As I sit here writing this at 11pm having just got back from the gym and already ran a 5k at lunch. I’m exhausted. My muscles are achey, sore and tired. It may sound like torture but it’s THE best feeling. I realise how crazy this sounds but it’s my body’s way of telling me I’ve pushed it to its limit today. And I’ll be thankful when I see the results! OK, a double workout in a day might be a little excessive and believe me, this is not an every day or even every week occurrence. There are days when I “accidentally” forget my gym bag and would rather binge on The Good Wife with a cuppa and Aldi cookie (seriously, get involved with those!). It’s all about balance and listening to your body. This will let you smash your fitness goals without depriving yourself of rest and enjoyment.
I’m a BIG believer in setting fitness goals. Whether it’s an upcoming summer holiday, getting to the top of the stairs without gasping for breath or improving my PB (personal best). But, this wasn’t always the case. I was always happy to see how things went and workout as and when without any real fitness goal in sight. It wasn’t until a personal trainer said to me “how do you know if you’re moving forward if you’re staying still?” that I changed my whole perspective on it. By setting goals we can continuously improve, stay motivated and achieve results we never thought were possible. Here’s how you can smash your fitness goals, whatever they are…
1. KEEP IT REAL
If your goal is to run the marathon – amazing! But, if you haven’t so much as run down to the local shop, it might be worth taking a step back (not literally!). Going from zero to 26 miles is overwhelming to say the least so start with more bite sized fitness goals. This could be running around the block in 15 minutes or completing a 5k run in 3 months which you can increase as time goes on. You’ll be crossing the finish line in no time!
2. SET YOUR FITNESS GOALS IN A GOOD HEADSPACE
This is SO important. Seeing a picture of yourself you don’t like or not fitting into your favourite jeans may seem like the end of the world. But they’re great motivators to embark on a new fitness goal. It’s fine to want to make changes, but make sure it’s coming from a place of self love. A place where you want to better yourself and your health to start on a positive note.
3. THINK CAREFULLY
Ask yourself why do you really want to set this fitness goal. Think beyond external appearances and more about how it will make you feel. This way it will enrich your life as a whole more than shallow reasons. Sure, looking good is an added bonus but finding a deeper reason will make you happier.
4. KEEP IT MEASURABLE
Try to be specific with your fitness goals and what you want to achieve. It’s all well and good saying “I want to get fit” but having something you can track like “I want to swim 2k by July” is more measurable. I really wasn’t one for fitness trackers when the majority of them launched. I thought they were fiddly, masculine and something you could spot someone wearing a mile off. But when Withing’s sent me a beautifully sleek and minimal watch I couldn’t believe it was a fitness tracker. It’s made me proud to wear one and I kid you not, the compliments I’ve received have been almost daily. As well as tracking my workouts, it also follows my sleep patterns, heart rate and tells me when I have a text or call coming through. So I don’t have to disturb my playlist on my phone mid-workout.
5. CHECK IN ON OUR FITNESS GOAL
Keeping a fitness diary is a great way to monitor your progress and remind you why you’re doing this in times of doubt. Whether it’s writing down your results after each training session or jotting down how you’re feeling about your fitness goal every few weeks, it keeps it all clear in your head.