Hello! In my first post I discussed 5 areas that are essential to the success of any health and fitness plan. Simply put, they are nutrition, sleep, resistance and flexibility training, cardiovascular training, and psychology (is it fun?).
Today, I'm going to touch on the latter factor which I feel is the most critical, psychology. More specifically, is it fun? Now, by "fun", I don't mean going to the carnival and getting wet on one of those "splash" rides "fun". When I say "fun" I'm alluding to more of an emotional component that goes into every endeavor we undertake, whether it be exercise, work, school, or getting out of bed in the morning. What is the reason? What, specifically, elicits us to do what we do? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it power? Why do we do the thing we do?
When I'm working with clients we always address goals. I know in an instant if a potential client is going to succeed simply by the goals they list. I also ask the client to write them down (or I write them down for them)--the power of the pen can not be underestimated! As an individual beginning or thinking of beginning an exercise program I emplore you to write down at least 5 goals for yourself. They can be anything from losing weight, lowering blood pressure, battling fibromyalgia, or getting stronger.
When attempting to help clients achieve more I am helping them first by identifying their personal goals. I use a simple approach that can be broken down by the word SCAMPI--and, no, it's not a meal at Skippers--more than 100 published studies have shown that specific goals encourage specific results. So, when writing down your goals, utilize SCAMPI, as listed below:
S -- Specific -- make your goals specific; don't write "I want to lose weight." Write "I want to lose x lbs."
C -- Challenging -- people who make challenging goals tend to accomplish more than those setting more modest goals...imagine what you could accomplish if you knew you couldn't fail?
A -- Approach -- goals should focus on desired ends to move towards, rather than negative states to avoid; avoidance goals conjure up memories of accidents or failures, and people with avoidance goals are less happy, healthy, and motivated than others
M -- Measurable -- your goals and progression must be monitored and measurable; measurable goals encourage steady progress by minimizing the tendency to conceptualize success in all-or-none-terms; this is VERY important to avoid major relapse and total collapse (the "snowball" effect")
P -- Proximal -- supplementing a long-term vision with a near-term goal...if you plan on losing 20 lbs. you must first lose 1, right?
I -- Inspirational -- goals should be inspirational in the sense that they are consistent with a client's own ideals and ambitions...people strive toward inspirational goals with greater interest and confidence
Try this simple acronym of goal-creation before even going to the gym...you'll find out a lot about yourself immediately and the things you need/want to do become evident! If you need help creating goals or ideas than please let me know. Next time I'll talk about how to translate written goals into your fitness and exercise program!