Jonny is back today for a Bridal Fitness post on setting goals high and making sure you reach them!
Set the Bar High
When it comes to your fitness, what expectations are you setting for yourself? When you set your goals, are you setting them high enough? Or are you playing it safe, and shooting for the "this is good for me" mindset? If you've read anything I've ever written, you'll know that I'm huge on setting goals. But simply setting a goal is not enough, the goal itself is where the magic is, and most people undershoot it, big time.
Since I've been coaching people to get in shape, I notice a very common theme. About 90% of my clients set a very low goal. Now I'm sure you've heard that "you should set small achievable goals and build on them" etc. There is some truth to that, but I don't take that approach. When I say tell me your overall goal, I mean swing for the fences, and don't hold back. When I ask new clients what their overall goal is, this is a typical answer:
Girl Client: I don't want to lose any weight, I just want to tone up
Guy Client: I want to be defined, but not too defined
Girl Client: I just want to lose 7lbs
Guy Client: I don't really care about getting ripped, I just want to have more energy.
Now it's not that these are bad goals, they just aren't goals that will challenge you, and keep you driven. I was reading this article from a guy who had lost a ton of weight, and gotten in amazing shape. This is a comment he said about his goals, "I always shoot for goals above and beyond, because it never fails that people fall short. So if I strive for 110%, I'll hit 100%". I remember thinking how right he was, and sadly I see what he was referring to often. The girl that says she just wants to lose 7lbs doesn't lose any, the guy that says he just wants to have more energy barely gets even gets that, much less changes his body. What kind of goal is that? How is "I want to lose 7lbs" going to keep me from eating the ice cream at the birthday party? Or get me out of bed to workout at 5am? I could lose 7lbs easily right? And yet, you see why it doesn't happen.
The Higher the Better
Set your goals high, I mean HIGH. Even if you don't reach them at first, you'll still end up farther than if you set them lower. I'll use my client Neal for example. When I met Neal, he was about 60lbs overweight, his diet was terrible, he didn't do any strength training, he was a vegetarian and didn't eat much protein, etc. The cards were stacked against this guy. Then came the part where I asked him what his overall goal was, and why he was training with me. I'll never forget what he said, and proves my point here. "I want to look like Terrell Owens", the NFL player who was know for his incredible physique. When he said that, I knew that he understood the point of setting high goals. With a goal like that, most people would easily say to settle for something more realistic. Not Neal, he knew what he wanted and embraced it, which drove him to do all the necessary hard work, and make the sacrifices needed to achieve it. Neal ended up losing a total of 73lbs, which in turn made his goal of looking like T.O. not so unrealistic.
Once Committed, Stay Committed
So you've decided to set your goal really high. You've embraced what you really want to achieve, and you know you're going to have to be really committed to making the right choices to make it happen. But just like everything else, that streak of motivation is not always consistent. You encounter times when it doesn't seem worth it, or when you lose sight of why you're giving up your grandma's cookies during the holidays, or ordering a salad w/chicken when you're out to dinner. That goal you set gets put on the back burner. And then you experience the infamous "fall of the wagon".
How do you avoid this? It's simple, surround yourself people in better shape than you. Yep, I'm serious. Now you might think that sounds silly, but it's the oldest rule in the book. It's not that there is stuff they know that they can teach you, but it's for the simple fact that they keep you on your toes. It can take you out of your comfort zone, and therefore focused on your goal of getting in better shape. If there was one thing that made more of an impact on my body transformation than anything, it is this one rule. You don't have to ditch your friends, and get knew ones that are skinnier. That's not what I'm saying here. This could be as easy as joining a group fitness class at your gym, where the people are more fit. Or going to beach parties where you're not "the skinny girl" among your friends. The key is to get you out of your comfort zone, because when that happens, you become incredibly aware that you need to make it happen.
Stop cheating yourself with your goal setting. Go all out, be completely honest with yourself. Once you've done that, purposely put yourself in situations out of your comfort zone, where you can't help but realize you need to make the necessary changes consistently to reach the goal you've set.
For more bridal fitness posts, click here. Have something you want Jonny to address? Leave a comment and he will reply, or contact me directly for a topic for our next post.