6 Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

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By Bella Baragouin

A BuffDuck Board Contributor

Imagine a boy that was born in a large city in Austria on July 30th 1947. As a young adolescent, he had dreams of winning the world acclaimed Mr. Universe title. These dreams became realities. This boy had no doubts in his abilities and we now know him as the influential Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mental attitudes play a large role in determining how successful you are at reaching your physical fitness goals. Try to imagine the moment when Arnold won Mr. Universe in vivid detail. He spent so much of his life picturing himself receiving the award. He imagined slipping his head through the ribbon and feeling the medallion against his chest; hearing the celebratory music, visualizing the cheering crowds, absorbing the moment that he knew would arrive as long as he kept working.

Visualizing that pitch perfect scenario allowed Arnold to dig down deep to overcome his own personal barriers. This incredible sense of belief in your own ability translates to a higher level of determination. With determination, you can knock down the mental obstacles that get in your way and squash the intrusive thoughts of pessimism and failure.

It is crucial to decide on the things you would like to change in your life that will help improve your level of health and fitness. You need to write down specific goals. For instance; if you are out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs or walking up hills, your goal might be to increase your cardiovascular endurance over the next six months to the point where you no longer are out of breath doing these tasks. Note that effective goals have distinguishable sections.

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Identify and work on a specific thing that will help solve the problem
  3. Create a time frame to keep on track
  4. Put the work in (the longest step usually)
  5. Measure results

The importance of creating strong goals is often overlooked. Look at it like this. If you have nothing you want to work towards, why work at all? This is why effective goals are essential when trying to achieve your fitness wants and needs!

Here are some tips that will help you develop the mental pathways and habits to acheive your biggest health goals.

1. Choose Your Own Adventure

Men biking in snowy mountains

Jerker Denrell, a Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Warwick explains how we tend to over focus on the idea of success. For example, he uses the idea of successful companies as a way to support his argument. There are many successful company owners and books that claim to have the secret formula to success. The issue rises when we see that failing companies do many of the same things as companies that succeed. We often only pay attention to those who have already succeeded because why would we pay attention to the losers?

By learning from those who failed trying to copy others, we can see that a certain routine way of doing something will not always work for others. People are more likely to maintain motivation when their big goal is something they truly value and deem important. You must rely on your own interests and instincts to guide you towards a training program that fits for you. Make sure your new fitness program or sport is consistent with your strengths and interests, not others. There are so many avenues in fitness that lead toward optimum health. It is up to you to find the motivation to continue down these paths by personalizing and tailoring your goals and practices to your own core values.

2. Don’t Doubt Yourself!

It is not uncommon for people to get bored, have doubts, or lose interest before reaching their goal. It is extremely important to complete your original goal before you move on to another challenge, especially if you have made a commitment to follow a program for some time. Don’t let that effort you made go to waste!

When you set your goals, make sure to see things through till the end. After reaching the finish line, you can relish in your success and decide to make a new change. You may even be ready for something more challenging at that point!

3. Don’t run. Overcome Challenges

A woman looking in the mirror with dumbbells

Your fitness level is a direct result of your level of discipline. As you work toward meeting short-term goals, obstacles will delay progress along the way. Remember to maintain a high level of discipline and focus when nearing the end stages of big goals so you don’t burnout and lose all the progress you have made.

Whether you are training for the Olympics, a sports competition, or working toward your own personal goals, the frequency and duration of your training and effort are the elements that will produce results.

4. Dismiss Negative Thoughts

You may have thoughts of giving up during your workout, but it is important to keep fighting through these doubts. These negative messages hinder progress and can cause your level of performance to drop; staying focused on the positives allow you to keep motivated and perform at your optimal performance level.

Be aware of the detrimental thoughts that try to tell you that you are not enough, squash them and visualize that Mr. Universe moment in your head. Feel that euphoric moment and think again before considering the possibility of ending your workout early.

5. Believe in Your Success

Two people overcoming a mountain

A large obstacle many of us face is achieving that mindset of “If I keep working, I WILL reach my goals.” It takes courage to overcome obstacles that may be getting in the way of training and you truly need to believe in your abilities to be successful. For instance, as you become faster and stronger, you will surpass your old goals and face new challenges. These challenges may be uncomfortable, but remember when you started. Your first goal may have seemed impossible, but here you are now setting a goal even harder than the first! It is all arbitrary barriers made by your mind that you have to break to reach your next stage in growth.

6. Patience, Patience, and Patience

A person with a background of flexing arms

It is important to note that when you start a training program, you have made a commitment to a long-term physical development process. People can be eager to achieve big goals that require time and effort, but lack the persistence to focus on short-term goals that add up to reach your main goal. For example, many people lose interest in training if they do not see immediate results. Weight loss and muscle toning are physical changes that take place over time. Even though you may not see changes happening as quickly as you would like, remember that there are small physiological changes that take place in your body every time you exercise. These seemingly unnoticeable changes add up to achieve your main goal.

Bella Baragouin is a writer for the BuffDuck Board and has been writing written pieces for over four years.

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