Reach for the sky - goal setting
In life we need a purpose, something to aim for, something that motivates us and ultimately gives us that sense of achievement when we reach it. Without it we just trundle along and get stuck in a routine (or rut if you like).
When it comes to our health and fitness in midlife we need that goal too, if we want to succeed with our lifestyle improvement and have a positive menopause journey. Here are some steps you can take to setting these goals.
What’s your motivation? Why are you making changes - is it for you, is it for another person, is it for a particular event? Is it to feel more confident when you're at work, to feel more energetic so you can run about with your kids, to generally feel better and with less ailments.....? Dig deep - what is your WHY?
Get into a healthy mindset. Firstly don’t see exercise as a punishment, as you’ll only resent it. See it as an investment (in time and money) - you’ll start to look and feel great and be reaping massive rewards in your health. And, look at making small healthy habit changes, whether that be having a glass of water while you wait for your coffee to brew, or taking a 10 minute walk on your lunch break. These little habits add up.
Write up your workouts. Put down how many reps you do, how much weight you lift, time spent etc. That way you have a basis to improve upon. And not only that - write how you felt before, during and after as your emotional and physical state can impact your performance and it’s then good to see what works for you. Once you’ve worked out what you can do in a session, it’s easier to work out how much further you can push yourself.
Track. As well as seeing your progress with your workouts, use a hormone tracker app where you list your emotions, ailments, nutrition, menstrual cycle details etc. Again this can show you correlations you maybe hadn't noticed before.
Don’t just think about the long term goal, as sometimes this is just that bit too far away and we get bored trying to reach it. Add in some interim goals - so your long term goal could be to tone and strengthen your arms, with a loss of x cm around the upper arm within the next 6 months. Your shorter term goals could then be ‘do 15 bicep curls with x kg dumbbells’ and then ‘fit comfortably into my old work shirt’ for example. If we reach little goals on the way, it’s much more motivating!
Above all think about being specific with your goal, make it achievable and measurable and not just a number plucked from thin air, and make it timely.
Once you've set your goals, now is time to share them with your family/friends. I'm not saying shout it to the whole world - just pick the person or couple of people that are in your daily life that you think will support you on your journey, or indeed join you! Three good reasons why it's good to share: Accountability: if you know someone is going to ask how you're getting on, you're more likely to stick with it as you don't want to let them down and say you sacked your exercise class off last night for example. Motivation: when you're feeling low or can't be bothered they will be there to help encourage you to carry on. Praise: when you reach milestones in your goal journey, they'll be there to give you a high five and words of congratulations. This bit of praise is really important for your self-belief.
Want more tools and support during your midlife journey? Come and join my newsletter list and find me on Facebook and Instagram. Come say hi!