September is just around the corner. Kids are going off to school and college, some parents are going back to work after taking the summer off, and the lazy, hazy days of summer will be a passing memory. Fall is approaching fast and it’s actually my favourite time of year. Forget about waiting for January, I see September as a new year and I can’t wait to set goals, create new dreams, and think about what I want to accomplish for the rest of the year.
Coming off the summer, I feel refreshed, renewed and ready to start working again. I actually took my first vacation in two years this summer and I took many long weekends off which is a first for me. When I created my goals for 2016, I decided to take back my life and create the life I want to live and creating more time to do the things I love. This was one of the goals I put into place for myself. Enjoying the sunshine, getting back to nature and discovering new places to create new memories became a reality.
As September approaches, it’s a time when I like to get in touch with my clients to see where they are at and how they want to proceed after taking a break from their routine over the summer. Whether you took a couple months off or continued with your regular fitness routine, it never hurts to re-visit your current fitness goals to see if you need or want to make changes. Here are a few tips that can help you get back on track with your fitness goals this fall.
You’re Not Setting Goals
I’ve found that when working with people who have specific and measurable goals, they are more apt to reach them. Goal setting is one of the most important factors when trying to improve your fitness and health. The vast majority of people want to lose weight and if you don’t have a plan in place, it can be a little more challenging to reach your goal.
Breaking down the components of goal setting to numeric benchmarks can help keep you on track. It’s also advisable to put your goals in writing as a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve. If you are looking for a model to use, try the SMART principle. Visit my blog ‘A SMART Guide to Goal Setting’ and learn how to put your goals in writing use this specific model.
Be Forgiving of Yourself
At some point in our lives, we have all stumbled on our paths to success. We slip up, we get sick, we have work or family commitments, and sometimes we simply just need a break. This is ok and in fact, it’s human. If you feel that you need a short-term break, then take one. The key is to getting back into your regimen before a short-term break becomes a long-term disaster. Don’t be hard on yourself or feel that you have to make up for lost time after missing a few days or even a week or two.
As a fitness instructor and trainer, I take time off from training and teaching. I mentally need a break and by doing so it not only helps me, but it helps my clients. How? A large piece of my job is to motivate people and by taking a few breaks during the year to do this, I come back refreshed, mentally stronger, and more creative. I also strongly suggest that my clients take time off (unless they are training for something specifically) from their routines for the same reasons I do but also to give their bodies a break. Not only do they appreciate the breaks but again they come back wanting to challenge themselves eve more.
Why do we always wait to reach our target goal before celebrating our successes? Part of creating a goal or plan is to set up benchmarks along the way to celebrate. For instance, if your goal is to run 10km non-stop, set a goal where you reach 2.5km, 5km, and then 7.5km without stopping. You will feel better about reaching these goals quicker without counting the time when you reach your target goal.
When reaching milestone goals, treat yourself to a reward that all your hard work wont undo. For instance, if one of your milestones is losing 5lbs on the way to a larger weight-loss goal, then treat yourself to a day at the spa, some new music, or even a movie date with a friend or spouse. Creating more and frequent milestones will help you feel better about yourself and give you more reason to celebrate.
Ask for Help
I find this is one of the hardest tasks for people to do when creating fitness goals. They start off learning how to use equipment, learning proper technique, and are motivated, but when things get tough (they plateau or forget how to do something) then refuse to ask for help for several reasons. Not asking for help is simply an excuse to write off all of your hard work. If you forget how do use equipment, start to get bored with your routine, plateau and see no results, or simply need some motivation, ask the staff at the gym (it’s their job) or hire a personal trainer. Not only will they help you but they can help prevent injury, get you on track and help modify your goals, and clear up any confusion with how to use equipment.
If you are feeling unmotivated and don’t work out at a gym, you have one of two choices. Work with a trainer outside of your gym or find a workout buddy. Trainers will help keep your workouts interesting by providing a variety of exercises and options for your workouts. Think of them as a long-term investment in your most important commodity, your health. A workout buddy will keep you inspired and on track with your workout routine while having fun. Look at my blog post ‘This Workout Bud is for You’, for ideas on how and where to find a workout buddy.
Think Outside the Box
This is why I came up with the name, Fit Outside of the Box. The name resonates with creating the life you want by doing something different and not following the crowd or current fitness crazes. We have the mentality that we have to measure everything we do with exercise such as weighing ourselves, trying to fit in a particular dress size or lifting a certain amount of weight. We think that the only way to get fit is to go to a gym, and we think that we have to always bust our butt in order to get a great workout. Not everyone is trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or run a marathon. We are all unique, have different goals and objectives, and we all reach them differently. If you are looking to just stay active, then get moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk outside on your lunch time, park further away in the grocery store parking lot.
Take your workouts outside. Try a functional style workout that involves no weights. Shorten up the duration of your workout and go harder and faster, or go longer and slower. Take a nature hike with your dog so you are both getting a workout. Strap on a backpack (added weight can add up to extra calories burned) and find a trail with lots of hills. Take up volunteering where your body is constantly moving.
Start to eat more from the earth and ditch the processed food. Start paying attention to how your body feels when you feed it with whole and plant-based foods. You have more energy, you sleep better, and your mood improves. Start to cook from scratch and create your own recipes instead of searching for something on-line. You are in control of your life and don’t feel like you have to follow the crowd to get fit and stay active.
I’m so excited about September approaching. I’m sad to see the summer go but I’m ready to try a new workout routine, create new fall recipes, and even try a new hobby. Change can be a positive thing if you are open to it. Use the new school year as an opportunity to re-visit your fitness goals and change things up. Either get more creative, challenge yourself, or try something new. You never know what you might discover to make yourself even better than you already are.
Eat Clean & Live Green
Your Compassionate Coach,