We are all familiar with the idea of “goal setting” and making new fitness goals. But did you know that the TYPE of goal you set determines if it will continue to motivate you and lead you towards success, OR knock you down which leads to discouragement and often a sense of failure instead of accomplishment?
The most common goal when it comes to fitness has something to do with “weight” or “size” or the number on the scale or on the waistline of their jeans. Throughout the years, the most common thing I have seen is people setting goals which revolve around hitting that ‘magic number’ on the scale or at the jeans shop.
The problem with this type of goal is that it can be tough to measure, slow going, frustrating, and discouraging. The issue for most people is they have a ‘number’ in their head that is not realistic. Not everyone’s body is designed to be a size 3! I have known many people to start a workout program and achieve great energy, their clothes start to fit better, their friends and family notice a difference in them. BUT the scale is not moving! And THAT ruins their day, their mood and their motivation.
All these positive results, but not achieving that magic number put a damper on everything. Hey we don’t walk around with a number (our weight) scrawled on our foreheads. So let’s stop using numbers as our “goal” and focus at something positive we can do for ourselves and feel accomplished and successful!
What does learning a new skill have to do with achieving your fitness goal?
What if you dropped that goal “number” for good? What if you DECIDED to create a shift in your goal setting?
Here is what I decided to do earlier this year and it has worked out quite well for me. I hope by sharing this with you it will encourage you to give it a try!
I decided to forget about my size and weight and I challenge myself to work on a goal based on skill. Why? For a few reasons.
- Progress changes your body. Stop progressing and you stop improving.
- Working toward a goal based on a skill gives you something to measure. You get better every time which is a positive thing, thereby causing a positive reaction and in turn you are getting fitter just by working on your new skill.
- Not only does it create a natural progression, but it distracts you from what you don’t like about your body and helps you to focus on your strength and the amazing things your body can do.
- Most importantly, working on new goals based on skill can be really fun!
Early this year, I set a goal to be able to do 25 traditional push-ups without stopping. At the time, I could not even do five push-ups without dropping to my knees. But by working on this goal consistently, with determination (and some sweat and near tears) I have been able to achieve, even surpass this goal. Which in turn has given me the inspiration to set a new goal.
I posted a few weeks ago on my Fitness and Nutrition page, a picture of a yoga pose that I am hoping to be able to master within the next 3 months. Some years ago I was practicing yoga three times a week but I haven’t practiced regularly in awhile. I am challenging myself to start practicing yoga again at least two times a week in order to gain more flexibility and recreated that mind body connection yoga is so great for. When I was practicing, my yogi used to say that being able to master and hold these yoga poses is more about having a strong mind body connection and flexibility than having sheer strength.
So what skill will you work on? What will your fitness goals be? It’s okay if you automatically thought of a number when I first asked. We’ve been programmed to think this way. But why not take the time to think about setting a new skill based fitness goal and focus on that so you can be proud when you achieve that goal and be proud!
Here is that pose!