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How Do I Stay Consistent with my Fitness?

Last week, we discussed “Starting with Why” to clarify your understanding and the foundation for your fitness and health practice.  Why do you want to be physically fit?  To run a marathon?  Keep up with the (grand)kids?  To avoid the flu?  This fundamental question is the foundation of your fitness regime, and the key to staying on track.  Consistent action towards physical fitness starts with Why you are doing it in the first place.

Remembering your Why — writing it down in prominent places, putting reminders on your smartphone, and the like — will do more to keep you consistent than anything else.  A true, genuine “Why?” IS your motivation itself.  Keeping that front and center will keep you taking action day in and day out.  But to implement it, we need to determine “How” to pursue those goals and “What” to do on a daily basis to make our Why a reality.

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Related: Your Guide to Training for a Strong 5k

This is why SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound), goals are so helpful.  A SMART goal aims at a specific outcome These can be events like races, trips, weddings, or anything else you can imagine.  Those are pretty straightforward, such as “finish the Valentine’s Day 5k in less than 24:00”.  “Being healthy” is a worthy aim, but too generic by itself to be a goal — how will you know you have achieved it?  You can turn it into a SMART goal by identifying specific things that would indicate you are healthier.

Along with understanding your Why, developing your SMART goals is part of the process of joining us at CrossFit Slipstream

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For example, if you normally get the flu every year, a SMART goal may be to go through one flu season without getting the flu.  This is specific (no flu), measurable (you’ll need to define ‘flu’ – for example, more than two days with flu-like symptoms), attainable (it is humanly possible), realistic (it is possible for you under your current life circumstances) and time bound (you have a time frame in which to achieve your goal or not.  For this example, one flu season).  This tells you How you’re going to demonstrate that you have improved your health.  Now, What to do to implement it?

Continuing with our flu example, you may choose to do the following:

  1. ensure adequate rest to keep your immune system working well,

  2. improve the quality of your food for the same reason,

  3. get a flu shot as soon as it is available for the upcoming flu season, and

  4. practice good hygiene, like washing your hands before eating.

Notice that three of the four ideas above require daily implementation, and two of them require implementation multiple times per day.  This is how a Why becomes real.  You might say “how your Why manifests in the real world.”  Your What is the work you do day in and day out to make your Why a reality.  This is where the consistency is needed.  By choosing goals and actions that will allow you to realize your genuine Why, and reminding yourself regularly — even multiple times per day — of that Why, you remain motivated to remain consistent, even dogged, in your implementation.

Related: 6 Tips for Maximum Fitness Results

Another element of remaining on track is to find How’s and What’s that minimize the interference with other elements of your life.  Your choice of How to pursue your Why, and What you will do to achieve it directly impacts your likelihood of success.  You could choose to pursue your goal of breaking 24:00 at the Valentine’s Day 5k by running 5 days per week at altitude.  This would require you to move to a high-altitude location.  This would interfere with other elements of your life, and lead you to question your Why.  You could run 5 days per week here.  But What will you do each day?  Run the same loop?  How long should it be?  The same speed?  Training with a group that understands your goals can help you minimize these questions, ease implementation of your What, and make your Why more attainable.

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Along with understanding your Why, developing your SMART goals is part of the process of joining us at CrossFit Slipstream.   Staying accountable to them is part of the process of becoming a fitter, healthier, better version of you, and part of your membership with us.  We are here to help you identify your Why, be your How, and give you What to do to achieve your Why.  Contact me today to see how CrossFit Slipstream can be a part of your Why.

—John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com