By Kat Millar
This article has been supplied and reproduced with permission from the Great Health Guide, a 96five community contributor
Clear blue skies, the sun on your back; the smell of a new season is just around the corner!
It’s nearly time to lunge into spring: to replace your long-sleeved clothes with shorts and singlets. What a great feeling! Some people find it easy to exercise all year round, regardless of the weather. Other people find it harder to get motivated to exercise because of the cold. If you are one of the latter, then this article is for you.
Today is a new day – a new opportunity to make the right choices that will take us to the body, the health, the fitness and the life that we want. A new season is a great new chance to reassess where we’re at and decide what we want to do in the future.
Here are three things to consider when preparing for Spring:
- New gear.
When was the last time you invested in a new training singlet? A pair of great-fitting shorts? When you treat yourself to new outdoor workout gear, to train in style and comfort, you’ll be more motivated to get moving.
How about a new pair of training shoes? One tip on buying new shoes: buy them in the afternoon after you’ve spent some time walking throughout the day. Your feet ‘spread’ during the day and if you buy shoes in the morning, you’ll probably find they’ll be too tight for you.
- New Music.
When did you last get a new music playlist? It’s so motivating when you have new music to look forward to. We humans have a deep need for variety in our lives and if we don’t satisfy it, we can lose motivation.
New music is one way to inject some more energy and enthusiasm into your mindset when it comes to wanting to exercise. I remember designing a new playlist for a 10km charity run I did and it helped me so much – not just with motivation but total enjoyment!
- New Action Goals.
A new season is a great time to reflect on what you what next. Have you set any new goals recently? Or do you just have old stale ones. Goal setting still a hugely over-looked factor in increasing motivation and purpose in your training and life. Many people keep their goals too general and unmeasurable, such as ‘Get stronger’ or ‘Get fitter’. Take this a step further by deciding on some specific goals – things you will do – to obtain this outcome.
Action goals are things that you need to DO (perform, act upon) to GET the outcome that you ultimately want. Having action goals in different areas of our training, helps us stay motivated and see continued progress. Action goals have a time-frame. An easy way to make the idea of exercise more exciting and motivating, is to create a new plan for the entire next season.
Here’s a 12-week guideline:
- Assessment week. Record weights lifted, reps performed or distance travelled for 3-5 different exercises.
- Set a goal to increase weights, sets, reps or distance by a set number for the 3 different exercises.
- Choose a reward for completing your 4-week goals.
- Design a new training plan or ideally, have an exercise professional design you one. Ensure that it is well-balanced.
- Train hard for 4 weeks, focusing on small increments every workout.
Week 5 to 11: Repeat above.
Week 12: Celebrate. Reward yourself! Then reassess for the next 12 weeks.
Examples of weekly design:
- Push ups – 12
- Run – 3.6km in 30 minutes
- Squat – 25kg bar for 10 reps
Goal by week 4:
- Push ups – 18
- Run – 4km in 30 minutes
- Squat – 32.5kg bar for 10 reps
Setting action goals for exercise in some ways is experimentation and trial and error, because we all improve at different rates. Some people will achieve their goals sooner, some later, but remember your timeline is just a ‘benchmark’. It’s more important to have consistency and constant improvement. If you can do more intensity, reps, sets, time or distance with good technique, do more. If you are pushing your limits and not quite getting the numbers that you want, adjust your goal and carry on.
How to put it all together!
- Write down the 3-5 parts of your body that you would like to improve and pick an exercise that are appropriate for each. Or you may wish to write down 3 exercises you want to improve on instead.
- Write down dates, numbers and goals. I suggest using a spreadsheet with the exercises down the left column and dates along the rows at the top.
- Keep a training log and record your improvements. You will find it hugely motivating to see the increases!
Kat Millar owns Get Results Training, dedicated to helping people transform their health, mind & body. Since 2003, Kat has helped thousands of people achieve their goals. She’s a coach, speaker, award-winning figure competitor, fitness lecturer & NLP practitioner. Her passion helps people achieve life-changing results & fulfillment, with a range of programs for holistic health & body transformation. Contact via Kat’s website or Facebook