Often I see clients start to get on a roll, start seeing progress and then completely slack off.
Instead what they should really do when they see progress is PUSH HARDER.
They should let the progress motivate them to keep going.
But that never seems to be the way it works.
For some reason when we see progress, especially when we progress quicker than expected, we let ourselves slack off.
We think, “Oh I should celebrate!” Or “Oh I can take a day off now!” We think, “I deserve a piece of cake.” Or “I don’t need to workout since I was so good about it all week.”
The thing is, success doesn’t work that way. Reaching our goals doesn’t work that way. Consistency is key.
Progress, especially great progress, should motivate us to work harder. To be more committed because we know what we are doing is WORKING.
We need to learn how to see progress as motivation to continue NOT an excuse to slack off.
So here are some tips to motivate you and keep you moving forward on this wonderful Monday.
Get Results, Push Harder Tips:
- Pick HEALTHY rewards that promote the changes you are trying to make. If you are trying to eat better and become more dedicated to your workouts, don’t pick rewards centered around food or cheating on your healthy lifestyle. Make something HEALTHY a reward. I’ve heard this comment before, “You are not a dog so don’t reward yourself with food.” And while I don’t like the statement, it does make a good point. Make your rewards HEALTHY. Make them something that celebrate and even further encourages the lifestyle changes you are trying to create!
- Take time to celebrate victories! Sometimes I think we slack off or give up on our goals EVEN when we are progressing because we don’t truly take time to celebrate our victories. If you hit your goal for the week, take a second and appreciate the hard work you’ve put in. When you look back at all the HARD WORK it took to get there, slacking off may not seem worth it. I mean…do you really want all that hard work to be for nothing!?!
- Be willing to adjust your goals. If you are progressing more quickly than expected, adjust your goals. Don’t use it as an excuse to slack off because slacking off will lead to you getting off track and eventually failing. If you wanted to lift 10 more pounds by the end of the month but hit that goal early, adjust it and up your goal for the end of the month. If you accomplish one goal early, don’t take “time off!” Move on to the next goal! Give yourself a reason to keep moving forward!
- Don’t measure your progress every day. Don’t weigh every day. Don’t take circumference measurements every day. Don’t do physical testing every day. You won’t see true progress every day and measuring every day puts too much pressure on you! Measure once a week at most. Preferably measure once a month. Give yourself enough time to truly achieve results; HOWEVER, measure often enough that you can see progress to keep you motivated. While we can slack when we see results, we can also slack if we feel like we AREN’T achieving!
- Remember it’s a lifestyle and lifestyles don’t have an end date! When we make healthy changes, diet and exercise changes, generally we aren’t just trying to hit a one-time goal. Most of the time we are trying to create a new lifestyle to last us years and years! So even if you’ve made great progress, even if you’ve hit that weight loss or exercise goal, that doesn’t mean you are done. Remind yourself that your actions every day add up to create a healthy lifestyle. While a healthy lifestyle isn’t about perfection, it is about committing and being consistent with new healthy habits.
So as this week goes on, appreciate all of your hard work. Appreciate your consistency and use your progress and results to further motivate you and keep you committed!
Get great results and let them motivate you to push HARDER toward your goal!
When we get it into our head that we want something, we usually want it NOW!
Not in two weeks, two months or two years…NOW!
It’s like we become a child again and our head is screaming “NOW!” “NOW!” “NOW!”….”I WANT IT NOW!”
Sorry….But you CAN’T HAVE IT NOW!
Success takes time. And sometimes pushing harder, faster WON’T get you there any quicker.
Sometimes pushing harder, faster actually hinders your progress.
At the same time, you can’t just sit back and wait for things to happen.
If you want to get stronger, perform better, lose weight, tone up or rehab an injury, you’ve got to give it your all WITHOUT becoming impatient (AKA pushing too hard too fast).
Two things I’ve found that have help me become more patient about accomplishing fitness goals are setting up a timeline and setting short-term goals.
When I say “setting up timelines” I mean that I outline how long it will realistically take to accomplish my goal and then I outline how much time I will spend potentially “testing” out ways to get there.
Let’s face it, if you want to lift a ton more weight or even lose a ton of weight, it isn’t going to take a month…it may even take a year. You’ve got to figure out a realistic timeframe in which to accomplish your goal.
And realistic means looking at what obstacles are in the way that may slow things down – it means planning out your timeframe based on the fact that there may be unforeseen plateaus!
Granted you can’t account for all setbacks, but the more you plan in a little extra time to deal with them, the more likely you will be to hit your goal on time if not early (which will make you very very happy…trust me!).
And setbacks can come in all forms. Unless you’ve had to work toward your specific goal before and already have a program in place, you are probably going to have to experiment a bit even if your friend/coach gives you a program that has worked for them and people they’ve known before.
Let’s face the facts…just because a program has worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. So how long do you potentially “waste” on a program that doesn’t work before switching (especially if you have a deadline to hit!)?
My rule of thumb is…”Give it 30 days.”
You’ve got to give a program just a bit of time. I know 30 days seems like an eternity when you want something NOW, but one week, or even two weeks, doesn’t really give you enough proof as to whether or not something really works.
Give it 30 days and then assess. Did you make any progress? What seemed to help? What didn’t?
THEN make changes!
If you learned something from that 30 days, then it isn’t really wasted time now is it!?!
Because if you learn more about what works for you to accomplish your goal, then you will always have that knowledge if you need to get back there or even build further!
If you never experiment and…for example…just starve yourself to lose the weight, you didn’t really learn about what it takes to truly lose the weight and keep it off (and you definitely aren’t any healthier!).
Anyway, the point is you have to figure that a goal you’ve never set out to accomplish before is going to take some extra time because first you have to establish a program!
So if you’ve set a realistic timeframe, you must have accounted for a bit of experimentation on top of setbacks such as unforeseen cheat days or sickness.
But by setting a realistic timeframe you won’t stress out about having to be at your goal NOW because you know exactly when it SHOULD be achieved! (Not to mention having a timeframe will help keep you on track when you want to cheat because you know you have a deadline.)
But once you have that timeline, the best way to keep yourself to that goal is to set short-term goals within that timeframe.
When we want something NOW, we usually overlook all the progress we are making because all we can focus on is the end goal, which in terms makes us upset and sometimes even depressed about the fact that we aren’t there yet.
So how do you get yourself to stay positive and not overwhelmed by the fact that you aren’t there yet?
You set shorter goals that allow you to see all the progress you are making toward you goal!
Having something to accomplish each week, each month, will keep you on track and even positive about your progress to a goal that will take you maybe even a year or longer to accomplish.
These goals can range from weekly weigh ins or performance measures to simply sticking to a meal plan or workout assigned for that day.
The point is that when you accomplish them they make you feel like you are getting closer to your goal. Accomplishing these short-term goals should provide you with confidence and keep you positive and motivated.
If you are confident, positive, motivated and feel like you are moving forward, even if it is small steps, you are going to be WAY more likely to stay the course no matter how long it takes.
So if you’ve been struggling to stay positive and accomplish your big goal, take time today to figure out what is a realistic timeframe to accomplish it. Then set out some mini goals that will keep you accountable each day, each week, each month…whatever works for you!
NOTE: You will also have to outline a clear program with a progression toward you goal based on your timeframe, but that is a different post!
So I’ve always loved circuit training. You can get your heart rate up and work your entire body quickly and efficiently.
But circuit training isn’t necessarily the best way or the only way to get great results.
I think most often circuit training is our go to for workouts because it is easy to great a program using the model and usually the workouts are KILLER.
But a “killer workout” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is helping you reach your specific goals.
Just because you don’t feel like death after a workout doesn’t mean that it wasn’t amazing and even more beneficial than one that completely destroyed you.
Anyway, I’ve definitely been playing around with program design recently. I always think that if you are open to learning, you will continually find better, more efficient ways of reaching your goals.
You just can’t be stuck on having to do a workout that “destroys you” every time.
One great design I’ve been using more often is supersets either with strength and stabilization or strength and power OR, as I mentioned in a post a month or so back, even just sticking with one exercise for a period of time before moving on to the next.
So on that note, I just wanted to share my wonderful workout from today, which is actually courtesy of Aaron the owner at Innovative Results! Honestly the only part I wanted to “die” on was the Versa Climber…but we have a love-hate relationship anyway….
Warm up (foam roll!, band walks, lunges, locomotion)
Kettlebell Jerks (30 seconds right arm, 30 seconds left arm, alternating 5 minutes)
Battling Ropes (30 seconds intense waves all the way down, 30 seconds easy sidewinders, alternating for 5 minutes)
Kettlebell Snatches (30 seconds right arm, 30 seconds left arm, alternating 5 minutes)
Stage Coach Ropes (double arm waves) (30 seconds intense waves all the way down, 30 seconds “punching” rotational work, alternating for 5 minutes)
Kettlebell Long Cycle aka clean and jerk (30 seconds right arm, 30 seconds left arm, alternating 5 minutes)
Battling Ropes (5 minutes)
Versa Climber (30 second sprint, 30 second rest for 5 minutes)
Walk around until you don’t feel like you are going to fall over and not get back up and then foam roll!
A great workout that is challenging, gets your heart pumping, works on full body strength and explosive power and even works on patient endurance!
It does it all…And it isn’t just a workout that “murders you.”
P.S. If you haven’t ever done snatches or long cycle (aka clean and jerk) with a KB before, please check out the videos on the site I linked to above. Kettlebell lifts are way safer than Olympic lifts but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some technical guidance before attempting them!
I constantly remind clients to be patient with their progress. I constantly remind them that it isn’t just a clear upward progression.I constantly remind them that there are slight setbacks and plateaus.
For every two steps forward, there may be one step backwards.
Sometimes though I need to take the time to remind myself.
Since starting my progression on VersaClimber and the Battling Ropes, I’ve seen huge gains – gains in strength, speed, explosiveness and even mental toughness.
But today, I experienced my first “plateau.”
Whether it was slight fatigue, a lack of focus or a slight lack of mental toughness, I just didn’t have it today. My progress on the VersaClimber stalled.
I can literally taste success, I’m so close to my goal.
On Wednesday, I even thought there was a good chance I would hit it today.
I think I set my expectations just a bit too high and put a little too much pressure.
I wasn’t patient enough.
I hate being patient.
But patience is really key. If you get to riled up and put too much pressure on yourself, your biggest weapon – YOUR POSITIVE MINDSET – will go out the window.
I feel like I wasted a few sprints today because I had a negative mindset. I hadn’t hit my goal and instead of getting angry and pushing back and battling as hard as I could, I got down on myself.
That is probably the single worst thing I could have done.
I let my mindset change to a negative one – I let myself listen to my fatigue and make up reasons why I wasn’t able to have reached my goal yet.
I made up excuses instead of just pushing with everything I had.
But I won’t let that happen again. I now have a couple of days of some active rest and then I’m back at it again on Monday.
No self doubts.
Just a positive mental attitude and a knowledge that I’m going to give everything I’ve got until I get there!