Have you ever been super pumped up to set some exercise goals? You research lots of workouts on Pinterest.
You buy some super cute yoga pants, matching tops, and new running shoes. You even get lost imagining how cute and fit you will look once you’ve been at it for a while.
Often, a week or so after you’ve started… you “fall off the wagon.” Your good intentions have hit the road and probably took your motivation along with it.
You might resolve to try again but get stuck repeating the same cycle all over again.
Today I want to share with you 6 tips that will help you break the cycle and crush those exercise goals so you can build the strong and fit body you want.💪
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6 Tips to Help You Crush Your Exercise Goals
1.) Make sure your exercise goals are S.M.A.R.T.
The very first thing you want to do is make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. This means that your goal is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific – Be as specific as possible about what you want to be able to achieve when you’ve reached your goal.
Measurable – Identify a way you will be able to know if you have reached your goal or not.
Actionable – Decide what actions you will do to help you achieve your goal.
Realistic – Make sure your goal is actually achievable in your time frame.
Timely – Set a time limit on your goal.
This can make a big difference in whether you actually progress toward achieving your exercise goals or not. If your goal is vague, like saying “I want to exercise more,” or “I want to be fit,” it doesn’t really help guide you on what actions to take to achieve it.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to help you create exercise goals that will help steer you toward success. Here’s an example:
Instead of “I want to be stronger and in better shape,” try “I am going to exercise 4 days a week and eat well so I can lose 25 lbs and be able to run a mile and do 15 push-ups in 4 months.”
2.) Break your exercise goals down into bite-size actions
So now that we’ve created your fancy, S.M.A.R.T. goal, it’s time to break it down into bite-size pieces. These bite-size pieces are going to help build the confidence and motivation to keep you going even when it feels like your goals are going to take you half a lifetime to reach.
When you have a long-term goal, it can be hard sometimes to stay motivated. If it’s going to take months (maybe even years) to reach your exercise goals, it can be really hard to appreciate how much of a difference your day-to-day actions make.
For example, when I was working up to running a half marathon, I had a loooong way to go. I’m talking I couldn’t even run for longer than 5 minutes without needing a break when I started.
If I had spent all of my time focusing on that long-term goal of running 13.1 miles, starting off by speed walking would have felt pretty pointless.
How to break down your goals
So let’s use that goal we created in the first tip: “I am going to exercise 4 days a week and eat well so I can lose 25 lbs and be able to run 1 mile and do 15 push-ups.” The best way to break it down is to start with your current ability level and then list out each level up along the way.
The picture below shows an example of how to build up to running a mile if your current fitness level was just being able to walk for 10 minutes.
To achieve our goal of running 1 mile and doing 15 push-ups, we would create a plan like this for the push-ups as well. Then we would plug in those steps throughout our week during the 4 days we plan to exercise.
The picture below shows an example of what an exercise plan might look like for the month. Each week (assuming you’re ready) you would increase the difficulty or time of each workout that you’re doing.
As you continue to exercise regularly, you will get stronger and be able to move through the different steps of the plan. This is really helpful for building that momentum and feeling of progress that will help you stay motivated to keep pushing toward the bigger long-term goal.
3.) Start at your current ability level
The next tip to help you reach your exercise goals is to be realistic with your current physical fitness level and start there. Don’t be all gung-ho and start off doing the toughest thing you think you can live through.
If the next day you roll out of bed and you feel like you can barely move you are so sore, you’re working out too hard. And you’re unlikely to want to do it again any time soon.
Which means, you will have a hard time finding the motivation to keep working toward those exercise goals.
The workouts you do should feel challenging, but not like you’re going to die! A little soreness is ok. Especially when you first get started.
You should not feel like someone needs to come help you get out of your chair after you’ve been sitting for a while.
4.) Stay consistent
Consistency is KING when it comes to reaching your exercise goals. It has the biggest impact on your body’s ability to build strength and endurance.
If you find yourself doing a tough workout every now and then you aren’t going to see very much progress. Your body needs to train regularly to get stronger.
Even when it comes to cardio, you need to train regularly to condition your body to be used to exercising for that amount of time and at that level.
I suggest a minimum of 3 days a week if you want to see regular progress toward your exercise goals. You can definitely do more than 3 days a week if your schedule allows.
Just remember though, that if you are doing more than 3-4 days a week, you need to alternate what types of exercises you are doing each day to avoid injury or burnout.
5.) Make sure to celebrate your successes along the way
If exercising is new to you and you are struggling to stay motivated, try adding in some sort of celebration or reward for each step along the way.
When you’re just building the habit, you can offer yourself a reward for every week that you followed your exercise plan. Once you get into the habit of doing that, you could give yourself a reward every time you moved on to the next stage/step in your plan.
For example, if you have progressed from doing walk/jog intervals for 15 minutes to walk/jog intervals for 20 minutes, that is absolutely cause for celebration!
Celebrating and rewarding yourself for following through on your plan helps reinforce the positive habit of exercising and sticking to your workout plan. It also helps train your brain to associate those actions with something fun and happy.
Picking the right type of reward/celebration
When you are choosing what type of celebration or reward to give yourself make sure it meets these criteria:
It reinforces healthy behaviors or patterns. You don’t want to use rewards that are going to send mixed messages to your brain or that aren’t good for you. For example, if you reward yourself by getting to take extra rest days, you aren’t encouraging the desire to work out more.
It’s something that you enjoy and makes you happy. This part is pretty important. Your reward should be something that you really enjoy and will be excited to get.
It shouldn’t be something that you need for basic happiness or survival. You want your reward to be something extra in your life. Something above and beyond what you need for basic happiness. You want to feel motivated to work for it, but not devastated if you don’t get it.
The picture below has some examples of some good rewards and some bad rewards.
6.) Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals
My last tip to help you crush your exercise goals is to not be afraid to ask for help from a professional. I know we often feel embarrassed or nervous going to a trainer or a coach for help.
We feel like we should be able to figure this stuff out on our own. That all the other people running around must magically know how to figure this stuff out.
The reality is one of the fastest and safest ways to reach your exercise goals is to get help from a personal trainer. They are the experts for a reason!
They have spent years practicing and educating themselves on how to safely and effectively help you improve your physical fitness. Plus, they want to help you!
Where to find personal trainers and coaches
If you already have a gym membership, then chances are pretty good there are some personal trainers around who would be happy to help you out. It may even be included in your membership.
If going to a gym isn’t convenient for you or you feel uncomfortable with all of those extra eyes on you, you could try using a virtual personal trainer. This is where you connect with a trainer or coach via an app or on private calls.
They can help you plan out your exercise plans, motivate you, and keep you accountable to your goals. Often without ever having to meet in person if time or location is an issue.
Here are a few great virtual training programs you can try out:
fyt matches you up with a personal trainer based on your specific needs and goals. Then that trainer meets you at your home, gym, or location of your choosing.
They help you develop a personalized plan and they give you the coaching and assistance you need. You can pay easily through the app, so everything is secure and simple.
Each trainer is certified, insured, and has to pass a background check before they are matched up with clients.
Losing it for the Last Time
I honestly don’t feel like any list of virtual training programs would be truly complete without adding my own program to the list😉. My 1-on-1 coaching program is called Losing it for the Last Time.
I work closely with you to help create and implement a personalized plan to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Whether they are focused on weight loss, exercise, dieting, or a combination of all three.
Conclusion on Tips to Help You Crush Your Exercise Goals
So those are 6 tips that will help you crush your exercise goals. Create a S.M.A.R.T. goal, break your goal down into bite-size steps, start at your current ability level, stay consistent, celebrate the little wins, and get professional coaching.
If you put those 6 tips into place, you will be crushing those fitness goals in no time and feeling strong and confident! 💪💪
Were any of these tips new for you? Got anything you would add to the list? Let me know. You can comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more exercise tips and advice.
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me