Staying Active With Strategy: A Pep Talk
I have been working out at home, at gyms, at a Crossfit Box and in the great outdoors for years. Each decision that I have made for my training has been intentional and thought out. If you are just starting out with fitness, it can be confusing to know where to begin and for even the most seasoned athletes, it can be tempting to want to just go along with whatever the latest fitness fad is. In many circles, I have watched people just go along with whatever fitness regime the people around them are into even if it is not the best style for their specific needs, outcomes or health. Being active is great, being active with strategy is greater. Setting fitness goals can help you strategically achieve the physical and mental results you're after, but first you need to define what you're after.
Each week several different groups of women gather at different times in my garage to workout. I have the honor of coaching and encouraging them through workouts that I’ve programmed. These women are in all different walks of life: new mothers who are fresh out of postpartum, seasoned mothers with teenagers, young girls. They’re each on their own health journey and have their own reasons for why they are choosing to work out.
After initially starting to train a group of women, I start to dig a bit deeper by asking them about their personal why and their goals. Why are they coming to workout? What are they hoping to accomplish? There’s no wrong answer here, everyone has their own personal reason. Some women want to lose weight, some want to create more discipline in their lives, some are showing up for the social aspect and accountability.
I’ve found that having goals helps to keep the motivation alive. Working out is challenging. If we don’t have healthy goals set in place, it’s too easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed. Having goals helps give direction to our choices. Think of your goals as the backbone to your fitness regime.
Carving out time to move your body will never be easy. You’re going to have to prioritize it. It’s really easy to decide that you’re too busy or that working out is too hard. Working out is supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to feel comfortable. As with many things in life, time under tension is what will give you the results you’re after. That tension will bring forth change, staying in your comfort zone won’t. If you don’t have a set goal, you’ll eventually lose the drive to continue. Life is full of resistance, instead of giving up when things get hard, I encourage you to be a woman who endures and pushes through.
When you have to do one more burpee or one more squat and you feel like your body is going to give out on you, you’ll need to remember your goals. Say it aloud. "I can do this." When you wake up before the sun to get your workout done, utter your goals to yourself. "You want this." When you think that you cannot complete another round, push yourself by reminding yourself why you showed up to do this in the first place. With five kids, I personally don’t have time to workout, I make time to workout. Like many things in my life, I prioritize it because I value it.
So whether you’re going to yoga, Zumba or Crossfit, going for a run with a friend or training for Ironman- you'll need goals. Deciding your workout plan for the month can also be very helpful. For example, "This month I am going to do my normal fitness routine plus the Wholly Mother Workout every Tuesday". Once you have set that goal and say it out loud to someone, it's hard to back down from it (even if you see the Wholly Mother workout when Tuesday rolls around and momentarily regret your decision). I encourage you to express your goals to a friend that you feel safe with. Jot your goals down into your phone or a post it note and read over them each day. One of my favorite ways to help remind myself of truth is to write things down and paste them where I can see them each day. Remember, our goals should challenge us but, they should still be realistic. Once you’ve crushed your goals, make new ones.