So, you want to be thinner, fitter, stronger or healthier? Big surprise. Who doesn’t, right? But what is the secret to obtaining your goal? What should you focus on and what should you avoid? In this short text I will try and answer your questions. And relax. This isn’t the “my exclusive training system”-promoting, diet mongering text that you might have feared for.
What is your goal? If it’s health and longevity or getting really good at something – good! If it’s just looking great – think again.
For me training should first and foremost be about health and feeling good about yourself. Both strength training and conditioning can have tremendous effects on your well being and life in general. But you have to keep doing it. It is not a quick fix to get you “beach ready” or whatever. For it to work you have to make it a part of your life and do it because it makes you feel good. If you follow the next tips here, the fitness should come as a bonus.
Find something you like, that you would like to get better at. May it be golf, powerlifting, jumping high or run a mile. To be better at something you have to put in the time and effort to make it happen, and you are much more likely to do so if it is something you enjoy doing and want to be better at. If your goal is to be better at something it is also much easier to set attainable, specific goals than it is if your goal is “just to look good”. It is much easier to know when you can squat 100kg than when you look good enough. If you’re really interested and get “nerdy” about your thing you will find alternative ways to get even better at it, and when you do you will find other things you want to get better at as well.
The strongest type of motivation is intrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from within yourself. Sure you can motivate yourself with extrinsic things like money or the attention you get from others, but when the going gets tough “you really gotta wanna”. This is why your goals should be set to satisfy yourself, it should make you feel good. Your goal shouldn’t make you anxious that you have a long way to get there. Every step on the way should be worth celebrating because you’re that much closer to your goal. So when you´re on your way to that squat PR or that new snowboarding trick: give yourself credit for the work you put in, you deserve it!
And as far as “fitness” goes: Focus on building the fitness needed to reach your goals. This means that your focus should be on what you are able to do with your body (or want to be able to do) rather than what your body should look like. We all start from different places, aiming for different goals and no one’s goals are better than anyone’s, but remember: The only goals that should matter to you are your own.