Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Compare Yourself & S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I run a boot camp program and I know sometimes it’s hard for others to avoid comparing themselves with people around them.  I hear them say, I’m just not fast enough or strong enough.  The best feeling I get is when I hear them say, I’m not strong enough but I’m getting there. 

Many people beginning an exercise program have a difficult time imagining going to a gym or someplace other than their living room. I understand that all too well because I was one of those people.  When I was overweight I started exercising at home and I was embarrassed to have my own family watch me.  I didn’t know until once I joined a gym that the people around me exercising weren’t focused on me instead they were busy with their own routine.  Many of the people in a gym, including fit people believe others are watching them too and judging.  It’s amazing how we ALL have those feelings. 

Joining an exercise class is one of the best ways to find encouragement and meet people with likeminded goals.  I’ve taught many classes over the past several years and I’ve watched many friendships develop and a lot of pounds dropped.  There have been studies that concluded if your friends are overweight then you are at a greater risk of being overweight too. 

The most important thing to remember is don’t compare yourself to others.  Everyone has their own journey and take their own paths and time to reach their goals.  It’s not a race and the prize is the achievements you reach along the way.  Little goals help you achieve the bigger goal.

Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals

·         Specific- Set a specific goal. 

o   Example: Don’t say my goal is to get into shape.  Instead my goal is to join a boot camp and exercise a minimum of three days a week.

·         Measurable- Establish concrete criteria to reach your goal.

o   How much? How many?

·         Attainable- Identify the goal(s) that are most important to you. 

o   Listing your goals will help increase you self-image and help you begin to reach you goals

·         Realistic- A goal must be something that you are willing and able to work towards.

o   The higher the goal the more likely you are to achieve it. 

·         Timely- A goal must have a timeline. 

o   When I decided to lose weight I wanted to lose 48 pounds.  I set a time frame based on average weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.  If I lost 2 pounds per week then it would take me 24 weeks.  Instead I lost 60 pounds and it took me 32 weeks!  Don’t say you want to lose 20 pounds in a month! 

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