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How to set your Fitness Goals

Lauren Jagger comes up with 12 pointers that you can add into your own daily lifestyle to help keep you accountable for your health and fitness goals and keep you on track.

February 27, 2019
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Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy

February 27, 2019

Whenever a new year approaches there’s a common notion going round that everyone must overhaul their life and start running marathons and entering ocean swims. This needn’t be the case if you are genuinely keen to ensure that your fitness and health goals stick and that you don’t fall off the wagon come March.

We all have certain goals that we wish to achieve but sometimes life has a way of getting in the way and before we know it half the year has gone and finding that motivation to start becomes harder and harder.

In the islands it can often be hard to find the perfect venues to work out but look around, chances are there are at least two fields ideal for working out in for at least 30 minutes a day, weather permitting. Even if you decide to start with 10 minutes a day of exercise then that is the perfect start. Jump off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the distance, use the weekend to go swimming at the beach, designate one day whereby you prepare healthy snacks for the rest of the week.

Here are a few pointers that you can add into your own daily lifestyle to help keep you accountable for your health and fitness goals and keep you on track.

1. Tell a friend: In the islands there is very little that you can keep secret even if you wanted to, so use this to your advantage and let as many people as possible know your goals related to keeping fit and being healthy. You don’t have to lay your entire life out to them but even if every time you saw them it simply reminded you that they know your goals, it’s a way of reminding you of what you have set out to achieve.

2. Choose an accountability partner: This person needs to be someone close such as a family member or partner that sees you on a regular basis and can keep an eye on you and hold you accountable when it comes to working out and eating healthily. Be prepared to have a love-hate relationship with this person as they are the ones asking why you haven’t worked out this week or stopping you eating that delicious chocolate bar – but persevere, their role is vital and you will thank them later.

3. Write it down: who doesn’t love a good list? This is a great way to visually see what you are doing and helps you be realistic, to see exactly when you can work out and if you are doing too much or not enough.

4. Set yourself small weekly targets: Rome wasn’t built in a day and if it was there’s a good chance it would be very superficial and eventually fall apart. It’s the same with our fitness goals, you aren’t going to lose two kilos in a week but you are likely to lose 500gm or be able to do 10 burpees instead of the five you started on. Slow and steady wins the race and setting yourself small achievable targets will keep you focused on your goals, and who doesn’t love a small win to keep you motivated?

5. Set yourself quarterly/yearly goals: These goals should be on a slightly larger scale, including areas such as limiting your sugar intake by half by the next quarter or ensuring you are active for 30 minutes a day. These goals will ultimately be harder to achieve therefore need longer to work at them, but they aren’t unachievable they just need regular work in order for them to become habit.

6. Plan ahead for speed bumps: If you know your job takes you on the road or that there is a birthday party just around the corner then do not worry, one of the best sayings is ‘proper planning prevents poor performance.’ This is key for making sure you don’t take 10 steps backwards and undo all of your hard earned progress. Make healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, or egg white and vegetable muffins to take to work for when you know you will get hungry. For birthday parties or events choose drinks that don’t contain a mass of sugar or artificial colourings. When you are on the road with work plan ahead for gyms to use in the hotel or nearby parks where you can go for a run.

7. Track your progress: This is key for you to see in what areas you are making progress and what areas you need to work on especially if you are working with weights and need to keep track of your repetitions and the size of the weights. This also allows you to see that if you are beginning to plateau then your body is becoming resilient to the workouts and you need to up the intensity and push your goals to the next level.

8. Reward yourself accordingly: In business if you achieved a goal the likelihood is that you would get a bonus or a promotion so why restrict yourself when it comes to goals in health or fitness? Rewards don’t have to be covered in chocolate it could be rewarding yourself with a spa day, a weekend away with loved ones or simply a lunch out with your best friend.

9. Be truthful with yourself: When someone asks what you’ve eaten this week do you bend the truth slightly? Don’t worry we all do it – but we have to be realistic with ourselves as to what we would’ve liked to have eaten and what we actually consumed, sometimes they are worlds apart. If your skin is beginning to break out or your mood is low and you feel lethargic you need to focus in on what you are eating and your overall diet as it may be time for an overhaul.

10. Know your own perfect: For one individual perfect for them is a toned physique with curves and for another it’s having 8% body fat with an ectomorph frame – be true to what you believe is beautiful and what you desire to look or feel like. Know that everyone has their own version of what healthy looks like and being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean losing weight it can just simply mean promising yourself to have 2 litres of water a day and reducing the amount of artificial sugars that you consume.

11. Don’t make excuses: This is the easiest thing in the world to do and in the Islands we have plenty to choose from, ‘it’s too hot, it’s too wet, it’s too dry, everyone’s at the beach’ the list is endless. Know that you are going to wake up some days and think ‘not today’ and that’s ok you should listen to your body but the key is to differentiate your body needing time to recover from working out to your mind repeatedly telling you it’s too lazy to workout.

12. Make working out fun: Life is too short not to be happy in anything that we do. So if you know that you love being with your friends then invite them along for a walk or to a local gym workout session – you will be more productive in your workouts if you enjoy them and don’t see them as a chore.

Whatever your fitness or health related goals are this is the year to turn them into reality. Gone are the ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ excuses now is the time to act and now is the chance to reward yourself with the healthy lifestyle you deserve.

Lauren Jagger is the Creative Director of Bulalicious Activewear, creators of surf, swim and gym wear for active females and is available online at www.bulalicous.com with free shipping offered worldwide.•

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