It’s one thing to think…”I want to be more fit.”
And actually something completely different to set a SMART goal, track it and knock it out of the park! In my experience, I’ve found that it’s easy to let life get in the way and to let our fitness and health goals run as a recording in the back of our minds. Kind of like elevator music. It’s there, but you don’t really care or notice it. It’s not until you turn up the volume and shift your focus that you really have a shot at making some serious strides towards improving your health and fitness.
Goals are the key to success when it comes to improving your fitness.
Just “working out” because you think you should is similar to getting in your car and just driving because you think you should go somewhere. If you don’t know where somewhere is, how in the heck are you going to get there? You would never waste your time, fuel or wear and tear on your car if you didn’t have a specific destination in mind. So why do so many of us spin our wheels at the gym in a dither of dissatisfaction or boredom? To bring relevance to your action, think about this:
What are you trying to achieve with your fitness?
If you can’t answer that question with a response time similar to someone asking what you do for a living, then it’s probably time to redefine your fitness goals. Do you want to get leaner? Faster? Healthier? Fitter? Stronger? More Energized? Less Stressed? Are you looking to get better at a certain sport? Are you trying to lose weight, gain muscle, reshape your body, and/or improve your confidence? The first step towards your proverbial finish line is knowing precisely where it is.
How to set fitness goals
Just like you do in business. You set SMART goals. And for those of you who may not know what this fancy acronym stands for, here is your 101 refresher on SMART goal setting:
There is no doubt some debate about what the letters really stand for, and I did take some creative liberty here to move them around for fitness sake. But the general idea is the same. As long as you have a crystal clear image of what you’re trying to achieve, a way to measure your progress and success and a date to get there, then you are in good shape.
Questions to ask yourself when you’re setting your goal:
- When you exercise, what are you working for?
- Why do you want to do it and how will you measure success?
- Is this something that is physically and physiologically possible?
- Why does it matter to you? How will you feel when you’ve achieved your goal?
- What date will achieve this goal and what are your milestones?
How do you track your progress?
Whether you use the “M” for measurable or the “T” for trackable, knowing you’re stacking up against towards achieving your goal is a huge part of your success. There are no shortage of gadgets and aps to help you see what’s going on with your body movement. Whether it’s a FitBit, MapMyRun, Apple Health, Bodymedia, Jawbone, Runkeeper or something else to track your activity and something like FatSecrets to measure your food intake — they all provide valuable data.
Caution: data, lacking analysis, context or action isn’t really all that helpful. And one ap might know how well you’re sleeping, another one knows how fast your moving and a different one tells you how much you’re eating. This makes it a little tricker to see where your progress is thriving and where your gaps are hiding.
Brining all that data together ==> Meet Adapp*
I was just introduced to a new ap for your smart phone called Adapp. The app analyzes data from all the health tracking apps and devices people use day-to-day to provide actionable insights. Cool, right? It’s free, so I downloaded it and hooked up the other devices I use and it told me a few interesting things:
And then in addition to the summary of the finding and how you compare to others, it gives you some insight and action to take or consider…something a little like this:
You can read more about the development story and the founder here, and download the ap in the iTunes store now and get some interesting insights into the data that your other devices are already capturing.
Tips to achieving your fitness goals
If it was as easy as setting a goal and tracking it, I think our success rate would be much higher as a nation. Ha ha. And while they are two key parts of finding your success, here are few more tips to consider as you navigate your way to better health and more happiness.
- Make your goal public. Telling other people what you plan to do not only holds you accountable to your word, it also naturally delivers you a cheering squad!
- Find a buddy! I will tell you what, nothing makes it harder to slip up on progress when someone else is there waiting for you. There are so many training runs I’d have missed had my gals not been waiting.
- Visualize your success in the morning. Think specifically about how you’re going to feel when you hit your goal. Then don’t just think it, FEEL it! Feel the glow, get energized and start your day with that momentum.
- Revisit your progress at the end of every day. Did you do what you needed to do? If not, what went array and what can go better next time? There are no mistakes, unless you make the mistake of not learning a lesson.
- Know that you simply can’t fail if you don’t quit. It might take longer than anticipated to cross your proverbial finish line, but it will always be there waiting for you. You may adjust course and get smarter along the way. So long as you continue to move forward, keep your eye on the prize, you will be successful.
And remember, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you‘re right.” ― Henry Ford.
Now what are your SMART Fitness Goals? How are you tracking them and please don’t forget to tell me once you’ve achieved them!
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*This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of AddApp.