Looking outside today, I came to the conclusion that winter is over. We made it through those cold, dreary days and we’re starting to see the world come back to life. The grass is getting greener, daffodils are blooming, and before you know it we’ll be able to trade in the boots and sweaters for flip-flops and swimming suits.
Uh-oh… did pandemic + winter = extra pounds around the mid-section?
Never fear! If you need to get in shape and lose weight before summer, you’ve come to the right place. But we’d better get started if you want to get that summer body.
So how are you going to make sure you are ready for all of the fun summer activities you’ve been dreaming about?
Planning, my friend. As my dad says (and lots of other people’s dad also say, I would imagine) “failing to plan, is just planning to fail.” So let’s create a plan, set some goals, and show this summer who’s boss.
Tell Me, What’s Your Y?
To make fitness goals that you will achieve, you need to find your Y. Why do you really want to lose weight or get in shape? Do you want to spend more time playing with your kids and your current fitness level is holding you back? Or have you come to realize just how much you’ve changed since you played basketball in college and you want to feel like that kid again?
Knowing your Y will help you to shape your fitness goals. So now that you’ve determined what that is, let’s talk about how to get there.
An Athlete’s Mindset
No matter the reason for wanting to get in shape, if you’re going to make permanent changes, you have to find your inner athlete. I’m not saying you need to set a goal to compete in an IronMan competition, but if you have the mindset of an athlete, you will push harder, and be more determined to finish strong.
When you make a resolution to make big changes in your life, it is easy to fall into the trap of “go big or go home.” But listen, you can’t just decide to be an ‘all-pro’ level athlete over-night. A good plan is going to involve incremental steps that seem small, but over time add up to big changes.
SMART Fitness Goals
Hand-in-hand with the athlete mindset is creating SMART fitness goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The SMART system can be used to create goals in all facets of your life and is an excellent way to ensure you’re not just setting a goal, but that you’re making a plan to achieve your goal. Let’s dive into how this system works.
#1 – Specific
If your goal is to lose weight or get in shape, that’s fantastic. You’ve come to the right place! But it is important to be very specific about your goal so you know what you’re working toward, and more importantly, if you’ve achieved your goal.
While losing weight, or getting in shape are both great starting points, a more specific goal might be to lower your body fat by 20% or to lose 40 lbs. Perhaps for you, getting in shape means being able to do 20 pull-ups or bench press 225 lbs.
#2 – Measurable
Once you’ve determined your specific goal, you need to make it measurable. How are you going to get there? Will you work out at the gym 3-4 days a week and follow a healthy meal plan? For a muscle-building goal, will you increase your bench press weight by 25 lbs every two weeks?
In the fitness and weight loss world, “measurable” can be very literal. Start by weighing in and taking measurements of your body, then do it again on a regular basis to check your progress. Keep track of the number of reps you are able to complete, or the weight you’re able to lift. Seeing these incremental wins will show you that you’re on the right track and keep you working toward your ultimate goal.
#3 – Attainable
Once you have an idea of what you’d like to achieve, you need to ask yourself if it’s attainable. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or if you want to go from Steve Erkel to Schwarzenegger, you are probably going to want to break those goals down into smaller chunks using both short and long-term goals to get to your ultimate finish line.
By setting these smaller goals, you will be giving yourself permission to go at a pace that makes sense. It is easy to suffer burn-out by trying to do too much too fast, or get discouraged because you aren’t seeing the needle move on your progress quickly enough. But as you reach each small goal, you will gain momentum to keep you passionate about achieving your big-picture goal.
#4 – Relevant
This is where your Y comes into play. For your SMART fitness goal to be relevant, it needs to align with your Y and also fit your lifestyle. For example, Rachel wants to increase her cardiovascular health so she has more energy to play with her kids.
Running is a great way to achieve this, but setting a goal to run a marathon is likely not relevant since marathon training requires long runs that could take a few hours to complete. If Rachel’s goal is to spend more time with her kids, these long runs may not make sense. However, it would be relevant for Rachel to train for shorter races like a 5K or a 10K since they require shorter training sessions and don’t take as much time away from her family.
#5 – Time-bound
Deadlines, baby. Nobody loves a deadline, but boy do they keep us moving forward.
Having a specific time frame laid out for your weight-loss or fitness goal will give you the motivation to keep the process headed in the right direction. It is easy to get off-track, and having a deadline is a great motivator.
My sister, for a time, was about 50-60 lbs overweight. She felt bad about herself, was always tired, and wasn’t able to keep up with her very active kids. Since her 40th birthday was approaching, she decided to lose 40 by 40 which gave her about eight months to get there.
Now, my sister is a competitive person, and by having that goal with a deadline attached, it was game ON! She followed a fitness and healthy eating plan and tracked her progress each week. That way she would know if she was doing alright or needed to step up her game as she went along.
When her birthday came around, she threw a party to celebrate the big day. It wasn’t just a party to celebrate a milestone birthday either, it was also a victory party because she had locked in on a goal, set a deadline, and made it to the finish line.
Find an Accountability Partner
Once you’ve set your SMART fitness goals to help you stick to your New Year’s fitness resolution, it is helpful to have someone to hold you accountable. It’s a great idea to find a friend who also wants to get in shape.
If you hit the gym together it will be more fun, and knowing that someone is there waiting for you will be an extra little motivator to get out of bed at 5:00 AM rather than hitting the snooze button. Plus, when you see your friend doing those extra reps or cranking up the speed on the treadmill, the competitor inside you will not want to be shown up!
Another great way to keep yourself accountable is to hire a personal trainer. By setting an appointment to work out, you are not likely to skip out just because you “don’t feel like it.” But the benefits of a trainer go beyond that.
For those who may be new to fitness, a trainer will eliminate the fear and uncertainty you might feel when you hit the gym. They can help you create your SMART goals, then design a program that will help you accomplish those goals.
A trainer will keep you from doing too much too fast leading to burn-out or injury and will push you to accomplish more over the long term with sustainable changes – because that is what it really means to be successful with your New Year’s fitness resolution.
Even if you’re a veteran athlete who already knows your way around a weight bench, having a trainer by your side will help you be that much more successful. They are going to motivate you to do a few more reps when you want to give up and will expose you to different exercises that will keep your workout fresh and interesting.
Schedule a Visit at iRISE PERFORMANCE
Now that you’ve decided to make some changes and get in shape, there’s nothing left to do but get started. At iRISE PERFORMANCE, we have a fun and inclusive culture, making it a blast to work hard and achieve those fitness goals.
As our trainers move through the gym, they interact with the iRISE community, making introductions, celebrating wins, and creating an atmosphere where the members push each other to rise up and be the athletes they were meant to be.
If you need more positive encouragement in your life, (and who doesn’t need that?) you need to see what the buzz is about! Call us now to schedule a tour and see for yourself all that iRise has to offer. There’s nothing to lose because we don’t require a long-term contract, so if you decide you don’t like us, we won’t make you stay.
Just know that when you come to iRISE PERFORMANCE and create your SMART fitness goals, we are going to ensure that you have a body you are proud of when it’s time to hit the pool this summer.