How to keep your eyes on your fitness goals
This is a quick write up of what I learned to keep pushing even though I have a normal life in which I have to keep the balance between job, family, gym and this little site project called marathon-crossfit. It should help you to get your priorities straight and get shit done.
To have a regular training schedule is hard for a busy person. If you make money with your body or you are a teenager who lives at home that is great for you. You will most likely have enough time in the day to get your training done.
Mere mortals like mommies who keep the house in order and have a job on top of that and dads who have full-time jobs which make them travel all around the world it is a bit different. There will always be a chat about a school performance, a bill that has to be paid, discussions about the next holiday, friends and family calling over and the like. In this environment training usually gets put lower on the priority list and will not be done at all in the end.
I have tried many things to compensate for this. Working out at weekends, after work, before work, even during work. The most sustainable option with me getting the most pleasure out of my workouts while still attending to family needs is to work out early in the morning.
It all depends on your personal life and goals, but if you want to fit that workout in, do it before everyone else in the house gets up and be back at the breakfast table trained, washed and ready to go for the day.
Modern day jobs can really eat up your life. The „you can choose how much vacation you take“, „work from home“ and „flex time arrangements“ usually end up in people working more than what is agreed in their contract. Be mindful that this is time which you will not get paid extra for.
What worked for me in this scenario is to plan your day around your workout. Being efficient and effective because you know you have to get that train back at 1805 to make it home in time. You want to be home for dinner, have a chat, watch an episode out of a box set and say some nice things to your partner to keep the relationship in tact and still have time to sleep for seven hours, as you will get out at 5.30 to 6.00 to hit the gym and get the train back to work in the morning. So pick a time and don’t stay longer than that.
There will be a time when you injure yourself, especially when you get older. Know how to train around injuries and acquire a knowledge of many different workout routines and concepts that still pay into your overall goal. This way injury will not kill your momentum and you will still be fit when you come out at the other end of the injury period. Look at the Paralympics, they get a workout routine together and they probably are way worse off than you are when it comes to injuries.
Travel is great for business or pleasure. This also means that you will leave your daily routine and access to your local gym and / or equipment at home. Be prepared for this change with training routines which only need minimal equipment and minimal time. It is good to know a 15 minute (for me it is yoga), 30 minute (Crossfit bodyweight), 45 minute (k band training) and one-hour routine (my main lifting sessions). The content of these training sessions might vary depending on your goals, but it is good to have these to ensure that you stay active 6 out of 7 days in the week in some way, even if you are stuck in a plane or car for hours.
Early hours have the advantage of lesser people around in the gym. This helps you to focus on what needs to get done without distractions. It will also cut your training time considerably as you do not have to wait for equipment to be free to use. Check out what the main traffic times at your local gym are and work your way around them.
You are the main factor whether you are going to achieve your goals or not. It is all over the internet and therefore feels like a platitude, but that does not make it untrue . Swap coffee for tea, fizzy drinks for water, chocolate for apples and bananas and PlayStation sessions for a walk outside.
Expect downturns and be prepared for them. There will be times where you feel like it is just too hard to get to the gym or stick to the plan. Remind yourself on these occasions that you want to do this for a reason. Remind yourself how far you have come and push through that block or bad time to come out at the other end successful.
To keep an eye on your fitness you need a goal and a plan. A plan helps you to save time as you know what to do when to do it and why you do it rather than making it up on the go, which slows you down. A good plan also helps you to identify gaps and misconceptions about your training and take needed adjustments.
Having a goal and a plan is great. Still, you need to track your progress. The Strongnlifts 5x5 app is a good example or the Jim Wendler and Smolov sheets which you can use for these programs. If you do not track your progress, all your plans and goals are for naught.
Set a reward for reaching a certain goal for yourself. This way you will keep motivated and move forward. This is also a good way to never drop the ball and keep your eyes on the same.
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