Reach your Fitness Goals – Erica Holiday
Reach your Fitness Goals
Erica first entered her first competition in 2010 and did well, so she found a coach and continued down the bodybuilding path. After entering her first WBFF competition, she knew she’d found the federation for her and decided to go after her Pro Card, which she received in August 2012 in both Fitness model and Bikini divisions!
Her goals for the future include training clients to help them reach their full potential, competing in her debut Pro Show in 2013 and a few other fitness related projects. Of course, she would also love to grace the cover of a major fitness magazine one day, as every bodybuilder dreams!
The Pre-Transformation Checklist: “Reach your Fitness Goals”
It’s a New Year with new dreams to chase and fitness goals to reach!
For many the excitement and resolution to follow through on these fitness goals begins to wane by mid-February. You can see that in the gym alone. The first week of January you are lucky to find a parking spot, but by the second week of February, it’s “Hey! Where’d everyone go?” No one aims to fail…but life gets busy, obstacles cross our paths, and soon we lose sight of why we started, become de-motivated and just give up. That’s why I put together a list of questions to help you really think through these goals. This isn’t some revolutionary process…just a simple investment of genuine thought: written down, reviewed often, with follow through.
I believe with some thought and planning you’ll stay motivated and your fitness goals will be attainable. So, go grab a pencil and notepad now because you’ll need to invest a little mind work. This is mainly meant to be a guide – because only you can answer the questions and apply them – but I will offer tips and advice along the way to help you generate your own ideas and create steps to success to reach your fitness goals!
The first question on the Pre-Transformation Checklist is “WHY?”
WHY do you want to transform yourself and have fitness goals? Is there a certain toned look or harder body ideal you are after? Is there an outfit you want to fit into finally? Do you have a special event this year – like a reunion or anniversary that is motivating you to do a body makeover? Or perhaps entering a bodybuilding competition is on your bucket list? Maybe it’s something even bigger like health issues, or desiring to set a good example for family? Think about your reasons then write them down. Identifying “Why” is important because it is the foundation of your change. Think of it as your body’s Mission Statement. The best answers to “Why” are going to be sustainable of course, unlike a one-time event, but don’t worry about that yet. As you progress in your transformation to your fitness goals, you’ll probably find you don’t want to return to a lesser state of health and fitness and your “Why” may change.
The “Why” leads directly into Question number two, which is:
“WHO?” WHO are you doing this for?
In my opinion there should only be ONE answer to this question. Whatever your reasons for embarking on a journey to a greater level of strength and well-being, you must resolve to do this primarily for You. (You are the “Who”, let others be the “What”, if you choose….more on this later) And, hopefully, the outcome will be that family and friends will watch and learn from you and decide to do the same for themselves and reach their own fitness goals. Striving for fitness-related goals is no easy commitment! It’ll take a lot of your time, your energy, and your dedication – do this for You. Your resolve and success in transforming will positively impact everyone in your life as a result. It’s a win-win! This is a good tip for us moms, as well. Sometimes we need to find something that is ours’ alone and work at it. Kids learn Mom is not just a mom, but an individual – a strong, healthy, and confident woman. Kids will learn much from a healthy lifestyle that leads to a healthy self-image.
Once you have your foundation of Why and Who.
Consider Question number three: WHAT motivates you?
What flames the passion inside you? Is it reading quotes or browsing fitness magazines or listening to music? Is it planning a reward? Maybe you are motivated by supportive friends and family – or just the looks on their faces as you slowly and progressively transform your body? Here are a few things that personally keep me going: For starters, I love motivational quotes – especially when a photograph or stimulating image is attached to it, to helpme reach my fitness goals. In fact, my planner and Facebook pages are full of these. Often the quotes I post are words I needed to hear or images I needed to see that day…or because I know someone else who does.
Sometimes I find an uplifting message that helped me through a particularly hard time and I post it hoping to encourage others who may be struggling. It truly inspires and motivates me to inspire and motivate others! People are my main “What”. Another thing that pushes me towards my goals is collecting pictures of fitness models who I admire. It may be that I’m working on obtaining “her” abs or “her” delts this season. Seeing the images of those strong women helps me to focus and visualize what my efforts will achieve! But a word of caution: No Comparing! We may never have those exact glutes, for example, but we can work hard and love our progress from season to season. Comparison is an ugly game to play in your head and I believe what is inside eventually radiates outward. It can also lead to low self-esteem and is a huge DE-motivator! So, be positive and focus on your personal best! One quick thing to add: if rewards are your motivation, try to stay on track by choosing healthy ones. Don’t feed a bad habit by rewarding yourself with a big cake, for example. Instead, buy yourself a new workout outfit or training shoes – it’ll motivate you right back into the gym and that’s a step in the right direction!
The number four question is: WHAT hinders you?
Do you have friends or family who make negative comments? Do you tend to cheat on your nutrition? Are you having difficulty finding a place to work out? Do you tend to give up when you don’t see results fast enough? Do the same obstacles always stop you in your tracks from year to year? Identify these now. I think I most often hear from people that their significant other or family just doesn’t “get” why they want to invest the necessary time and energy into reaching a new fitness level. They’re surrounded by constant negativity in their efforts to change and it truly makes progress difficult. Trust me, I understand this. It took a lot of time for those closest to me to make sense of what I was doing.
My advice? You can’t get rid of family and shouldn’t ditch your true friends, but do widen your circle to incorporate like-minded, upbeat people who will inspire, encourage, and support you. You’ll find that you’re able to ignore the negative folks’ commentary if you invite more positive friends into your life. If your main hindrance is nutrition-related, don’t keep junk food in your house…Period. However, do realize that you will mess up on your diet one day, because we are human. Stop and pick right back up where you left off next meal! Don’t wait until “tomorrow” or “Monday” and put yourself back further. Just keep going forward from here on and each time you slip. Social events can be a nutrition nightmare. Learn to choose wisely off of a menu or bring your own food, if acceptable for the occasion.
Try to plan get-togethers that revolve around activity rather than eating whenever possible. If your place to work out is an issue – whether you don’t know where to start, don’t believe you can afford a gym or just need a change of pace – there is something out there for everyone these days! Gyms, with fees as low as $10/month, are popping up all over the place. Or switch to a studio that offers a variety of classes to keep you interested. Or try at-home, minimal equipment or body-weight-only workouts, depending on your final objectives. There are some great free YouTube.com videos that show you how to perform any exercise you can think of – at home or in a gym. I’ve used some of these and they can be very helpful when I’m in a rut. And, of course, you can always find books and magazine articles to get you started as well. Working out at home may also solve a time issue you are having. And let me remind you that one hour spent working out is only 4% of your entire day! With lasting, lifelong benefits! Don’t let time be an excuse.
Lastly, I just have to address the “not-seeing-results-fast-enough” obstacle with a bit of motivation from a quote I love, because we have all been there: “Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress….is progress.” –Rosley. ‘Nuff said!
The last Question to answer as part of your checklist is the “How” and it’s the most important of them.
HOW are you going to make these goals a reality?
This part is also the hardest. We can dream all day long of doing, but the part that connects the vision to the end result is the most important – it’s the PLAN. It comes even before one step of exertion. You’ve labeled your goals and obstacles, now you need a roadmap – the only way goals can be achieved. To get this you need to answer “How”? I’m a big fan of the old-fashioned “write it down” because it organizes your thoughts and it’s a simple visual reminder. Be sure to BE SPECIFIC and make your “How’s” tangible. Plot it out and include the “What’s” – how will you use your motivators and handle your obstacles? It might look something like this:
Plan of Action:
- I will MAKE the necessary time to reach my fitness goals. I will commit to approximately 45minutes to 1 hour, 3 to 4 days/week in the gym which will include weights and cardio. (As my fitness level increases, I will adjust the amount of time)
- I will use a holistic approach to meet my goals, to transform my mind and body together. I will start by signing up for a Saturday morning Yoga class to refresh and increase my flexibility.
- I will expand my circle of friends and mentors to assist in reaching my goals. I commit to meeting at least two new friends this month who share my positivity and love of fitness.
- I will follow my dietary plan that will get me to that greater level of fitness. To aid in my compliance, I will throw out all the foods in my house not serving my nutritional goals.
Next, write down at least one step that you will take TODAY. Just one step in the right direction will lead to more. It can be simple.
- Today, I will make a collection of music on my ipod that motivates me during my workouts.
- or Today, I will start a folder of inspirational quotes, pictures, articles, recipes, and workouts.
Finally, don’t forget your long-term fitness goals and plans. For example, future implementations might include:
- To help me reach my fitness goals efficiently and safely I will hire a personal trainer and/or nutritionist by ______.
- I will register for a Bodybuilding/Fitness competition by _____, to add a level of accountability to my plan. (of course, I highly recommend www.wbffshows.com)
If you’ve considered all of these questions completely and written down your answers, along with a plan and fitness goals, then your checklist is complete!
One final thought: one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your health and fitness goals is to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist. They can offer a higher level of accountability and will truly push you and guide you safely to that next level of your fitness goals. I’ve been working with my trainer/nutritionist out of Oregon for three years and have made great strides in my physique that would have been impossible on my own. A dedicated athlete and an experienced trainer can make a killer team! If you decide a P.T. is right for you, share your checklist with them and collaborate on a plan that makes sense for what you want to accomplish in your fitness goals.
Now, that you’ve gone through the Pre-Transformation Checklist, you’re ready to begin a journey you’ll never regret to your fitness goals. So get out there and DO it! You know your Why, Who, Whats, and How….so go to Work and Win! Being healthy and fit equals strength equals beauty equals empowerment.
Good luck and remember:
“Dream, Believe, Exert, and Achieve!”
Erica Holiday WBFF Pro