We are just now starting to think about getting fall weather here in California and the change of seasons is such a thrill. It is like there is this air of possibilities, you know?
I think “fall” is a time when a lot of people start setting goals for how they want to finish the year, and especially where they want to be at the start of the new year.
Have you been setting goals?
How To Focus To Meet Your Fitness Goals | The Buzz
One of the first things I do as a health coach and personal trainer is sit down with clients and talk about their goals.
And when I ask about what they would like to accomplish, they invariably come up with at least three or more goals they really want to work on right now. Things like losing weight, getting stronger, and eating healthier are usually at the top of the list.
The trouble comes when I ask which “one thing” they would like to focus on first.
“But, Pahla,” they almost always say, “I want to work on all of them!”
Believe me, I totally get it! I have goals, too, and I am not exactly known for being patient. But, I have learned over the years that being impatient does not get you closer to where you want to be quite as well as being “focused”.
For example, in the scenario I just described, where a client wants to lose weight, get stronger, and eat healthier – those totally seem like similar goals, don’t they?
They are all health and fitness related. And they are not mutually exclusive. But, they are also not the same thing, either, and will cause your focus to be scattered.
The first thing you would likely do if you were aiming toward those goals is download an app on your phone to help you keep track of what you are eating and how you are working out, which is great. It is good to be aware of your current habits!
However, those apps are totally geared toward losing weight, which means they set your daily calorie goal low in order to help you get and stay in the calorie deficit you need.
And it will not take long to discover how tough it is to stay within that low calorie goal while simultaneously eating healthfully and getting all the nutrition you need to meet your goal of getting stronger.
And when you enter the information about your strength workouts and see that you are burning so few calories, you will be tempted to do more cardio, which seems like it will help you meet your weight loss goal, but will not do much toward that goal of getting stronger.
Getting torn in all those different directions seems like a recipe for feeling frustrated about not meeting any of your goals.
So, let us talk about how focusing on just one of them at a time is the fastest way to be successful.
When you focus on one thing, and one thing only, you are nearly assured of your success because you are not getting distracted by competing goals. The thing is, our brains are pretty spectacular, but they are really only good at handling one task at a time!
Here is the five-step process to making your goal a reality through the power of focus:
Choose One Thing That You Want To Improve
I know how much you really, really want to work on two or three goals, especially when they seem related, but pick one. It makes the next step (all the steps, really) much easier.
Make A Plan
When you have a singular focus, making a plan is much easier than you think! You have already answered a lot of the questions, simply by choosing the one goal. For example, if your goal is to get stronger, you need to lift a lot of weights!
Everything you do – all day, every day – will be in service of this specific goal, from what you eat, to how much you need to sleep, to your workouts and your leisure activities. They all need to answer one simple question: Will I get stronger by doing this?
Decide How You Are Going To Measure Success
This is the part a lot of people skip out on, thinking they will know when they are meeting their goals.
The fact is, though, if you do not have some relatively objective way of measuring progress, you will likely not notice it.
Decide what it is that you would like to be able to do, like lifting a certain amount of weight.
Follow The Plan
That sounds so easy, doesn’t it? And yet, it is one of the toughest parts of this process! Staying focused is vital here, or else you might start thinking about all those other goals you had in mind and how you are not meeting them (even if you are meeting your primary goal!).
Give It Time
Understand that you are not going to meet your goal tomorrow. If you have set yourself a good goal (and I know you have!), it is going to take a while to accomplish it.
Stay on task, stay focused and stay on your plan – I promise that you will meet your goals when you follow this process!