way to determine if you are moving in the right direction is to record at least some data points related to your goal. And if you aren’t where you want to be, maybe it’s time to…
“R” is for REVISE: Sometimes life throws us curve balls. Maybe it’s the holiday season with all of the extra food, desserts, etc. Or maybe the job got in the way, or maybe we don’t have quite as much time for the gym as we originally thought. Whatever the reason, make the necessary changes to your plan and keep going.
This should give you what you need to set your goals. All you need now is a plan to reach it.
If you have any questions or thoughts please use the comment section below.
Sometimes we make things way too complicated when it comes to our health. Here are 11 Really Simple Things you can do TODAY to improve your health…
STOP drinking soft drinks! This includes diet soft drinks too. Just STOP. You know it’s bad for you. If not, Google it.
Eat more vegetables. Nothing new here, but choose wisely. Pick a green veggie like broccoli, spinach, or kale. Eat as much as you want.
Add good fats to your diet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). Sprinkle it on your veggies.
Drink more water. Since you have given up soft drinks, this is the logical replacement. I like lime in mine.
Eat more protein. Red meat is NOT bad for you like we were told several decades ago. Add some to your diet. Add some fish too.
Stop sitting so much. If you sit at a desk for your job, set an alarm to walk around every 30-60 minutes. Park farther away from Walmart.
Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning. 7 days a week. Consistency is the key to pretty much everything.
Pick a type of exercise you enjoy. If you don’t you’ll never stick to it.
Exercise with a friend if possible. Accountability helps with that whole consistency thing. If we know someone else is counting on us, it’s harder to blow it off.
Eat breakfast. But beware of the sugar-filled cereals/yogurts/donuts/juices/etc. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein money can buy, and they are also NOT bad for you as we were once told. Google it.
Stop looking at food as just something you put in your gut. It is fuel for your body, and your body is an amazing machine. Treat it as such and you will reap the benefits.
How often have you heard the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”? That’s because it’s true…with some caveats. First of all, if your breakfast consists of sugary cereal, or donuts, or pop tarts, or any of the other high sugar content, processed crap you find on the “cereal” aisle of the grocery store, then your breakfast may be the worst meal of your day. Continue reading “Morning Fuel”→
Ask any professional athlete about recovery, and they will tell you it is critical to both their performance and their continued improvement in the areas of strength and conditioning. That being said, most amateur fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors don’t pay nearly enough attention to this critical element. Whether your goal is overall health improvement, running a marathon, or competing in the next USMC Mud Run, recovery is just as important as your workout and your nutrition.
If fat loss and better overall health are two of the reasons you run, you might be sabotaging your efforts by the way you are currently running.
Study after study points to interval-type training (defined by a series of short to medium bursts of energy expenditure followed by short recovery periods) as the best way to burn fat, improve cardiovascular health, and minimize the chance of overuse injuries.
This is part 3 in a series of posts that started with Small Changes. Several of you have asked me nicely to “get on with it”, which tells me there are at least a few of you ready to put it all together and start seeing some real results. Love your passion!!
If you’ve read either of my previous posts titled Body Change, you are aware of my renewed interest in all things health and fitness. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of starting, for lack of a better title, a couple of social fitness challenges.
The first happened by accident. Due to my wife’s school schedule, my normal Friday morning workout at the gym would need to be changed to Saturday morning. And that first Saturday, my workout partner couldn’t make it for some reason, so I decided to drive up to the local high school track and try out this new sprint workout that I had read about. When I got to the track, the weather was so incredible, I decided to try some bodyweight exercises using this cool timer app I found for my iPhone as a warm-up before doing the sprints. I did two circuits of 5 different exercises for one minute each with a one minute rest. I jogged a lap around the track between the circuits. That’s a whopping 10 minutes of effort as intense as I wanted it to be, no reps counted. It was awesome! I then did the sprint workout which I described in the Body Change part 2 blog. What an awesome workout! And I was done in less than 40 minutes!
When I met Jimmy at the gym the following Monday, I told him about it. He thought it sounded interesting enough to try, so we met that next Saturday at the track and started doing it together. We told another friend about it a few weeks later, and he has been working out with us for the last 6weeks or so. My friend Josh joined us this past Saturday, and is planning to bring his dad next week!
Do we get a great workout? Absolutely! But do I look forward to it all week because of the workout? Absolutely NOT! I look forward to it every week because I get to have fun with friends who have the same goal as I do–to be fitter than they were yesterday!
The second thing that happened recently is what is now known as the 60/15/2 Challenge.
Once again I was reading a blog post where a guy challenged himself to do 50 push-ups and 12 pull-ups everyday for a month to help build strength in his upper body. I thought that sounded like a great idea for me, and figured I would share it with my workout partners and my fitness-minded friends on Facebook. It actually started out as the 50/12 Challenge, but we moved to 60/15 after a week, and plan to eventually work our way up to 100/25. The “2” on the end was added this week and denotes two minutes of core work, just in case you were wondering.
Here’s how it works: you have all day to do the 60 push-ups, 15 pull-ups, and 2 minutes of core. You can do it in as many or as few sets as you want. It’s all up to you how hard you want to push yourself. When you’re done, post it to Facebook or Twitter if you want so we can all cheer you on!
As of today there are at least 7 men and 3 women in on the 60/15/2 challenge! How cool is that?!? I get so excited every time I see someone post their completed reps on Facebook! And if I haven’t done mine yet, it serves two purposes: to remind me, and most importantly, to MOTIVATE ME!
And don’t we all need motivating from time to time!
I hope this post has served to motivate you to get off the couch and do something to make YOU fitter than you were yesterday!
And if it does, PLEASE let me know, either through a comment below, or Facebook, or email.