You’ve finally done it…made the commitment to yourself to get up, get out, and get some exercise. You’ve set a goal. Maybe that was weight loss, maybe it was to run your first 5K, play more with your kids, or just stop being in so much pain from years of inactivity.
But now the real challenge…obstacles. Obstacles come in many forms – distractions from work, family, and of course…social media! You may also encounter road blocks from illness, vacations, and this time of year in New England…SNOW!
Here’s the thing…these obstacles…all of them…are simple little speed bumps that you’ll need to roll over if you really want to reach the goals you’ve promised yourself this year.
At Fitness Together, we work with our clients to set both outcome as well as behavior goals. An outcome goal would be the main objective a client wants to accomplish – for example, losing 20 pounds in the next 3 months. While this goal is specific, measurable, has a timeline, and is realistic the client has no control over it. The goal is just the result of other things he/she will have to do to get there.
Behavior goals include all the steps you would take to get to your desired outcome. If our client wants to lose 20 pounds he/she may set a behavior goal of exercising at least 4 days per week and journaling their meals each day for the first 3 weeks of their program. It’s these behaviors that the client has complete control over as it relates to the overall success of their program. Unless you can conquer your behavior goals, you have little chance of succeeding with your outcome goal (at least not within the expected timeline).
How do these behaviors relate back to the obstacles? It’s simple…obstacles block us from performing our behaviors. Don’t let that happen! When an obstacle appears – you must find a way to steer around it.
Most often, we know when an obstacle is coming. We get notice of an important meeting at work; the calendar tells us the holidays are coming. This week – LOOK OUT!!! There’s going to be some snow. Hey, I’ve got news for you…it snows every year in New England…look it up.
Some people use obstacles as an excuse for an off day. Hey, nothing you can do about it, right? We’ll get at it “next time.” The fact is, if you want to reach your goals you must stick with your plan. The key is to learn how to adjust your plan to fit your needs instead of scrapping it altogether.
How are you going to avoid the obstacle that is blocking your path to success? Here are some suggestions.
Have to miss a scheduled workout? Consider scheduling another time, a different day during the week or maybe even do a double session.
No time to prepare healthy meals? Invest in a few weeks with a meal prep service. It will help with portions and you won’t have to shop or cook.
Need to eat out for work or to maintain your social life? Go for it! Just look at the dinner menu in advance of your arrival at the restaurant (preferably before you are hungry). It will allow you to make the best choices and give you more time to chat up your client or catch up with your friends.
Sub-zero temps keeping you from your regular run? Bring it indoors with a short-term commitment with a personal trainer or a gym.
Work or family have you on the run? Planning meals ahead and committing to brief, efficient workouts that will keep you on track. It is far better to adjust your workouts than to fall off the wagon only to have to start from scratch.
Owner, FT Ashland