As the new year approaches, many of us are thinking of setting resolutions. In short, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. When it comes to exercise and nutrition, I am a firm believer in balance.
The idea of cutting something out of your life entirely seems daunting and unsustainable long-term. For this reason, I prefer goal setting. In today's blog post, I hope you can use my steps to set goals for the New Year, or whenever you are reading this.
1) Understanding a SMART Goal
"A SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal" (Corporate Finance Institution, 2015). For example, simply stating you want to eat better and exercise more is not a SMART goal. A SMART goal would look something like this:
By June 1st, 2021, I will lose 10 pounds to ensure I fit into my wedding dress. I will attend three classes per week at Sweat Club and allow one "unhealthy" meal per week. I will check my progress every two weeks to ensure I am on track.
2) Start Small
If you have not been exercising regularly, ease into your new training program. All too often, I see people set unrealistic goals. This can leave individuals feeling very discouraged and defeated before they get going. Exercise and results are all about consistency. If you are a beginner, start with two exercise days per week. If you complete these for a month, then increase to three exercise days per week and so on.
3) Find Something You Love
Not everyone enjoys the same method of exercise - and that is okay! I highly encourage you to try a few different forms of exercise until you find what you love. You are so much more likely to stick to it if you enjoy it.
After some time, if you find you are getting bored, unmotivated, or plateauing, consider switching it up or adding something new! It is also exciting to change it up with the seasons. For example, try outdoor running in the Spring or outdoor skating in the Winter.
4) Get a Workout Buddy or Community
One of the biggest challenges I see when it comes to achieving fitness goals is accountability. Motivation is fleeting, which is why it is often crucial to have someone hold you responsible. Achieve your goals quicker with a workout buddy! You could physically meet them at the gym or set up FaceTime calls if you workout from home. Another option is to hire a trainer or join an online workout community, like my LC28Days Program.
I am a firm believer that proper nutrition makes up for 70%+ of your health and fitness results. I will never forget when someone told me, "You cannot out-train a poor diet." There are so many methods and resources online for nutrition. What I would recommend is finding something that resonates with you and your lifestyle. The goal is to find something you can stick to and maintain. Try not to bounce around from fad diet to fad diet. Stay with one plan for a few months to give it time to work.
For me, nutrition has always been the most challenging aspect of the health and fitness equation - and I think many people can relate. I benefited greatly from hiring a nutrition coach in the beginning for guidance.
6) Track Your Progress
This step is crucial to understanding what is working and what is not. It also informs you how close or far you are from achieving your health and fitness goal. Following your progress is an incredible form of motivation as well.
There are many ways to track your progress. I encourage you to find a way that resonates with you. For example, I understand that some people do not enjoy weighing themself because it can be a trigger - and to those people, I say, "Throw the scale in the dumpster!" Other options would be to take measurements or photos every few weeks. Try on a piece of clothing you want to fit into and use that as a guide. Use a journal to track the weight you are using in the gym or the speed/distance you record on the pavement. Get creative with it!
If you are crushing your workouts and honing in on your nutrition, proper supplementation can help take your results to the next level! STAMINA will help give you that caffeine boost you need to get your workouts done on days you don't feel like it. BCAA will help you relieve your muscle soreness to help you get back to exercise quicker.