In the world of fitness, there is undoubtedly no denying that goals drive us. Goals give us a mental image of what we want to be in the future and often give us temporary bouts of motivation to achieve that mental image. Whether this goal is for increased strength, a desired physique, or simply a mental progression to a better self, we are all looking to improve.
Now take notice at the adjective used to describe motivation. Temporary.I used this adjective because many of us often find ourselves running out of motivation for our goals.
This all too-common fault can be attributed to the fact that, perhaps, our goals are lacking in a realistic plan. The elements of goal setting are easily ignored by many. Goal setting is more than just picturing our desired end-self. Setting goals requires a starting point, direction, resources, mistakes, and the end-point.
The easiest part of achieving a goal is to START. You've probably already reached this point. Great! Did you remember to execute a plan for your end-goal? If not, executing a plan may require you to sit down, and be realistic and honest with yourself about your resources, capabilities, and what your strengths and weakness are. Use what you already know about yourself to structure and execute your plan. It is crucial to be realistic with yourself about your goal. For example, it is not realistic to be 20+ pounds lighter than you were two weeks ago. Our bodies do not function in that manner. Setting unrealistic goals will frequently send us straight to failure and disappointment.
Do you have the resources to make this goal happen? Do you have the time to hit the gym 3 days a week or 6 days a week? Do you have time to prepare a meal every night after work or should you meal prep at the beginning of the week? Plan around your resources and be wise with your time. Remember, goals do not work unless you do!
When working towards a goal, it is easy to fall off-track. When we derail from our perfectly executed plan, we tend to take on a mindset of ‘all-or-nothing’. So, if we make a mistake once or twice, we might as well just give up. This mindset leads us to believe that mistakes translate into the end of progress and we tend to lack in confidence of our own capabilities.
Steer far away from this type of thinking. Many of the greatest icons in fitness made more mistakes towards achieving goals than they would like to admit. Instead, we should view mistakes as trial-and-error. Why did you binge? Perhaps you should increase your calories to keep yourself satisfied so you do not feel the need to binge next time around. Progress is never linear. Take into account short-term goals as well as your long-term goals.
Often, when we follow a long-term goal without having a short-term goal, we become lethargic and unmotivated because our long-term goal is in the future. Short-term goals are like rungs on a ladder that help us envision our final long-term goal. Keep climbing the ladder and celebrate each rung.
So you’ve FINALLY reached your end-goal! Congratulations! Now it is time to set new goals for yourself. Explore your options for improvement. In the fitness industry, it is crucial to set goals that are sustainable for the long term. Sustainability allows us to adhere to the plan. Do not neglect the importance of celebrating yourself at the beginning and on the way to your end-goal just as much as you celebrate yourself at your end-goal.