If you’re anything like me, you started the new year with a laser focus. Succeeding in fitness, healthy nutrition, and life remained at the top of your to-do list (and you wrote your goals down in a fancy little planner that you bought online). But if you're falling short of keeping any of those promises to step your game up, don't throw in the towel so quickly. I joined a few top-notch fitness influencers on NordicTrack.com to share some tried and true tips on how to make your 2018 goals a reality and not an afterthought. Keep reading to get inspired and then put the advice into action!
Like so many years past, this New Year has inspired new aspirations and goals for the future for many of us. But also like so many years past, we may have found ourselves falling short of our new goals already. So what gives? Considering that there seem to be so many people out there hitting their goals and living out their dreams, what’s stopping you from being one of them?
Instead of calling it quits so soon, hit the pause button. NordicTrack has worked with many fitness experts who’ve set challenging goals and achieved them, to pick apart the goal-setting process. These 6 experts below give great insight into setting goals you can actually achieve that will add to your quality of life, and more.
Aeshia DeVore Branch - PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT
Aeshia set a huge goal for herself in 2017 - she launched the PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest in ATL. It took stressful amounts of planning, marketing, and outreach to plan this massive event.
The key for Aeshia to reach this goal was surrounding herself with positive motivators that included her friends, family, and business partners: “Without them as well as setting small goals with deadlines, PGSF would have just remained a page of notes in my journal.”
As you take a hard look at your goals this year, consider this: are you surrounding yourself with positive influencers that will help you stay on track for success? If you have friends, family members, or coworkers who are negative and unsupportive, perhaps you should keep them out of the equation when it comes to specific goals.
Even when we have specific goals in mind and all the right people involved, motivation can be hard to come by as time starts to pass.
“When setting a health or fitness goal, motivation tends to diminish over time, and old habits start creeping back in. You must be clear about which goal is most important to you and focus on easy ways to meet realistic expectations.”- Aeshia DeVore Branch
As you plan your goals, prepare the necessary steps for achieving them. Find yourself the positive support you’ll need. And create a constant reminder of why you set out to accomplish these goals in the first place.
To read more about our interview with Aeshia, click here. Her experience is ours to learn from as you set out to accomplish great things this year.
Jennipher Walters - Fit Bottomed Girls
Setting goals too far from reach tends to be the biggest mistake we make when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions. What we’ve gleaned from Jennipher Walters, Editor-in-chief of Fit Bottomed Girls, is to narrow our scope and set goals that are just beyond our reach.
Jennipher accomplished her goal for 2017 which was to perform just one unassisted pull-up. Just ONE, folks. As Jennipher broke down the necessary steps she would have to take before reaching her over-all goal, she found that many smaller goals would first have to be accomplished.
Jennipher laid out a specific plan of attack, focusing on building the strength required for a pull-up. As she worked to strengthen her back, arms, and hand grip, she had many smaller goals to help her build up that strength. Having a clear outline of what needed to be accomplished helped Jennipher to avoid the pitfalls of mindlessly working to accomplish something she couldn’t physically do. It also helped her to see that with a bit of extra effort, her goal was definitely attainable.
“I was successful because the goal was realistic, I was patient, had a plan to do it and was consistent in working towards it.”
Knowing that she was reaching for something she had never before accomplished, Jennipher also focused on being very patient with herself. She says, “[goals] have to be done with a lot of self-love and thought to what happens when you fall off track. Because no one is perfect – and you can learn so much from your ‘mistakes’.”
Read Jennipher’s full interview for more helpful tips for setting and accomplish realistic goals.
Brian St. Pierre - Precision Nutrition
Brian shares an out-of-the-box focus on goal setting as he shares his experience with improving his dental hygiene habits. “Last year I set a goal of flossing once per day (usually at night) 80% of the time. Historically, I have always been an inconsistent flosser. I'd floss every night for a week, then floss once or twice the following week.”
Notice how he didn’t shoot for a perfect 100% success rate?
“I intentionally chose 80%, because it felt both doable and beneficial.” -Brian
Instead of attempting the leap from not-so-consistent flossing habits to remarkable flossing habits, Brian gave himself room for error. We find ourselves disappointed when we don’t reach our self-set expectations. But perhaps when we set more realistic expectations for ourselves, we can find more success and confidence in our personal abilities!
Did we mention that Brian is the Director of Performance Nutrition for Precision Nutrition? He has a brain packed with knowledge when it comes to health and fitness and one thing Brian recommends to every goal setter is the use of technology and other applicable goals to track your performance. After using an app built for tracking daily habits, he says he was able to see exactly how close he came to his goal:
“I was able to floss 5.4 nights per week, on average, for all of 2017 (77% of the time). Which is right where I aimed to be.”
Reaching 77%, compared to his goal of 80% accuracy, Brian was happy with his results. Way to go Brian! To get your hands on a bit more of Brian’s wisdom, read his full interview.
Lauren Abbott - Treadmill Reviews
Lauren found that investing more financially into her fitness goals was a great motivator for seeing them through. She utilized one of her strengths (fiscal frugality) to improve one of her weaknesses.
”If I invest my money into it, I’ll invest my time into it”. -Lauren
As a writer for Treadmill Reviews, she researches and tests a number of treadmills, including their unique data tracking apps. After a bit of research, she chose to purchase a membership to iFit - available through ICON Fitness. She chose this program because it offered a wealth of fitness tools including data tracking, workout videos, certified training coaches, and more.
When she felt a lull of activity coming on, she remembered the cold, hard, cash she was paying for this program and made sure it wasn’t going to waste.
As for her goals and aspirations: “I dream of running ultramarathons through the mountains like my muses I follow on social media. But I’m currently not at that level athletically.”
So instead of reaching for the stars, she set her sights on the horizon. Knowing that purchasing a workout program subscription wouldn’t solve all of her problems, she chose to focus on short-term goals instead of burning out from chasing lofty goals too quickly.
“By all means, set a large goal! But instead of sprinting from the starting line, pace yourself.”
To see which goals Lauren has been working towards to reach her over-all dream of running across mountains, read her entire review.
Adam St. Pierre - CTS
Adam has been a distance runner since his youth. It’s ultimately led him to his career as a CTS running coach. While Adam coaches and teaches others how to progress in their sport, he also sets regular goals for himself.
One year, Adam decided he would run his favorite local trail 100 times in one year. His planning basically came down to running Mt. Sanitas any time he was lacking a planned route for the day.
With less focus on a specifically laid out plan for accomplishing your goal, Adam suggests more focus on the actual goal you select for yourself.
“A realistic goal is one that you can achieve. A worthwhile goal is one that will make you better. A goal should motivate you, not be such a reach as to discourage you.”
Is your goal realistic? Is your goal worthwhile? If you can answer yes to both of these questions, then get to work! However, if you’re lacking a good reason for why you’ve set a specific goal, then try re-evaluating your plans for this year.
Adam suggests taking a look at your strengths and weakness and setting goals based on what will actually contribute to your quality of life. For more of Adams suggestions, read his full interview here.
Dr. Lori Shemek - Dr. Lori Shemek
Dr. Shemek knows a great deal about weight loss, dieting, and nutrition - especially when it comes to why some people can achieve their weight loss goals while others cannot.
“I believe that a worthy fitness goal must primarily be intrinsically motivated - coming from within or behavior that is driven by internal rewards.” ...“If the motivation is coming externally, it will not last, nor will there be quality workouts. “
Dr. Lori has learned that the most powerful motivators come from within - self-approval. If we focus on what other people think of our goals and our progress, our motivation will burn out much quicker.
If you’ve set a goal for yourself this year, Lori’s advice to you is this: “Be That Person. Be the person who does XYZ.”
Be the person you want to be! For more ways to reach your goals and uncover the motivation, you need to get through the tough days, read Lori’s full interview.
Get Ready To Reach Some Goals In 2018
Now that you’ve heard from successful goal setters and achievers, take another look at the goals you’ve set for yourself this year. Go through the following checklist:
● Are your goals realistic?
● Do you have a positive support system?
● Are there people you should avoid if they’re going to be a negative influence on achieving your goals?
● What are the smaller goals you’ll need to reach as you strive for your ultimate goal?
● Is your goal going to improve the quality of your life, or someone else's?
● Do your rewards come from within or are they determined by your peers?
As you strive to make goals to improve your health or progress on your fitness journey, check our blog for regular updates on the latest nutrition science, fresh ideas for fitness routines, and new equipment to make exercising easier and more enjoyable for the entire household.