Category Archives: Exercise

Setting Goals – Enough Already!

Yeah, it’s that time of year, every guru under the sun is talking about goal setting. How to set smart goals, how not to set goals, how to set goals that you’ll actually achieve, blah, blah, blah.

I’ve been in the goal setting business a long time. As a fitness expert and Life Coach goal setting has been a huge part of my work with my clients. And the reality is when we set goals one of two things typically happens:

  1. we don’t reach the goal.

This one is really tricky because it can send us into a downward spiral of self hate, self pity, self loathing, all sorts of stuff. And if you feel like you consistently set goals and don’t reach them then this is likely really relevant for you.

2. we reach the goal and it doesn’t change our life the way we thought it would.

Are you freekin kidding me? All that work, all that sacrifice and I don’t feel much different than I did before? This is more common than you probably think. So, since that goal didn’t give us what we wanted we either go after another goal or quit all together.

So what’s the solution?

A lot of the goals that people set this time of year revolve around making some pretty significant behaviour changes that aren’t that enjoyable (at first). Most goal setting that we do is done looking at external goals. I want to lose 20 pounds, I want to run a 5k race, I want to get that promotion. All external things that require big changes in how we live our life.

What if instead, we chose to spend more time doing things that make us feel great?

This solution comes from influence of Markus Buckingham and Danielle LaPorte, two life changing people whom I have learned so much from.

Markus talks about changing how we spend our time so we spend more of it in things that fill us up, recharge us, strengthen us. Because when we are in that space, we have more energy, more motivation, more drive. All things that we need when we are embarking on changing how we live our life.

He redefines strengths as not necessarily things that you are good at. It’s more about what’s happening to your energy levels when you’re doing a particular task. The example I use is that I love to paint. I lose all sense of time, I love mixing the colors on the canvas, the feel of the brush, all of it. In Markus’s definition painting is one of my strengths. But if you actually saw my painting……wow, you would likely said it’s a weakness. But what’s important when we look at what we fill our life with, is how we feel when we are doing things.

Now enter the work of Danielle LaPorte and her Desire Map process. In this process you figure out what she calls your “core desired feelings”. These represent how you want to feel in your life, not just a singular event like getting a promotion. If you haven’t done her work you can even just sit and think about how do you want to feel?

Ok, so how do you put this together and actually use it?

Let’s use the most popular goal this time of year, lose weight. Here’s how it could look:

You want to lose 20 pounds by the end of March

What are the kind of physical activities you could do that you really enjoy, that fill you up, energize you? Go do those things!

How do you want to feel in your life? My core desired feelings are connected, inspired, calm and cherished. So I would ask myself, how can I use those CDF in my quest for weight loss:

  • connected – be active with important people in my life. Use that time to connect with them
  • inspired – pick an activity I have always wanted to do but never tried
  • calm – choose an activity that brings me a sense of calm
  • cherished – if I cherished my body, what kind of food would I eat?

So this year, instead of setting goals the crappy old way that we usually do them, consider setting your goals around things that fill you up, that energize you. Things that allow you to feel the way you want to feel in your life. From there you can still reach all those external goals that you have, but you can do so in a way where you enjoy your daily life experience, not just that singular event that you are working towards.

YOU Are a Walking Experiment

The health/fitness/wellness industry is plagued with programs, powders and pills that promise you amazing results. This industry might as well have a license to print money. People are so desperate for the “thing” that will take away their problem, that will give them the physical body they want, that they will try almost anything and pay almost anything.

I had a student in a fitness course years ago who declared to the whole class that he was 100% certain that there was no quick fix anywhere on the planet. He said that if Oprah hasn’t found the fix for health/wellness/fitness then it doesn’t exist. With the resources at her disposal and her past struggles you bet if there was a quick fix out there she would have found it by now.

So please, let go of the hope that there is the PERFECT program, powder, pill out there for you – it doesn’t exist.

But here’s what does exist, a whole bunch of programs, powders and pills that may or may not work for you. YOU are a walking experiment. The mindset that you want to have is one of curiosity. So try that new program at the gym, see what works for you and what doesn’t. Try that new way of eating and see what works for you and what doesn’t. By trying different things you can keep all the pieces that worked and get rid of all the pieces that didn’t. In essence you create your own program through the bits and pieces of all the other things that you’ve tried.

Each one of us is so incredibly unique that I think it’s offensive for someone to suggest that they have the solution for everyone. What they may have, is one piece that could help you.

So instead of looking for a single thing that is going to give you the health and wellness that you want, think of yourself as a walking experiment. Keep what works and trash the rest.

I Want to Look Better Naked

If this is what is important to you, own it. Don’t beat yourself up for being vain or selfish. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your physical appearance. The one caution I will give you though is to make sure that the reason why you want to look better is because you actually want it, not because you think you should. We get bombarded by messages all the time about how we “should” look. If you want to change your physical appearance, do it for you, not for someone else.

You Have to do More than your Normal

Here’s the deal with changing your physical appearance, you need to make your body do more than what it’s used to. So if you’re used to walking for 30 minutes three times per week and you want your body to change more, then you need to make it do more.

The ideal is to get your body ready to do higher intensity physical activity. Exercising at higher intensities will burn more calories during the workout as well as boost your metabolism for a few hours once the workout is over.

Be Ready

You can’t start with high intensity, you need to work your way up to it. If you jump in before your body is ready you put yourself at risk for injury, overtraining and burn-out. General guideline is to do a basic fitness program for at least 6-8 weeks before starting something that is of a higher intensity (bootcamp classes, high intensity interval training – HIIT, Crossfit etc.).

Don’t Over Do It

When you are ready for high intensity workouts you only want to do those 2-3 times per week. And then add in 1-2 days of other activity that’s at a lower intensity. If you do too many workouts at a high intensity it can result in injuries, illness, decreased results, trouble sleeping, agitation etc.

What Goes in Your Mouth Also Counts

If you aren’t eating well then what you put in your mouth could be undoing all the hard work that you are accomplishing through your workouts. There are so many differing opinions on what you should eat. I say start with the basics:

  • Eats lots of veggies and some fruit each day
  • Stay away from processed foods as much as you can
  • Stay away from the whites – white bread, white pasta, white rice etc.
  • Drink lots of water – limit juice or any other sweetened drinks

Once you have mastered the basics then you can start to take a look at a more involved way of eating.

FREE Resources to help get you started

For more information about high interval training programs download my free call (33 minutes) and report, “The Secret of Fat Burning Programs”.

  • Access the call here
  • Access the report here

For a FREE copy of my best selling e-book, Enough Gimmicks: Get Fit Wherever You Are, click here. This is a straight forward book that will get you started with a home exercise program where all you need is one piece of $10 equipment.