Is achieving your fitness goals just a matter of willpower? Do you feel like you fail to reach your goals because you just don’t have what it takes to commit? It is highly likely that it is not you, but the tools you are using. Just as many people find they can hoop successfully with a larger, heavier hoop where they couldn’t with a common hoop designed for a child, you may find that you can meet your fitness goals if you approach them with a different strategy. Try using these 5 keys to reach your fitness goals and you may be surprised at how successful you can be.
Key 1: Find Your Why
When I found my WHY I found my WILL.
When I found my WHY I found my WAY.
When I found my WHY I found my WINGS.
Finding your why is the key to motivation. We are not motivated by ‘shoulds’ or ‘whats’, we are motivated by feelings. Instead of thinking “I want to lose weight” (which is a ‘what’ and sometimes a ‘should’) dig deeper into what losing weight would actually mean for you in your life. Do you want to feel more confident? Do you want to be able to go shopping for clothes and feel like you can choose what you want, and shop where you want and feel comfortable that you will be able to find things in a size to fit. Do you want to be able to take your kids to the beach and not feel like a whale? Do you want to feel like you look good for some event or for somebody? When you search for your ‘why’ do not judge it. Whatever you want to feel just accept it, and accept that this is your true motivator. You do not need to share it with anyone else if you do not want to, but be honest with yourself. What is the ‘why’ that comes from your deepest desire? That is what will get you out of bed early, make you get in the hoop every day, and give you the strength to say no at the next morning tea shout.
Key 2: Do something You Like
You are far more likely to achieve your fitness goals if they involve an activity that you enjoy. Again, let go of the ‘shoulds’ or thoughts of what exercise would be best. If you do something just because you think you should, or because someone else wants you to, then you are likely to feel very resistant to it and find any excuse not to do it. What type of activities do YOU enjoy?
Do you like being outside, or do you prefer to exercise indoors?
Do you like to exercise alone, with a partner, or as part of a group or class?
Do you like cycling, or running, or swimming, or hula hooping, or boxing, or dance, or walking the dog?
Key 3: Make it Manageable
A manageable fitness strategy is an achievable one. It is important to consider the following questions when coming up with your fitness plan:
How much time can I realistically spend exercising? Once again let go of the ‘shoulds’. How much time can you commit where you are at right now? The most important thing is to start and do something no matter how small. Smaller goals are more likely to be achieved and consequently give you confidence and motivation to do more as you go on, but start where you are at and take baby steps if necessary.
What can I physically do at the moment? There may be activities that you enjoy doing which you currently cannot do due to injury or ability. They may become long term goals, but start with something you enjoy that you can do now.
Once you have decided what activity you want to do and how much time you can give to doing it, come up with a weekly and monthly timetable to keep you on track and allow you to see how you are progressing. When setting the intensity and duration of the exercise you choose to do, set it at a level that will challenge you, but not cause any injury and health issues. You want to reach to move forward, but not so much that you cause damage and are unable to continue.
Putting it all together may look something like this:
Why?: To feel comfortable wearing jeans without feeling like my behind looks like the back-end of a hippopotamus: to feel that I can comfortably wear the same clothes that other people do: to feel more freedom and confidence about the clothes I wear.
What do I enjoy?: hula hooping, walking and skiing
How much time do I have?: very little around kids and work
What can I do at the moment?: hula hooping and walking. Skiing is a time and money luxury.
Week one: When I drop the kids off to school, walk around the long block on the way back home and take one 5 minute hoop snack break at work every day.
Week 2: When I drop the kids off to school, walk around the long block on the way back home and take two 5 minute hoop snack breaks at work every day.
Week 3: When I drop the kids off to school, walk around the long block on the way back home and take two 5 minute hoop snack breaks at work every day. Meet up with a friend at the park once a week to practice hoopwalking for 15 minutes
Week 4: When I drop the kids off to school, walk around the long block on the way back home and take two 5 minute hoop snack breaks at work every day. Meet up with a friend at the park once a week to practice hoopwalking for 20 minutes
Celebrate every step and every success no matter how small. If you miss doing your timetabled exercise for a day or two, accept that it does not mean that all is lost, or that you are a failure, or that you can’t do it. Understand that it is part of life and simply get back on track as you are able. The most important thing is not perfection. The most important thing is to keep moving forward in whatever way you can.
Key 5: Get Support
Surround yourself with people who share your commitment to your goals who will encourage you, and support you, and celebrate with you. You can do this by exercising with a friend, or joining a class, or getting a personal trainer, or joining a Facebook group or linking up with a walking club.
You can reach your fitness goals, all you need are the right tools and equipment, and to listen to your heart.
To learn more about personal training with Bernadette click here
To join the In2Hula 10 Minute Club of committed hoopers click here