27 Feb 4 Tips For Setting Fitness Goals
I’m always oscillating between a myriad of emotions when having a consultation meeting with a potential client:
Here’s what’s going through my mind:
1) I’m enthralled to inform them about the many attributes of strength and metabolic resistance training.
2) I’m pumped to help them make a shift to a healthier, happier life.
3) I’m ready to bash their detox, P90x, and ToneItUp workout attempts. And laugh at them for doing 3 pound bicep curls.
4) I’m secretly dreading the conversation and they’re going to hit me with the “I want to lose 30 pounds in 10 days” goal.
In other words to #4, you want a side of metabolic damage and hormonal dysfunction too, right?
Truthfully, I am grateful people turn to me for advice and believe I’m some sort of powerful wizard who can melt fat with the blink of an eye. As much as I wish I were Gandalf, this is so incredibly far from the truth.
When we speak of fitness goals, most of us play to superficiality. Whether that is toning this, cutting that, losing inner thigh fat, or dropping 5 jeans sizes, we are fixated on the aesthetic byproduct of our training. I wrote a lengthy article on the losing game of women’s fitness here.
To hammer home: we must beware of the goals that make us happy for just a finite moment in time.
Sure, going down a couple jean sizes will make you jump for joy on the final day of the 21-day program. When it’s all done, however, it doesn’t give you a sense of purpose. After you reach your goal, are you healthy, invigorated, energized? Are you burnt out, hating life, and eager to return back to your “normal” life? Or are you tired of hearing Tracey Anderson’s voice?
Setting goals shouldn’t leave us in resistance with our psyches. There are many ways to work toward a healthy, strong physique without defining yourself with numbers on a scale, a pair of pants, or a body fat calculator.
Here are 4 tips for setting positive fitness goals:
1) Strive for strength gains.
Let’s deliver this punch right away: being strong makes life easier. We can carry our kids, heavy groceries, shovel out our cars in a blizzard, or own our husbands in bed like goddesses. Above all, setting strength-based goals encourages program adherence. We don’t feel small, weak, or insecure by chasing a number. Instead, we are set on a goal that is empowering and builds confidence. Fighting for a dead lift personal record, for example, shifts our focus to a goal that breathes competitive fire into us.
But also. Strength gains develop lean muscle mass and allow us to burn more calories at rest.
2) Make your goals fun, quirky even.
I met with a client today who came to me with a laundry list of 10+ fitness goals. At first I thought they were going to be things like “Look like Megan Fox” or “Become America’s Next Top Basic White Girl Model.” Instead, she had goals like do a handstand, run a marathon, do a push-up, and gain confidence. What a champ. Certainly, it’s the fun, quirky goals that bring levity to fitness and ease the pressure. Even better, I would train her the EXACT SAME WAY I would train a woman with superficial goals. The difference is one woman has a better mindset than the other. When we focus on the playful stuff, working out is no longer an obligation, rather an opportunity to gain athleticism and be a beast.
3) Be genuinely passionate about your goal.
I have a friend who is studying for her CPA. She’s trudging along through misery and sacrificing her social life in order to reach her goal in the accounting realm. Basically, she hates life. In lieu of this, you know what ruffles my feathers and makes me go bat-shit crazy? When people run themselves into the ground to the point their zest for reaching that goal becomes waned. If you aren’t genuinely passionate about your goal in anything in life – whether that is being a CPA, medical doctor, fit woman, or ninja warrior, you’ll be in resistance to the process. And resistance has never set anyone up for success. You may need to realign yourself with what you TRULY desire. It’s harsh, but someone has to deliver the tough love.
4) Compete against yourself.
Training men has been a cakewalk. Men are more competitive with themselves and always train to level up to their previous session. Women, however, compare themselves to other women. OMG she was dead lifting that much? Or “She looks better in that Lulu Lemon? What a bitch!” I once had a 60+ year old client compare herself to a 21-year-old elite gymnast. Part of my job is to ensure all ladies are keeping their eyes on their own paper. There’s less disappointment, more focused energy, and increased motivation to improve.
So that’s that. Normally, I don’t write articles on the weekends, but I had some sangria and the thoughts were flowing. Combine alcohol with women’s fitness, I’m fired up and ready to spew. Happy Saturday. ;-0