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Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

Pick SMART And Reach Goals To Motivate Yourself To Success

I’m sure you have all heard about setting goals that are “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s an incredibly effective way to set a goal as it keeps you accountable: it is realistic, it has a deadline, you first have to make sure it is attainable and within your abilities, and you must have a way to measure your success (or lack thereof).

However, some people have issues with SMART goals. They find them constraining and un-motivating as it does not leave room for the big life goals that move us forward. Goals that are not specific are incredibly motivating. Goals like: Become an expert on XX, Be a Famous Fiction Author, etc. These types of goals are necessary to give life passion, a fire – to propel you forward. The goal many not be measurable enough, but it feels amazing to have such a goal. That is where the REACH goal comes in.

A Reach goal is an ultimate end goal that moves you. It need not have a deadline or even be terribly specific, but it must motivate you – it has to get you going every day. It has to make you want it. And it is that drive that is often missing from the SMART goal, which often makes life just seem like an endless to do list. So, to make your goals more effective, couple SMART goals with a Reach goal.

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This is what you do:

Find a life goal that motivates you

You can have more than one, but definitely less than 10. Usually 5 reach goals are enough for a lifetime. These are the goals you want to have accomplished by the end of your life. These are the goals you will the most proud. These are the goals to fuel you.

Write the reach goals down – and look at them every day

It’s easy to think that with such motivating goals, you’d constantly be reminded of them, right? But it’s actually pretty easy to forget our reach goals. It’s very easy that during the chaos of everyday life we get caught up in the motions and completely forget the goals that will move us to greatness. So write them down, and look at them. Every day. This is the motivation part.

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Pick a couple of SMART goals for each Reach goal

Most people can easily pick a couple of reach goals. What is hard is making them happen and that is where the SMART goals come in. It’s now time to write down the goals that will get you to take action. Go to your list of reach goals and under each of them, write down a couple of SMART goals that will help propel you forward. Follow the directions and make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Write the SMART goals down – and look at them every day

Your SMART goals will change constantly while your reach goals will remain the same. As you accomplish one SMART goal after another, you will add a new goal to the list. I recommend you carry a piece of paper where there is plenty of room to add and cross out your SMART goals as you go along, but not too big where it will be difficult to carry. Look at this list daily.

Make each goal work for you

The purpose of the reach goal is to motivate you. So when you look at the paper with the goals, imagine yourself attaining the reach goal. Visualize how amazing it will be to achieve the goal. Think of how good it will feel. Believe in your ability to accomplish the reach goal. Let it fuel and drive you. Feel the goal running through your veins.

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Then, look at the SMART goal and let them guide you and narrow your focus. Make plans around the SMART goals, commit yourself to them. Believe you are capable of achieving these goals. Write any necessary steps in your daily to-do list. Look at the SMART goals constantly to make sure you’re on the right track.

Let the reach goals fuel you and then let the SMART goals take the wheel to drive you forward.

The more you visualize yourself achieving the reach goal, the more you believe you can do it, the more your life will steer in that direction. The more you focus on achieving the SMART goals, the more you guarantee the reach goals will happen, and the more motivated you will become to continue doing more.

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So if you find yourself demotivated by your SMART goals, it’s time to think up some reach goals. If you find yourself constantly day dreaming about achievement but never getting any work done, it’s time to pick some SMART goals. If you combine both, your goal-achieving ability will be unstoppable!

Featured photo credit: flick user: Rachel Kramer via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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