At the start of the year, I provided you with tips for setting your fitness goals, and tricks to help you stay on track. As we reach our mid-year point, let’s take a moment to check on progress, and re-evaluate and even re-set some goals. In case you’ve fallen off the wagon (remember, nobody is perfect!), you can use this time to jump back on.
Maybe you need a little boost; maybe you need a big change. No matter what you need, the following 4 pointers will help you get there, and with better results. If you have fallen off the wagon completely, scratch your old plan and start fresh; review the original tips, then add in the new ones and get yourself going again!
Review your past efforts
Whether you set goals and made an action plan in January or two months ago, look back at what you’ve done so far. Ask yourself lots of questions, to get as clear a picture as possible of your past journey, as well as find what works for you (and what doesn’t). Be honest! How do your actions compare to what you set out to achieve? Did you stay on track, exceed your expectations, lose your way? What worked for you, and what do you feel was missing? What are you most proud of, and what needs improvement?
Reassess your goals
Based on your results to date, are your short- and long-term goals still appropriate and manageable? If not, were you too aggressive when you were setting those goals? What can you adjust to make your goals achievable? If all is going according to schedule, are you ready to explore new boundaries and even set the bar a little bit higher? Whether you want to upgrade, downplay or maintain your current goals, look at your lifestyle, fitness level, and overall health and wellness — and use these observations to help you make smart, realistic adjustments. Have any of these factors changed, and will the changes positively or negatively affect your results? Use your answers to formulate new goals, or improve the existing ones.
Reshape your plan
To achieve your goals, you created a plan of action — a list of steps that, if followed, should lead to success. Did your plan get you there? Did you follow it 95% of the time, or 60%, or 25%, or less? If you went off course, what was the cause? Did your plan conflict with your time/life commitments — and does it still conflict today? Basically, ask yourself if your plan is still in line with your interests and your goals. Don’t forget to ask yourself if it fits in with seasonality.
Refresh your routine
Fitness classes, personal training, exercise DVDs, sports teams — a combination of some or all of these activities can define your workout routine and schedule. Are you happy with what you’ve been doing? Do you still enjoy your workout, or are you tired of doing the same old thing again and again? Have you tried anything new in the past couple of months? something as simple as a new instructor, new location or new activity can easily re-ignite the interest. Small changes are often enough to keep things interesting and challenging. There’s nothing less motivating and more uninspiring than going through the motions just to get something done. If it’s fun and engaging, you’ll work harder — and you’ll want to come back for more. Don’t be afraid to try something new; take a leap outside your comfort zone to spice things up and keep you on your toes!
One last word of advice: Remember that fitness goals should never be set in stone — they should be flexible! You can modify them any time, based on changes in your life, likes and dislikes, seasons and even trends. There is no right or wrong, as long as you are trying. Go with what feels right and makes you feel great, inside and out. If that means creating a new plan every season, or every month or every time your schedule changes, then do it. Simply follow your life’s journey; incorporate your fitness into it and you will get results.
Katya Mohsen is a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.