So here's the situation?
You have a home gym, treadmill, elliptical trainer, or some other piece of home fitness equipment. But it's sitting in the corner of the room being used as a clothes rack. You haven't gotten any use out of it for months, and you might be thinking of selling it off.
There's a reason why you initially bought this piece of equipment, and I can bet that it wasn't meant to hang your clothes on (there are much cheaper alternatives than that).
It was probably along the lines of "toning up" or "losing weight" or "getting fit" and so on and so forth.
You know it's probably a good idea to start exercising again, but you might be thinking:
1. "I'm too busy with (insert your reasons here), and I just don't have the time right now."
2. "I'll do it later."
3. "I'm not too sure what exercises to do."
4. "I just don't have any motivation right now. Maybe in the future when I get fired up I'll start again."
5. "I'm feeling pretty tired these days with everything going on. I'll get to it once I have some energy."
But what were the reasons that made you buy this machine? How long did you actually use this machine? Why did you stop? And why aren't you using it now?
What you'll do is examine your reasons why, and give you an actionable guide to get you off your couch, take the clothes off your home gym and start using it the way it was meant to be used (and start achieving your goals!)
Here is a Solution?
You need to set some goals, and you need to set a plan to get to those goals. That's right, just like what all the self help guru preaches, this is what you need to do. The reason why you need to set goals is that then you'll have something to work towards.
And I'm not talking about some up-in-the-air, vague goals like, "I want to look toned", or "I want to lose weight".
I'm talking about detailed, specific goals. Something along the lines of, "I will lose 10 pounds of fat in 60 days".
Also, along with setting goals, you need to write down your "reasons why" you want to achieve this goal. Losing 10 pounds of fat in 60 days is fine and dandy, but you'll be way more motivated to exercise if you're constantly reminded that your wedding is in 60 days!
Here's an acronym that will help you set and attain your fitness goals:
S.M.A.R.T-R (pronounced "smarter")
SMART-R stands for:
Let's go into details of each point:
"The more specific and measurable your goal, the more quickly you will be able to identify, locate, create, and implement the use of the necessary resources for its achievement."
-Charles J. Givens
"I want to lose weight" is different from "I want to lose 10lbs of fat and gain muscle mass by doing 3-5 cardio workouts and 3-5 resistance training workouts per week at the gym over the course of the next 3 months."
Your fitness goals should be detailed, clearly defined, and stress exactly what you're going to do and you want to achieve.
For example, instead of setting a goal to lose weight, set a specific goal to lose 3 inches off your waist, lost 5% body fat, or lose 3 pounds of fat.
"Make measurable progress in reasonable time."
If you're not keeping score, you don't know whether you're winning or losing! And keeping score is all done with numbers. Do you want to lose 3 inches off your waist? Do you want to drop down from 20% to 12% body fat? Do you want to lose 10 pounds?
Whatever goal you choose, make sure that you can measure it. You need to do this so you can see and measure the progress over time. For example, losing 1 pound per week would be a goal that is measurable over time.
Also, the things that you can't measure (happiness, etc.) will come along with achieving your goals.
"You'll always achieve more through movement than meditation"
Virtually no goals can be attained unless there's some action taken. If you plan to lose 10 pounds of body fat, you have to figure out the "action" that you need to take the attain this goal.
What resistance training exercises are you going to do?
What cardiovascular exercises are you going to do?
How often should you do them?
In this step it's helpful to recruit the assistance of a fitness professional who can provide you with their expertise and advice to help you reach your goal.
"Every noble work is bound to face problems and obstacles. It is important to check your goal and motivation thoroughly. One should be very truthful, honest, and reasonable. One's actions should be good for others, and for oneself as well. Once a positive goal is chosen, you should decide to pursue it all the way to the end. Even if it is not realized, at least there will be no regret."
Now that you might have started to think of some goals, you have to remember to keep them reasonable. Losing 30 pounds in one month is not reasonable! In fact, this could be potentially dangerous to your health and be detrimental in the long term. In this case, you would probably be losing water weight and muscle mass, and in the long run, you would gain all that weight back, and have less muscle mass (its your muscles that burn fat?the more of it you have, the more fat you can burn. But the less you have, you'll be burning less body fat).
Keep your goals reasonable or you might find that you'll be putting your health at risk, or at the very least, you'll be disappointed.
"A goal is a dream with a deadline."
Set a deadline. Deadlines move us to action.
There's nothing worst than having a goal, working towards it, but never finishing it! It's almost like a major school project that's assigned to you. Imagine if this project didn't have a deadline, and you're asked to complete it whenever you want.
Do you think you'll complete it soon?
Probably not! If there's no deadline, there's no pressure to finish a task.
It's the same with exercise and fitness. If you set a goal to lose 10 pounds of body fat, but you don't set a deadline, you'll probably be trying to lose 10 pounds of body fat forever!
Set a deadline for your fitness goal, and try to achieve it. Once the deadline passes and you've reached your goals, set a new one and a new deadline, and strive to achieve that!
"Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to; all they need is one reason why they can"
This is probably the most important step in the goal setting process. Not only is your "reason why" the motivation for you to achieve any goals, but it's probably the reason that caused you to buy a home gym or home exercise equipment in the first place!
You must define your reasons for wanting to achieve a goal. If you lack clear reasons why for doing so, all the goal setting and planning might just go to waste (if you don't have a reason to do something, why would you do it?)
Spend some time and give some serious thought to this step. The more compelling your reasons are for exercising, the greater your odds will be for meeting your goals.
Every person has a different reason for exercising. Some people just want to lose a few inches off their waist because of an upcoming event (such as a wedding, a high school reunion, a day at the beach to impress members of the opposite sex), but for others, exercising could mean the difference between life and death.
Whatever your "reasons why" may be, make sure that they're compelling, and accurately represent your reasons for your desire to achieve your goals.
Some Tips To Keep On Top of Your Fitness Goals
Grab a pen, a few pieces of paper, and prepare to do some writing.
Use this formula to form your goals:
"I, _________ (name) WILL __________________________ (specific, reasonable, and measurable goal) by doing _______________________ (action oriented) by ______________ (timed-date).
I will achieve this goal because ___________________________ (insert your reason why)
Signature: _________________ (your name) Today's date: _____________"
Write this down and make photocopies if you want to. Now, post your goals everywhere (bathroom mirrors, in your home gym, in front of your toilet?anywhere that is highly visible), and read it everyday. The more often you come across seeing your goals in writing, the more likely it's going to be in your daily thoughts, and the more likely you're achieve your fitness goals.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, if you've been leaving your home gym equipment to collect dust or to hang your clothes on, start with the single step of writing down your goals by following the methods above. Trust me, you won't regret it.
About the Author:
John Phung is a Certified Personal Training and successful writer providing valuable tips and advice about free weight exercise equipment, home gym equipment, cardiovascular training equipment and more.