Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
One of the greatest challenges I face as a coach is keeping people motivated. Everyone knows what they should do, but what makes someone go after a goal and stay after it? Here are a few tips to ensure you stay on target and get what you want out of training.
1. Setting goals.
This one probably seems like a no brainer, but this crucial first step is often overlooked. Feeling satisfied with the work you're doing is essential in staying on course. It would be in your best interest to track and manage multiple goals at once. This way it feels like you are accomplishing something on a regular basis. Examples of goals to track include:
⦁ Resting Heart Rate (once per week) ⦁ Appearance (once every couple months) ⦁ Weight lifted or reps performed (once per week or month, depending on your goal) ⦁ Body Fat Percentage (once per month) ⦁ Body Weight (once per month) ⦁ Daily Caloric intake and output (every day)
It's important to space out your goals based on what is realistic. Should you track your calories and macros every day? Yes. Should you weigh yourself every day? NO! Absolutely not! There are far too many variables involved with body weight to micro-manage it that closely. You will drive yourself crazy and discourage yourself very quickly by tracking something like this too closely. Realistically, you're not going to lose more than 4-8 pounds of fat per month and that's a best case scenario.
This is why I'm such a huge fan of strength training. With the right coaching, you're guaranteed to make gains and see quantifiable progress, which will keep you focused as you continue on your journey.
2. Why did you set those goals?
Very important question here. Why are you in the gym? Why did you hire a personal trainer? What are you doing here? Do you want to lose weight and get healthy? Do you want to improve your performance as an athlete? Do you generally want to live a happier, healthier, and longer life? Do you have a family history of diseases that you're trying to avoid?
Creating a list of "whys" is just as important as setting goals in itself.
3. Reward yourself.
It sucks cutting out most of the foods you love and having to stay disciplined with exercise, at first. Once you weather the storm for a bit and start seeing results, you will eventually fall in love with living a healthy lifestyle. For now, you're best bet is to design a reward system for meeting your objectives. Something to keep your mind on track and motivated to keep moving forward in a potentially uncomfortable situation.
This right here is the key to maintaining your sanity during a lifestyle overhaul. Go to the spa, get a massage, take a day trip, have a bowl of ice cream, have breakfast at McDonalds. Whatever it is you love to do, make sure you're using it as a lure to get to where you want to be.
4. Use someone to keep you honest.
Whether it be your best friend, your family, your significant other, or a personal trainer, be sure to have people close to you who will root for you and who want to see your goals become reality.
5. Don't Be Too Hard on yourself.
This is probably the most important one on this list. Setbacks can easily discourage people into wanting to quit, especially when their goals are lofty ones. It can very easily become overwhelming.
You have to understand the difference between having a setback and giving up. They are not the same thing. Work, school, family, diet, life events, etc. all have a habit of throwing us off course. The key is to get back on track, to REFUSE to give up on yourself. Setbacks suck, but they can be overcome. They can ALWAYS be overcome. You just have to have the fire inside to brush off the obstacles in your life and stay focused.
Just whatever you do, don't confuse a setback with defeat! Defeat is when you declare that your body isn't worth taking care of anymore. It's a definitive decision to throw in the towel and never look back. Don't ever accept defeat.
In Strength, Coach Bryan
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!