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6 Ways To Conquer Fitness Goals

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6 Ways To Conquer Fitness Goals

If you want to accomplish any complex, challenging objective, you have to set clear goals, approach each of your hurdles systematically, routinely assess progress, and course-correct when necessary. That is the philosophy of Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS, co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training in Indianapolis. Robertson, along with many other leading trainers, articulates a fitness truth grounded in the basic tenets of business.

“It’s only when you focus on one or two well-defined goals and follow a clear plan to accomplish them that you start to make real progress,” says Robertson.

“When you go to the office, you don’t just show up and putter around. You go in with a plan, a series of tasks oriented toward a long-term goal,” says Chicago-based personal trainer Jim Karas, author of The Business Plan for the Body (Three Rivers Press, 2001) and The Petite Advantage Diet (HarperOne, 2013). “That’s how you should approach your fitness program as well.”

The payoff? If you walk through the gym doors armed with a solid strategy like the one outlined on the following pages, you’ll not only leave feeling satisfied with your efforts, you’ll also find yourself looking forward to moving your fitness game plan forward–week by week, month by month.

The best part: You’ll get the benefits of working for the world’s best boss. You.

 

1. Create a Mission Statement

 

Just as Ben and Jerry probably would have blown a gasket building computer software, and Bill Gates might have imploded dishing up ice cream, your fitness plans will most likely fizzle if you try to follow someone else’s dream or template. You need a big-picture approach that matches your interests, goals, lifestyle and passions.

The first step along the fitness path, then, is to create a fitness mission statement. What, exactly, do you want to accomplish, both in the short term (up to three months from now) and in the long term (a year or more from now)?

“Figuring out where you want to go with your fitness is hugely significant,” says Jolie Kobrinsky, CEO of ThePrimeMethod.com and co-owner of Prime Personal Training in Monterey, Calif. “You’re taking a vague inkling and making it concrete.”

Your vision can be athletic, aesthetic or both: You can set your sights on running a half-marathon or losing 25 pounds, earning a black belt or gaining slabs of lean muscle. You can choose almost anything, but it’s essential that you choose something, since the mission statement is your road map for success. It’s the “true north” toward which every workout, meal, food choice and recovery session should ultimately lead.

To get started on the process, think “S.M.A.R.T.”–a goal-setting acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. In the business world, those are the goal-definition standards that help executives set well-defined agendas.

For instance, “getting fit” is a commendable ambition, but it’s vague. Fit in what way, and by when? You’ll have a better shot succeeding if you aim for a clear and achievable target, like losing a belt size by summer or attending a fitness class twice a week for the next six weeks.

The other thing your mission statement needs is passion. What gets you excited? What are you fired up to accomplish, learn or participate in? If you’ve always wanted to dance the tango, learn to fence competitively or complete a mud-strewn adventure race, find out what sort of regimen is required and get to it.

“What you want in any fitness program,” says Robertson, “is skin in the game.” If you can’t come up with a substantial list of reasons why you want to realize a given goal, choose something else that pushes your buttons right now. In business, passion drives profits; in the gym, it drives progress.

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

45 comments

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10:32PM PDT on May 25, 2014


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12:30AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

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10:36PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

I'm always finding myself hitting the “Wall” when I'm working out, but these tips are great to help me push past that. My Octane LateralX really kicks my butt, but now I think I can push through my maximum set!
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11:50PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

Thank you I am glad about the encouragement! I love your site, you post outstanding.
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11:19AM PDT on May 3, 2013

main way to keep up with your goals? JUST DO IT

11:56AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Good details. Many of these come down to owning up to what we are doing. A friend says" you know I fuss about diarying my food when I'm over-indulging".
Love the idea of packing food and taking it with you. In the idyllic days of childhood, maybe we came home every 4 hours, but these days we're away from our fruit bowl for many hours in a day...just as we kept a healthy snack with us for the three year old, we should pack and carry good food.

5:05AM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

Endurance

9:47PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Inspiring ... breaks up the monotony of exercising and gives a new way to focus on goals.

11:02AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

These are some methods I need to apply to myself. I'm good at motivating others, but lousy when it comes to myself. Thank you for the tips!

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