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The Art of Goal Setting. What does fit mean and how do you know when you are there?

Thanks to our guest Blogger we are getting you ahead of the game and those New Year's resolutions. By helping you with your goal setting this side of Christmas you are going to be so much more prepared.

I don't need to tell you that what your goal is. It’s probably been a part of your psyche for some time. Whenever you look in the mirror, are unable to do up that button on your trousers or cannot reach your shoes to tie a lace. Whether it is weight loss, flexibility, strength gain or that wonderful blend of all three a dancer. Training programs are difficult to stick to at the best of times, so if your ultimate quest is at least a year or more in the future, then it’s very likely you will never reach that goal because it’s too unobtainable. If in three months you are unwell, or your child is, or you go on holiday or just feel the day to day grind is difficult to shake off then you have set yourself up for a fall. So please don't beat yourself up about it, you are a human being with complex thought patterns, busy professional lives and many family commitments not to mention physical highs and lows. If you suffer a setback don't promise yourself you will start again in a month or two, when things have settled down, just get back in there the first opportunity you have. Fitness isn't about the missed training session but about layers of training, one session, then another and so on and always think about the bigger picture.

Any goal is achievable but you need to set three kinds short, medium and long term. Combining those three levels of goals with finding something you enjoy doing is the secret to success. Of finding energy levels you never knew you had in you and keep revising those goals as you travel along your fitness path. Fitness is not an end destination, just a part of the journey from now until the day you die, and the biggest step you take is the first. From then on just put one foot in front of the other, even if you have a setback just keep going. Ultimately you will reach that elusive goal that a year ago seemed an impossible destination but that goal at some point must become just another stepping stone toward a revised goal. A little too vague perhaps so let’s look at what practical steps you can take. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

If weight loss is your goal then, once you know how much you have to lose, and for the sake of argument it will realistically take a year to lose that weight 'break it down'. In three months you will lose 24lbs and add running to your fitness regime. In 6 months you will have lost 48lbs and you will take up street dance and so on. Savor each success and as that 12 month goal comes close have another one set another for 15 months and one for 18 months and so on. You may not know what those goals are until nearer the time. For example once you have lost the weight, perhaps you always wanted to learn scuba diving, garden design, ballet, boxercise whatever it is that will keep you motivated and more importantly still enjoying your journey into fitness. If strength is your goal and for argument sake your goal in a year was to lift three times your own body weight or enter an amateur body building competition then 'break it down'. In three months you will have doubled the weight you currently lift, in six months you will start to learn posing routines and so on so that when you reach the original goal you already have two or three new ones lined up. If dancing is your dream and you want to dance a solo in twelve months then 'break it down'. In three months I will have learned 10 new dance steps, in six months I will be thinking what type of music I want to dance a solo too and so on, so that when your original goal is reached you have so many more to reach for. Goals do not have to be big either. Many of the great bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger or martial artists like Bruce Lee or dancers like Mikhail Baryshnikov or Anna Pavlova, as they got older never considered themselves finished in terms of goals as they got closer to their original targets they set themselves new ones. Bodybuilders at the top of their field are often happy if they gain 1 inch in a year (massive gains once you get to a certain size in body building are not possible in short time spans). Be they amateur or professional bodybuilders, athletes, dancers they all tweak and perfect what they have and are always looking to improve themselves whatever the increment. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine]

See photo Bruce Lee page from his training diary 1968: The Nerd at the Pool Table.Com That said don't forget to take time out to relax and enjoy the benefits of your increased stamina, flexibility or joy of movement. You don't need to spend hours on end in the gym or dance studio if you are not seeking professional success, but you do need to put the time in. If you are not sure of how to do this, then speak to your instructor we love what we do and love to help in whatever way we can, to let you know how wonderful the fitness journey can be when a part of your day to day life. Fitness really is not the 'end aim' it is living life to the full, working hard, having fun with training colleagues or friends and family and sharing those successes with others or giving yourself a pat on the back when you meet that first goal and again and again. So come on whose first?


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