5 Ways to Remain Goal Focused through the Holidays!

(As seen on Clinical Sports Labs at clinicalsportslabs.com)

Athlete  with bottle of water after running workout outdoors

We are fast approaching that time of the year where New Year’s resolutions will be set. Am I moving too fast for you? Okay, ill slow it down a bit. . .

November is here and thanksgiving is just around the corner! The most festive times of the year where loved ones gather with family and friends and partake in the high carb, low exercise festivities. . . I mean, it’s true right? This is the time of year where goals usually receive a swift kick in the ass out the front door. But just because that’s the holiday “norm”, it doesn’t have to be you! Below are a few ways you can remain accountable and motivated to stick close to your plans in reaching your fitness goals even through the holidays!

  1. Re-write your game plan!

Chances are, you sat down a long time ago and wrote down your goals in a notebook or on a sticky note. That notebook is probably underneath books and papers that have accumulated over the months or that sticky note was maybe thrown away on accident; what I’m getting at is that the goals in your head have become clouded and may not be as clear to you as they once were. One way of re-introducing your goals back into your daily routine is to re-write them! Reacquaint yourself with your fitness goals and map out a plan of attack. This time, keep that paper pinned on your wall or somewhere you can see it daily. Never forget what it is you want and never stop working towards it!

  1. Cheat … Smart!

Yeah I said it, cheat. This pertains to you meat heads and fitness junkies out there! Competition prep can really hit you hard not only physically but mentally as well (you know). Allowing yourself to cheat is a healthy way to recharge you mentally and physically. Allow those extra carbs you consume through the holidays to fuel your workouts! Your brain will thank you for it as well for receiving the macro-nutrient it loves most! But be careful don’t allow your thanksgiving meal to drag you down. Cheat, but cheat smart. Enjoy thanksgiving and all the delicious, mouth watering carbs it provides but don’t let this cheat meal or day turn into a cheat week! Get on track and hit the gym the next day. That workout will be the best workout you’ve probably had in a long time.

  1. Short term reward for long term risk?

What I mean by this is when it comes to making decisions that may have a temporary reward ask yourself “Does this also have a long term reward?” Saying yes to a few sugar cookies a day can be your arch nemesis when the day comes that you have to check in with your coach around contest prep time. Yes have a cookie, but don’t over indulge! Think about the long term advantages and disadvantages of every move you make. Trust me, they count.

  1. Supplement your sweet tooth!

The holiday season is famous for its sweets! This is a perfect time to get creative with your supplements! With the help of Clinical Sports Labs’ delicious protein flavors you can come up with healthy, protein rich sweets that will help you steer clear of the devilish, high sugar desserts put in your path. I am a huge fan of blending Arctic Zero’s Cookie Shake ice cream with a scoop of Clinical Sports Labs’ vanilla ice cream protein and almond milk to make the most delicious milk shake on the planet! (My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!) You can add protein to cookies, cakes, pancakes, oatmeal, and coffee to create something you can indulge in and leave the guilt behind!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself

Look, we are all human. We all make mistakes and we all slip up. It happens. The point I want to drive home is that you shouldn’t hate yourself or be hard on yourself because you made the decision to eat cake. They don’t call it bulking season for nothing right? 😉 Your body is an amazing machine. It’s ability to adapt is profound. You can truly adjust, change, and manipulate your body in a way that you are happy with whenever you want. Yes, it may take some time to work off the cake you ate at your holiday party but the thing is that it’s not impossible. It’s not like that cake is permanently glued to your thighs or abdomen, although it may feel that way for some time. Don’t be hard yourself. Look at your goals and get right back on the horse.

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5 Motivational Tips for Success!

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  1. Be Goal Driven and Specific

What is the number one thing you constantly hear about how successful people became successful? Goals. Every person who is successful today has set goals that got them to that point. The number one way to achieve success is to set goals and work your ass off reaching them!

The quality of your goal is extremely important!

Let’s say you want to set a goal with squatting.

“I want to squat heavy” = this isn’t a goal … slacker.

“I want squat 200 pounds” = alright, it’s a little better but let’s be more specific.

“I want to squat 200 pounds in 16 weeks” = Ding, ding, ding, ding! Now we have a quality goal.

A quality goal requires specificity and must have a deadline.

It is important to set goals that are detail oriented.  I am fairly new to the fitness scene with only lifting confidently on my own for about two years. I have always had vague goals in the back of my head like a specific physique or lifting heavy for certain lifts. I never specified what weight I wanted to hit AND the amount of time I would designate myself to reach this goal. Specificity is key! Set your goal, set a deadline, and keep track!

Goals are important and are crucial but it’s also very important not to become obsessed with your goals. Realistically, you simply will not reach every single goal you set. Even the strongest, leanest, fastest person will fall short of their goals at some point … the key is not to get down on yourself when this happens!

Every failure presents a learning experience, so even though you did not reach that goal, you still gained something from the experience that will help you reach your goals in the future!

  1. Review your goals OFTEN!

How often do we push important life planning like goal setting aside for more immediate matters like work, bills, and family? Pretty regularly. It’s part of life. Make goal setting a priority. Setting aside time just once a week is all you really need! The best time to review your goals is first thing in the morning. When you get up, review your goals, remind yourself how important that goal is to you, and how you plan to eventually reach that goal. Five minutes is all it really takes!

  1. Don’t be afraid to change it up!

If you are anything like me, atmosphere is everything when it comes to fitness AND motivation. I am a huge “vibes” person, I can feel the serious, goal driven vibes coming from the person next to me at the gym. You know, the guy who is lifting heavy, panting, breathing heavy, and pushing himself further and further … well, that is exactly what motivates me. My motivation is high when I can feel other people’s motivation is high. On the opposite end of spectrum, my motivation can diminish when there are clusters of people having a conversation hogging the weights … dear Lord!

Don’t be afraid to change gyms if you notice the atmosphere just plain stinks! I’ll take old equipment, dirty floors, and bent bars over the other gyms if the atmosphere pushes me to be my best! Also, don’t be afraid to change-up your training routine. Change your reps, sets, weight, add plyos, HIIT, cardio, etc.

Step out of your comfort zone!

  1. Don’t be a shallow Hal, see the bigger picture!

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the gym selfie progress pictures and videos on IG. Yes you are working hard to better yourself physically but step back and look at the bigger picture. You are working hard to strengthen you mind, muscles, heart, and bones. You are creating a healthy body. A healthy body that is able to run around with your children. A strong body that is able to provide for your family and someday see your children get married. The bigger picture is that you are simply improving your body so that you will live a longer, healthier life.

  1. Grow a Pair!

Honestly, there comes a point in your journey towards your goals where getting motivated through others will just simply lose its impact on you. Simply put, you will need to motivate yourself. YOU need to want it!

If fitness is just too much of a hassle then stop and do something that makes you happy! Hula hoop, collect insects, run an ant farm, whatever it is that makes you happy … do it.

Being able to improve your physical and mental health, your physique, and bodily function is a privilege life allows us to experience and it is a privilege that most people only dream of doing in their life time.

So, don’t just dream of  it, work hard and achieve optimal health.

The Importance of Goal Setting!

goal-setting

We all know that setting goals is important to reach any form of success whether with fitness, your career, or family. The great thing about setting goals is that they can be big and small! That truly makes it fun and interesting. Remember: setting goals is the first step towards success!

Below are a few reasons why you should set goals!

  1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision
  2. Creates positive tunnel vision
  3. Motivation to keep moving forward
  4. Helps you be the best person you can be
  5. Makes you an accountable person

Now, let me go into a little bit more detail on each one.

1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision

Have you ever had so much on your mind that until you write it down and organize it on paper it’s just a jumbled mess in your head? We have all certainly been there; prioritizing is almost natural (well, maybe not for everyone). But, until we literally create a game plan and figure out what it is we want to take care of first, second, third, and so on and so forth we will remain confused and lost.

Setting goals involves prioritizing and writing down just what it is you want to accomplish. That can range from small goals within your family to larger goals 5 maybe 10 years from now! You can set goals to have family, to get promoted within your company, to reach your desired weight, or to compete in a fitness competition. Your goals can literally be anything. The main goal here is to create a clear game plan OR vision that illustrates or maps out what you want to accomplish.

2.Creates positive tunnel vision

The reason I say “positive tunnel vision” instead of just “tunnel vision” is because there can be negative tunnel vision as well. Some people can be overly consumed with a certain goal and might lose focus on their family or job responsibilities. Just because you have a goal you want to meet and accomplish does not mean you should neglect the people in your life that matter most to you. It also does not mean you should just up and quit your job or be late for work every day. You have bills to pay, don’t make rash decisions! Have a plan.

When you have a goal set and you have a clear vision of what you want and how you plan to accomplish it you can then motivate yourself to remain focused on the end result! You won’t allow outside negative opinions or actions influence your decisions to accomplish your goals.

3. Motivation to keep moving forward

Goal setting can be easy but what can be hard is keeping the motivation to reach those goals high! You will find that when you set goals that are very important to you, the motivation comes naturally. You can also look for motivation from outside factors such as friends, family, role models, etc.

4. Helps you be the best person you can be

Setting goals can keep you dedicated and shows just how hard you will work to reach them. Goals push you harder and harder every day so that one day you will find success. It allows you to experience your weakest and strongest moments and helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work. You soon learn the skills needed to work efficiently to reach your goals!

 5.Makes you an accountable person

Simply put goals hold you accountable. Write them down and hang them on your wall, put your goals everywhere you can think of where you will be reminded of them constantly. This way you will never forget what all of your hard work is for.

Setting goals is required when working towards success in anything. I hope this helps you in your future endeavors readers!

Remember, we rise by lifting others.

Inspire and motivate each other!

-mk