On our health and fitness journey, we can all be guilty of not appreciating the ‘little’ wins enough. These smaller achievements can often be missed due to all our focus being on larger goals we have set for ourselves. That is why it is important to create little, achievable goals alongside our big goals.
At the beginning of any journey it is important to outline objectives, so we have goals to aim for. It is equally important to set goals so we can track progress, or lack of in some instances. These goals may change over time, but it is important that we take moments to analyse, adjust and most importantly appreciate any progress made towards the targets we set for ourselves.
The S.M.A.R.T acronym is a great tool to use when setting goals and is as follows:
Generally, we tend to find it easier to set the ‘big goals’. These can include, but are not limited to, losing or gaining a certain amount of weight, lifting a certain weight in lifts, dropping or gaining sizes in clothes, running a certain time over a given distance and many more. Comparatively, we tend to struggle when asked to outline smaller goals than those mentioned above. Examples of smaller goals can include improving your average daily step count, feeling more energetic and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Even though these may seem like small goals, they are equally if not more important than some of the ‘big’ goals listed earlier.
Goal Achievements In PT
At the beginning of my journey with any PT client, I give them the task of outlining their goals including big, small, short term and long term. In recent weeks I have seen some major progress by PT clients towards their individual goals. This is not always the case as progress is never linear. Some have achieved a goal they outlined, others are inching closer every day and there are also some who might not be as far along their journey as they might have hoped.
It can be extremely disheartening when we feel as though we are putting in hard work but not seeing the results we hoped for. This can often be because we have tunnel vision towards our ‘big’ goals and therefore overlook any other accomplishments we achieve. After conversing and re-examining goals that were outlined by some clients, we found some amazing ‘little’ wins that had gone unnoticed.
Client A: had always felt he was very fit when he was younger and used to love getting out for a run during the week. Work and life had gotten in the way over the past number of years and his confidence about his fitness was very low. He did an echo test on Day 1 with me and was very unhappy with his score. He dreaded any conditioning in sessions and wasn’t convinced he had improved his fitness over several weeks. We re-tested his echo test, and he had improved his score by 30 calories in 7 weeks! He is now upbeat about getting out for a run when the weather improves.
Client B: Set out a goal in the summer that she wanted to lose weight to fit into a dress for an event this Christmas. Her training schedule was interrupted with sickness and although her strength was improving in sessions, her weight was not dropping on the scales. As we approached the end of November, she was very disheartened. However, upon doing an InBody she realised she had dropped body fat and gained muscle, which explained why the scales were reading the same value. She went home and tried on the dress, and it fit!
Client C: This client noticed a pattern over the past number of years that when work got hectic coming up to Christmas, her stress levels increased, which caused her to put on weight every year. After a very successful phase of training during the summer, she felt her progress had halted in recent weeks and felt her weight was almost certainly up again. We did an InBody and she was delighted to see that her weight had not gone up and that she has maintained her muscle mass well over the past number of stressful weeks. On top of this, she was able to get her wedding ring off for the first time in over 8 years!
Enjoy Every Win, Big or Small
Thankfully, the above-mentioned clients were able to realise that although they still have some work to do to achieve their ‘big’ goals they have set out, they are still making tremendous progress regularly on their journeys. Make small goals on the way to your big goals and celebrate every milestone you reach. Otherwise, you risk getting disheartened and missing out on some of the awesome breakthroughs you make.