Hey everyone! If you’ve never read my blog before, welcome! If you have, welcome back! I hope your days have been full of lazy Sunday stuff like naps and good movies (unless you aren’t into that stuff… but really who isn’t?)!
Since I’ve started blogging and fitstagramming (<I am 100% sure that is not a real word), so many people have asked me what my workout plan is, what I eat, how I started, etc. I’ve tried to answer those as best as I can in my previous posts, but something that I haven’t had the chance to talk about yet (that I think is very important) is goal setting and how my outlook on goals changed through this process.
When I first got into the fitness scene, I focused so intensely on my major goals. I wanted to lose 20 pounds! I wanted defined abs! I wanted Carrie Underwood’s legs! All of those are really great things to strive for (except for maybe Carrie’s legs- I think I’ve accepted that I can’t grow another 4 inches to make that happen), but by focusing on such drastic and large changes, I ended up frustrating myself more than anything. Those kind of changes happen only after a lot of hard work and a good amount of time, and in the beginning, I got really down on myself because I didn’t see those changes immediately. Where were my abs? “I’ve done like a million crunches by now,” I thought, “Surely I should have abs.”
I’ve never been the best at goal setting. On those worksheets that you would do in middle school, my goals were always things like “Have a mansion” or “Climb Mount Everest”. Again, A+ for dreaming big, but those goals were so ridiculously unattainable. The way I’ve had to look at it is in the form of a step by step process- several small, short-term goals are like stepping stones to the major, long-term goal. For example, I broke down my weight loss goal into several smaller goals- lose 5 pounds, then 10, then 15, and then 20. Not only does it look and feel so much more attainable, but you get to celebrate yourself with the baby steps along the way. Those first 5 pounds I dropped meant the world to me! I was on my way! And the celebration only gets better the closer you get to that big, long-term goal. Don’t get me wrong, the long-term goals are great! It’s important to know where you want to be down the road. But it’s also important that you know how to get there in a healthy and positive way!
It’s also important to know what goals are reasonable for you to achieve. If you are (like me) 5’1”, it is not reasonable to set a goal to be 5’6” (and have the legs of Carrie Underwood). If you were born with wide hips and shoulders, it’s not reasonable for you to set a goal to have a smaller frame. You can’t change the structure of your body- you work with what you’re given. If the most experience you have with running is the sprint of desperation from your car to your house in a thunderstorm, it is not reasonable to set a goal of running a marathon the next month. If I were to make that one of my goals at this point, I would probably (definitely) keel over and die within the second mile of that marathon. And in my experience, keeling over and dying while trying to accomplish one of your goals isn’t exactly the best motivator to continue. When you set goals that are unattainable for your body type or current fitness level, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, and disappointment can quickly lead into dropping your goals entirely and turning your back on whatever it is you decided to pursue.
I’ve seen so many people get burnt out of the health and fitness scene because they weren’t accomplishing what they set out to right away- their goals were so broad and unattainable. Setting attainable goals is one of the most important ways to give structure and organization your journey in fitness- not only do these goals create progress points along the way, but accomplishing them helps show what you’re truly capable of. It’s amazing to be able to look back at your little stepping-stone path and really appreciate how far you’ve come. I also highly recommend taking progress pictures- I just now started doing so but I wish that I had taken more at the beginning! There is no better feeling than showing off those pictures and saying, “Look at what I have accomplished! Look at how far I’ve come!” It’s also been incredibly helpful in motivating me to continue. When you have a reasonable and defined goal set for yourself, it’s easier to work out because it feels like you’re working towards something. When you give this lifestyle a purpose, it’s MUCH easier to maintain and much more enjoyable as well! This can even be applied in your everyday routine. Some great small, everyday goals to set are things like:
- drink at least one gallon of water
- incorporate at least two vegetables into each meal
- snack on something healthy instead of Cheetos or Oreos (</3)
- do at least 30 minutes of physical activity
- be outside for at least 30 minutes
- tell yourself 3 things that you love about yourself
They can be that simple and that easy, but it makes a difference in the long run! So break down those big, scary goals into smaller pieces and take it one step at a time! Things will be much easier for you and your journey to a healthier life will be much smoother and encouraging!
This goal-setting strategy applies not only in fitness but in every aspect of life. I know that I was always taught in school to set goals and yadda yadda yadda but I never actually did it until now. It makes everything so much easier and I’m kicking myself for not realizing that sooner. For example, rather than trying to save $500 right off the bat, save 25. Then 50. Then 100, and so on. It’s a great way to lessen the stress of a big goal or deadline, and I am ALL ABOUT stress relief (anxiety is real people).
I hope this was helpful and that there are other people out there who have not yet realized the magic of structured, attainable goal-setting. As always, if you guys have any questions at all please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Also check out my fitstagram: xfittiffx!
You are all lovely and amazing humans, thank you so much for supporting me and reading my blog! Have a great rest of your Sunday night and as for tomorrow… Don’t forget to NEVER MISS A MONDAY!