Ok, I know weight loss is one of our first thoughts when wanting to become healthier, and it’s often times an overwhelming daily pressure, but with 2013 being a month away, I wanted to take a moment and share a different perspective that may help you to set better goals for yourself.
First let me ask, how many times have you started a fitness program and stopped it? Was it because you got bored, injured, or lacked time and money? How many times have you tried to eat healthy but ended up giving in to the “comfort food”? How many times has this discouraged you to the point you feel lost and just unmotivated?
If this sounds familiar you are SO not alone! Achieving good health can often be made complicated for way too many reasons to list. It has been my goal since I started this blog to simplify all the confusion and chaos surrounding fitness, nutrition, and health.
With New Years being right around the corner I want to help inspire the goal setting thought process. With that being said, losing weight is often one of the most common goals for the New Year, BUT how many people achieve that goal? One article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology stated that only 8% of people succeed in achieving their new year’s resolutions. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/). No matter what the exact stats are we can’t deny that people often fall of their resolution goals. So I have to ask why? Personally, I think setting a weight loss goal just might not be inspiring enough. In my opinion it’s actually a pretty boring goal. Not to mention that it can mean a ton of hard work, pain, cravings, sweat, and with no guarantee of success. In fact, if I don’t see progress fast, I’m probably not going to keep pushing. Am I helping yet?
I’d like to share something that happened in one of my recent training sessions with one of my 10 year old students who blows my mind every training session. Let’s call him Jack. This young man does not come to my sessions always excited and fired up. More often than not, he comes to me tired, hungry, and unmotivated after a full day at school or a rough night of little sleep. His parents hired me not just because of his weight (approx. 40 lbs overweight) but because they saw a huge decline in his energy, happiness, confidence, and self esteem due to his weight and the kids giving him a hard time at school.
So I asked Jack what his goals were and what did he want to learn from me? He responded quickly and simply with wanting to become a better swimmer and a faster runner. I LOVED that he knew what he wanted to learn without any negative self talk to follow. He didn’t ask to be perfect; he just asked to get better.
Now as with any goals, they don’t often come with ease. Jack’s program design had to include running and swimming but he had little stamina, no core strength, and very little flexibility. I knew I was going to have to sneak in some not so enjoyable exercises into his program. However, quickly I found that he had the heart and drive to accomplish the tasks I gave him. Here is just ONE example of his spirit from one of our swim sessions.
Me: Ok Jack, I have a challenge for you. This is not an easy challenge but I have confidence you can do it. I want you to swim 25 yards for the first time swimming freestyle (he had not swum freestyle 1 yard yet). So that means Kicking and rotary breathing with both arms pulling.
Jack: (smile) Okay.
Me: You sure?
Jack: Yes Miss Nikki, I’m sure.
Me: Awesome! Are you ready?
Me: On your mark, get set, GOOOOOO!
And off he went. Jack started off a little out of sync, and then found his strength, and after about halfway across the pool the fatigue began to set in. His body started sinking, he was trying to stay on top of the water to continue his rotary breathing, and he started to gulp and choke on the water. I was right next to him in the pool and I was waiting for him to stop to catch his breath and rest. He didn’t though. He kept going. Struggling to move his arms, kick his legs, and to keep moving forward. Jack was determined though. He didn’t care about the time, he didn’t care that he wasn’t moving fast, and he didn’t care how he looked. He KNEW he would reach his goal, however long that took.
Jack made it 25 yards with no help from me. That was the first 25 yards of many. His goal is to be a faster and better swimmer, but achieving those small steps towards his goal sparks him to keep learning and achieving. He’s also making many new discoveries along the way! In time, his freestyle will transform as will his passion for his health and his athleticism. Weight and self confidence won’t be an issue anymore because we didn’t focus on losing weight, we focused on the athletic goals that he deeply desired to become better at. Not perfect. Better.
Oh, and when he finished, he never mentioned he was exhausted. He was beaming.
So now I ask you.
What athletic goals do you WANT to get better at without delay, without excuses, and without defeat?