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How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last?

How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last?

Setting a fitness goal is important to keep you on track and keep your eyes forward to what you want to accomplish. The best acronym to help you figure out how to set your goals is the SMART principle. First, you want a specific goal that is clear that you can understand. Second, a measurable goal that you will know when you have accomplished it. Third this goal could be attainable for you.

I will discuss the could part below. Fourth, it should be relevant to you. Thus, you are motivated to do it. Lastly this goal should be set with some sort of time frame in mind. Especially for older adults it is important to continue setting goals to improve or maintain your fitness level. I will use an example of planning to go on a trip to hike the Grand Canyon to drive home how this way of setting goals that will last can work for you.

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The More Specific Your Goal Is, The Clearer Your Know Where You Are Heading To

Making a goal to go on a hike somewhere or for a walk is not specific enough. Pick a specific place. The goal of hiking the Grand Canyon is specific. This is a specific place that you can research on how to best prepare hiking at. How many days would you hike it? How much mileage would you want to cover? You don’t to start mapping out the specific routes, a general target can work. Possibly adding that you want to do two moderate difficulty trails and two easy ones can assist you and one of difficult level can help you make the goal even more specific.

Make Sure Your Goal is Measurable, So You Can Recognise Your Progression and Achievements

The goal has to be more than go check out the Grand Canyon for a couple days. When it is set to hike specific difficulty trails of a certain number you have a goal to meet. You will know after hiking those trails that you can check off that goal. Also knowing the number of trails you want to hike and the difficulty you can decide how to decide which trails you hike on a given day. Possibly you would do the one of most difficulty on its own day. Then the following day you can do two easy trails and maybe one of moderate difficulty. Be strategic!

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Even before you hit the trails you will be able to track your progress how you are training for that trip. Your cardiovascular endurance to be able to walk a longer distance will improve. Your practicing hiking trails with walking poles will increase your fitness level and also your confidence in navigating uneven terrain.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up! Goals Need To Be Attainable To Be Motivating 

Perhaps there are some mobility problems or you are recovering from a knee replacement right now. Hiking the Grand Canyon may not be attainable in a month. However, setting a goal to enjoy five of the trails of easy difficulty 9 months from now could be attainable. Make that goal high. There is an argument that the goal should be within your reach enough that you have to stretch to get it – but not so high that it is not within your reach. On the other hand if you set your goal out of reach, even if you didn’t reach it you will raise the bar! If you need to improve your balance, then give yourself an attainable date to improve it by. Set yourself up for the success of enjoying that trip and not having to focus on your feet instead of the gorgeous scenery.

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Your Reason Is Your Ultimate Motivation

Finding your “why” as to why you want to achieve a goal is important. A why for this amazing hike is to improve your fitness level. Perhaps you are not motivated to just workout at home every week. You see training for this hike as a good way to spark the fire. This goal will motivate you to be more in touch with your body and raise your fitness level!

You Cannot Stay With One Goal Forever

You want to set a deadline or a date for the goal. This time aspect in this instance would largely depend upon not only your schedule but also the weather. Make sure that you are honest with yourself about how long it will take to get in the physical shape to hike all of the trails that you want to hike. You may need to make investments to assist you. Working with a Functional Aging Specialist such as myself can help you improve your balance, agility and mobility for that trip.

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Also, that professional has the perspective of useful tools such as proper shoes or hiking poles that can be make the hike less painful for your knees or hips. Lastly, he or she can help you with your plan, keep you on a consistent plan and be your personal cheering section!

When SMART fitness goals don’t work

If a fitness goal is set that is solely based on numbers it can set you up for failure. For instance, the goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. During this time, the focus is entirely on that magic number. That focus on weight loses the big picture of the importance of moving better. I would challenge you that the byproduct of setting a goal of finishing a 5K or hiking the Grand Canyon will still facilitate fat loss when you are sticking to it. In addition, let’s say your goal is the lift 200 pounds. You have succeeded in lifting that amount but your upper body is so tight that your posture is affected. Thus, be careful with making numbers as your goal. You don’t want to have other aspects of your health suffer to meet that number. Think of the big picture.

With that in mind when you set your fitness goals – make it a goal of a kind of test that will show how far you have physically come. Between day one and when you plan to reach your goal you have to line up the aspects of your health, wellness and fitness and make sure that your address each of them.

Your goals are yours – don’t take someone else’s. If yours is to be able to get up from the floor to standing is your goal that is a great goal. Think about the work that it would take to make that happen. As always add consulting your doctor as you are thinking about your goal or after you have decided it. Reach out to Functional Aging Specialists that understand how to work with the older population to help them train f

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Damien Joyner

Fitness Professional for the diverse 40+ Population!

How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last? If You Take Care Of Your Need, Age Wouldn’t Be A Problem To Your Fitness Routine Age Shouldn’t be Your Restriction When It Comes To Exercising

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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