By Jenn Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com
Goal-setting has incredible rewards. In fact, there’s really no better way to get to where you want to be (and get rewarded for it)! We chatted with Tara Zimliki, certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor, for her top tips on how to turn your fitness goals into reality.
Zimliki would know. She’s a crazy-awesome runner who has completed 15 marathons and hundreds of races worldwide. In fact, she completed the New York Marathon eight months pregnant and even ran 1 mile the day she gave birth to her first daughter and 3 miles the day she gave birth to her second daughter. Zimliki believes that taking on a personal fitness milestone is just as much a physical feat as it is a mental one. (Agreed!)
By setting mini-goals, she says you can make an overwhelming cliff seem a lot easier to climb. We couldn’t agree more! Read on for Zimliki’s tips to turning impossible fitness goals into possible fitness feats!
Step 1: Set Goals & Prepare (1 week):
Goal setting is one of the best ways to prepare you both physically and mentally for what it is that you wish to accomplish. I recommend setting an immediate goal, a mid-term goal you can achieve 6 months from now, and a long-term goal for about 1-5 years from now. By doing this, you will prepare and organize your life for what is to come. The preparation phase allows you to buy whatever it is that you will need to be successful (groceries, workout clothes, books, music, personal trainer, etc) and plan or set-up a time or times that you can exercise without being interrupted.
Have you ever gotten in your car and started driving, not really sure where you were going? What happened? Did you just drive around aimlessly, wasting gas and precious time? Well, that is what trying to lose weight without clear goals is like. It’s a waste of time and precious resources, all at the expense of your weight loss confidence.
A great acronym to remember is S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable. When setting any kind of goal for yourself, compare it to this checklist. Here’s an example.
“I will never eat chocolate again”. Specific? Yes. Measurable? Uh, maybe, depends on if you keep a food journal. A piece of chocolate, once consumed, is easily forgotten in a matter of minutes. Attainable? Sure, as long as you make sure to never purchase chocolate again, even if your family begs. Realistic? Hmmmm, not so much. What happens when it’s yours (or someone’s close to you) birthday? What about that never ending candy bowl at work? Vending machine calling your name? Okay. So the goal fails the test; how can we reshape it?
How about “I will enjoy chocolate as a once-a-week reward, and will reduce my fat intake on that day to compensate….” This reshaped goal has all the markings of being S.M.A.R.T., and by tracking the intake, whether on your to- do list, your journal or even your checkbook register, you have now implemented one of the most important, yet most overlooked, success strategies for life-long weight loss management; setting goals is your road map to success!