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There is often a misconception that people in the fitness industry never slack on their nutrition or goals. We never cheat, never miss a workout, never eat poorly and we sure as heck don’t need motivating. As a Personal Trainer, I’m here to tell you a secret. A secret that many fitness professionals may not want you to know. Are you ready? We NEVER have it all together!! Whaaaaaaaaat?! Yeah I know, right? This is how I know first hand, why you’re failing at reaching your goals or just sticking to a routine and how to fix it.
(1) Short Term Goal Setting
It’s July and you need to fit into that size 6 dress for a wedding by October. You’re planning a vacation a year from now after having a baby last month and want to be back to your pre-baby weight by then. You’ve made the long term goal, but what about all those steps in between? How are you going to get there? Having a long term goal is great! But what about the short term monthly, weekly and even daily goals? Now that you have your long term goal, set some short term ones and revisit them OFTEN. Say you want to lose 15 lbs in 3 months. Ok, great. What steps can we take to get us there? Well maybe you snack too often. How about instead of snacking every night you cut back to 4 nights the first month. Next month, lets revisit your goal from last month. Did you follow through with it? If so lets make it 3 nights. If not, lets stick with 4 nights until we smash that goal!!
What if you can’t cut out snacking? How about replacing those 5 peanut butter cups with a spoon full of natural peanut butter and celery? The short term goals are meant to progress slowly and simply. Don’t over complicate it. Start with small goals and get bigger as you go.
(2) Writing Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals is SOOOO important! You are much more likely to remember and complete your goals if they are written down. I like to keep all of my goals in a planner. I keep goals for my blog, my fitness and any other daily goals I have! Before I implemented this, I was not following through with any of my goals. Now that I have written them down and have a little box to check off when I’m finished, I am getting so much more done! Not to mention it feels amazing checking off those boxes!
(3) Cut Back on Certain Foods, Don’t Cut Them Out
This may be one you get excited about! Yes.. I’m telling you DON’T need to cut out all “bad” food. Why? Cutting out all your guilty pleasure foods may help you reach your goals quicker, but you’ll also be more at risk to relapse or binge eat. Cutting out all “bad” food also creates an unhealthy relationship with food. You’re making yourself feel guilty if you eat a “bad” food. There is nothing wrong with having some pizza, or a piece of cake once in a while. You do not need to cut out certain food groups or “bad” foods to be healthy and get results.
With my experience, anyone that tries to cut out all these foods completely usually gets frustrated and binge eats on those foods anyway, just gives up all together or doesn’t feel happy. This is not what we want!! Unless you are super focused and very disciplined (not me!) when it comes to food, you should be cutting out foods gradually. Of course you can still have all the foods you enjoy as well but we just need to learn how to do this without sabotaging ourselves. It’s called balance. Say you have pizza 5 nights a week, well how about we cut that back to 3? You’re drinking diet soda 4 times a day, can you cut that back to 2? (Diet soda is not our friend) Slowly try cutting those foods back. NOT OUT. Some people might tell you to cut them out.. but thats not what I believe in. By cutting back on these foods were slowly starting to develop better habits and a better relationship with these foods! 🙂
(4) Get a Routine Down
Having a routine is VERY important when it comes to reaching your goals. A routine creates consistency and consistency creates success! If you’re only working out or eating well when you feel like it, you probably aren’t going to reach your goals.
Of course my routine is a little different now with an 8 month old and sometimes things don’t go as planned, which will happen! I try to stick to it as much as possible. I start my morning with a cup of coffee after Harper is changed and fed. Once I’ve had my coffee, we go for at least a 30 minute walk. After our walk I work on things I need to get done depending on the day, I like to write down what I’m doing for the day (Tip #2) I workout either after Harper has woken up from a nap or while shes napping, then do some more work later in the day. Having structure has definitely helped me towards my goals.
(5) Have an Accountability Buddy
Having a buddy to keep you accountable is another great strategy! If you aren’t feeling motivated to get your workout in or stay on track, your buddy is there to save the day and cheer you on! It also makes things so much more fun when you have a buddy to do it with! I was doing an 8 week challenge I wrote with my mom and my sister over skype and it was so much fun! I looked forward to our workouts every day and it kept me on track.
In my experience as a Certified Personal Trainer, these have been some of the biggest reasons I see people not reaching their goals. I know if you try these strategies you’ll be closer to reaching your goals!
*Keep in mind I am not a nutritionist or dietician and have learned these techniques through experience and working with clients the last two years.