Imagine the scenario…..you phone and tell your boss that you’re not sure you can get to work. You’ll aim to get to the end of the road first then you’ll get to work eventually but will likely give up after 6 weeks or so. I’m sure we all know how your boss will react! It sounds crazy but this is the way we tend to approach going after our own fitness goals. What if you knew you could already achieve your goals and all you needed was a path to get there? Here’s how to make achieving your goals easier.
First of all, we need to identify where you might be going wrong. ‘Get fit’ and ‘lose weight’ continue to be the most common goals people come to see me to get help with. When I started out, I never thought much about it and would go create a plan but then I realised that both were pretty vague without clear meaning. I now believe that people set these as goals as they’re the exact opposite of how they feel when they start.
The key is to become clear on what your goal looks like. What do you want the future version of you to look like? What are the things you want to be able to do that you can’t do right now? More importantly, how do you want to feel once you’ve achieved your goal?
An exercise I often do with Personal Training clients is to visualise yourself achieving your goal. Be aware of what you’re now doing, where you are, who’s with you and the emotions you’re feeling. This is a very powerful step as when you have clarity on what you’re working towards, creating the path to get there becomes easier.
It’s not IF, but HOW
It’s not IF you can achieve your goal but HOW you do it. You WILL achieve your goal. Let that sink in for a moment or two. You will achieve your goal in the same way as you always complete every other task in life, like knowing that you can get to work. It’s not the if you need to consider but how you go about achieving it. If you do the visualisation exercise above, then work back the way, you will have a rough idea of some of the steps you need to take.
Our usual approach though is to build from the ground up. If don’t actually know what your goal looks like, how do you know if what you’re about to do is going to get you there? This is why most people give up after 6 weeks/2 months. It’s not a lack of motivation but a lack of clarity on what they’re working towards. It won’t matter what you do, it won’t change the way you feel, no matter how hard you work.
Focus on the process, not the outcome
Another thing that marathon training has taught me is the importance of the process rather than the end goal. It’s not about the big, sexy workouts, following a plan that promises you results in 7 or 30 days. It’s not about cutting out carbs or counting calories. I believe it’s about creating a series of positive habits, being consistent and practicing to become better.
It’s about becoming more active every day, training with a purpose and basing your workouts around your actual goal, improving your diet and improving your sleep. Sleep is one of the most under-valued tools to help you achieve your goals. Trying to work on your goals without improving your sleep is like driving with the handbrake on. After all, when was the last time you felt like exercising or craved healthy food after a poor night’s sleep?
When you have a clear vision of your goal, it becomes easier to make changes to your diet and you don’t need to find the motivation to exercise. You’ll learn and discover a lot about yourself along the way and have fun doing it.
……and that’s how to make achieving your goals easier. Not just for the short term but for future goals too!
Does any of this resonate with you?
What challenges do you normally face when going after your goals? Do you find it easy to ‘go the distance’ or do you find it hard to keep going?
Let me know in the comments or if you prefer, email me here.