As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning, it occurs to me that it might be a good idea to drop off some quick advice before retiring for the night. I mentioned in my introductory post that I receive a lot of questions from friends and loved ones over how they should approach their exercise goals. While there certainly is no one-size-fits-all answer to ANY scenario, I can contribute one tidbit that should always be the first step. So here goes: ACTUALLY KNOW YOUR GOAL!
“Okay, he’s being silly, right? Of COURSE I know what I want!”
I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence by making that statement. But it needed to be said! So try this simple trick that they teach us in Kinesiology and personal training courses. It’s not perfect, but it gets the idea across. It’s called the S.M.A.R.T. principle. Simply put, you do not have a properly constructed fitness goal if is is not: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented.
Now to be fair, I’ve seen the “R” stand for other warm-and-fuzzy terms like “Relevant” and “Rewarding,” but you get the point. Make sure that whatever you want is something that you can realistically pursue and measure. For example — “I’d love to have Beyonce’s body!” is NOT a proper goal. It gives no idea of what specific changes you want to try to make to your body. Now I’d ASSUME you’d perhaps be wanting to lose a little weight around the midsection, firm things up, and strengthen your arms and legs… because if you’re 4’10” and Japanese, you’re probably not going to have quite her stature or skin tone! Now as ridiculous as that example was, it illustrates my point. You have got to make it clear! Only after you know exactly how you want to look/feel/perform can you start putting together a diet and exercise plan that will take you there. Sure, there are lots of great general lifestyle habits you can develop, but you can’t wish your way into a specific kind of shape. You have to make it happen!
So think about what your actual objective is. Do you want to lose 15 pounds by the time school starts up in August? Do you want to add 50 pounds to your squat max over the next 4-6 months? Or would you perhaps like to be able to dance with your son/daughter at their upcoming wedding without getting tired? Ask yourself these questions, make sure it’s something you can measure and be accountable for, and THEN you’ll be ready to get shakin’ 🙂
More to come!