By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
Do you find yourself disappointed when you don’t see what you want to see in photos or the mirror, or when you step on the scale? Or do you find yourself frustrated and getting down on yourself for not performing to your expectations during workouts? 🙁
I often see people who are trying to reach the next fitness level with a somewhat “backwards” approach, which can trigger a lack of motivation and even put a temporary halt to your fitness program. One of the biggest examples of this is when someone (maybe you?) aims low with their program but sets their expectations high, such as taking 2-3 exercise classes per week, eating 60-70% on target during the week, having full-on cheat weekends and expecting to reach their goals, only to have their balloon deflated when they don’t see progress.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
“I eat healthy most of the time and go to the gym every week! Why don’t I see more muscle, and why can’t I lose this belly fat?” 🤷 If you aren’t seeing the progress you’d like to see, are you somehow aiming low but expecting to see great results in one or more of these areas: strength-training, cardio, nutrition or recovery? Take a closer look at what you’re doing to enhance your progress. It could be you are slacking off more than you realize. 🔍
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Here’s how to set realistic expectations and keep disappointment at bay.
1. Set Specific Goals Make sure you are very clear about your goals. Don’t “just wing it” and think you’ll get anywhere. Too often, people go to the gym out of a sense of duty and go through the motions of a workout, not even knowing why they are doing the exercises they are doing. Be as specific as possible about what you are trying to achieve.
2. Create Structure To Meet Your Goals Once you know your specific goals, create your strength-training, cardio and nutrition program structure to be 100% in line with those goals. Or get help from a professional to create a structured program for you (see step #4).
3. Track Everything Make no mistake about this: the only way to see the whole picture and pinpoint your nutrition and workouts is to track everything! As a trainer, in order for me to know what is or isn’t working for a client is to see how everything is working (or not working) together. I need to see daily detailed nutrition logs, specific exercises (even the technique they might be using, or if their form is good or not), how much they are sleeping and recovering, what their cardio looks like, etc. You can’t possibly know what you are doing right or wrong unless you can see everything in detail. ✍️
4. Seek Guidance If you want legal advice, you would seek out the help of a professional attorney. If you want medical advice, you would ask a doctor. Why would it be any different with creating a solid fitness program for your specific needs and goals?
5. Maintain Accountability If you have a hard time being accountable to yourself, a trainer or coach can do wonders for your progress. So often we are fine with letting ourselves down, but often we don’t want to let someone else down. If you don’t want to hire a trainer or coach, then find a group of people or workout buddy to be accountable to.
6. Keep Your Expectations In Check Be patient with yourself and try to not have any expectations about how quickly you’ll start seeing progress, or how much progress you expect to see in a certain time frame. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment, which can turn into a downward psychological spiral. Instead of focusing on expectations, focus on achieving your daily goals that will eventually lead to the progress you want to see and don’t set a time limit on achieving these goals.
7. Keep Your Promise If you read last week’s Tip Me Tuesday, you learned how
important it is to keep your promise and follow through with what you set out to achieve. It is easy to follow through for the first few weeks when you’re excited and motivated about your fitness goals. But once the reality of your daily tasks set in, it might be easy to lose sight of your goals and start letting things slide. Keep your promise to follow through, even when you don’t feel like it. 🤝
8. Re-evaluate Often It is important to re-evaluate your goals every 3-6 months, because goals can (and need to) change as you progress. Maybe they have changed slightly, or maybe they are the same… but double check, just in case.
9. Be Realistic Are you being honest with yourself about what you want to achieve and realistic about being able to achieve it? Make sure you are being “real” with yourself.
10. Go Back To Step 1 After you have gone through all of these steps, go back to step one and revisit all of the steps often. Print them out and stick them on your bathroom mirror or fridge if you have to, and make sure they are staring you in the face every day! 📋
It’s so easy to let “life get in the way” and start letting things slide. Before you know it, you’re disappointed because your expectations aren’t met. By following the above steps, you can expect the unexpected with your fitness progress in a good way! 😁
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.