Craig Leonard

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Setting Fitness Goals And Staying Motivated

Amber DeLeal February 25, 2016
Setting Fitness Goals and Staying Motivated - Fitness Blog

Craig and I have both written a lot lately about motivation; like here and here, for instance. There’s a good reason for this.

It primarily has to do with the truth that our efforts toward achieving our goals are in direct proportion to our motivation for success. When you’re lacking motivation it’s that much harder to put in the work required for success.

You may be able to force yourself through. But it’ll drain your energy fast.

If you’re tired and need to get up to go to the gym before work, but don’t really feel like you HAVE to, chances are you’re going to hit that snooze button a few times before you actually do HAVE to get up. Only it’s not to get to the gym… It’s to get to work on time.

Getting And Sustaining Your Motivation

If you’ve been keeping up with my postings, you’re well aware that I’m extremely motivated. If this doesn’t happen to describe you right now, don’t get discouraged. You’re not the only one who struggles with having the motivation and energy to get up and get going to attack what needs to be done to accomplish your goals.

I used to be very talented at finding excuses not to go to the gym and eat healthy. I would set long-term goals and then make excuses not to get started because the journey seemed too daunting to think about actually completing it.

I would often get discouraged just thinking about how long it would take to accomplish my goals, causing me to give up before I even got started.

After I realized my excuses and discouragement weren’t getting me anywhere, I found that setting short term goals was a far better option.

My short term goals sort of resemble a step-by-step program. I set a goal, and as soon as I get close to accomplishing it, I decide on a new goal.

Setting new goals is never really planned too much in advance, though. I am continually reevaluating where I’m at and determining what new things I want to aspire towards to better myself. There’s always more to accomplish and new challenges to overcome.

My Progression of Goals

When I first came to the realization that a lifestyle change was badly needed, my first goal was get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Or at least close to it. Having a weight in mind was a way of quantifying my goal, but I was really more focused on how I looked as apposed to my actual weight.

Once I had made some weight loss progress, and started to feel good about myself again, I decided that losing weight wasn’t going to get me the body I wanted. I needed to build more sexy muscle. So I started lifting weights.

Believe it or not, this was a very difficult transition for me. Weights were very intimidating and I didn’t know anything about proper form, training splits, what lifts to do, or the best way to do them to get dem muscle gainz.

I didn’t let any of that keep me from doing what I knew needed to be done to get the body I desired. I pressed on and lifted weights anyway. It wasn’t perfect, but taking imperfect action beats no action any day of the week.

I would have LOVED to workout with my husband to have him there to support me. Because of our opposite work schedules, though, the only time we could workout together was on the weekends.

I took as much advice as possible from him. Still, I was mostly on my own at the gym. Just me and the weights.

My Goals Continue to Evolve

My goals evolved once again after I started to see results from weight training. I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with a lean and toned physique. I needed more. So I made the decision to take transforming my physique to the next level. I decided to compete.

Each new goal requires a new plan of attack.

An essential part of the plan to compete involved finding a coach.

I can be honest. I had learned a lot but still had little idea what to eat or how to workout to get the level of muscle mass and definition I’d need to compete. I knew I needed some guidance. But where to get it?

Lucky for me, I was talking with some friends about my goal of competing and one of them mentioned that her dad competes and coaches others on how to compete.

It’s funny how things work out when you take action and don’t give up. After meeting with him I had what I needed to put my dream of competing into action!

I started eating more and lifting heavy. It was during this time that I fell in love with training.

After a couple months it wasn’t even about the competition anymore. I didn’t even think about it while I was at the gym. I simply loved being there.

Every few months I change up my workouts and I know this helps me a lot! It keeps things exciting and also helps me to maintain my motivation.

There are days that I get to the dumbbell rack and it just doesn’t feel right. I’ll usually try to switch my music and complete my first set to see if it helps. If I still don’t feel any differently after my second set, I re-rack and move on to a different exercise.

Sometimes you just need something different than your usual workout. And sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do to try and make it better. You just aren’t feeling it. My advice for those days would be to just get your workout done by doing whatever it takes to get you through. You’re already there. You may as well at least move your body and get some benefit out of it.

Some movement is always better than none and tomorrow will be another day.

As you can see, my goals are constantly changing and I’m ALWAYS mixing things up as I progress toward whatever goal I’m working on. I believe this is a huge part of why it’s so easy for me to stay motivated day after day. There’s always something to look forward to and to be excited about.

Speaking of things I’m excited about… I’m still almost two months away from my competition and I’m already planning for my off season goals.

I can’t wait to lift something heavy and be able to enjoy a nice cheat meal again.  Carrot cake, here I come!!

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