Seven Places to Find Support on Your Fitness Journey

Last week I posted about Goal Reevaluation, and I realized that most of the strategies involved working with a coach or a significant other.

So what if you don’t have either of those?

Where can you get support on your fitness journey?

Here’s what I’ve got!

1. Social Media

Reach out to people you follow. I can’t speak for everyone, but most of us are here to help. Whether it’s a simple question, or just needing to talk- that’s what we’re here for!

2. Accountability Groups (step trackers)

Again, the internet has given us literally zero excuses. I have a Fit Bit and I know there are local events, groups, and friends within the app! I assume other trackers do the same.

3. Blogs or Forums

Yes these still exist! I run my site through WordPress and there’s a whole community of like minded fitness people on there.

4. Family

Every family is different, ask that they show up when you need it most, and have your back. Be honest, be up front, but also accept that they might not be YOUR support system.

5. Friends and Workout Partners

Having a workout partner will not only keep you accountable, but they’ll help you feel more comfortable and confident to push past your comfort zone.

6. Coworkers

Sure, the break room is always filled with donuts and cookies, but have you ever thought that Karen might struggle with that too? You’d be surprised at how many people would like to be on their own fitness journey. YOU might end up being that support for them, and vice versa!

7. Events or Classes

Ok, I know this is a sensitive one with Covid restrictions being in place, but when things DO open back up for everyone I’d highly suggest events or classes. Social/human interaction can’t be beat! When I was in college I’d go to spin, zumba, kickboxing, yoga, and play intramural sports. It was a great way to meet people and just have fun with fitness.

So there you have it, seven options for support. If you feel like it’s time for you to dig a little deeper than that, consider working with a coach. I’m here for you!

Goal Reevaluation

You’ve set your goals, you’re working your plan, and you’re wondering what’s next.

Every person will be different, but after a certain period of time you should check back in with your goals and decide if you still value them.

I want to be clear, this is not an excuse to give up on your goals. Don’t quit because of hardship, quit because of priority. Quit because it’s not the right thing for you. Goal reevaluation is a tool to keep you pointed in the right direction towards the best version of yourself.

So evaluate if your goals are actually still important to you. Is running a marathon really important to you? Or are you doing it because you think it will help you lose weight?

Determine if your plan to pursue your goals should to change too. Do you honestly enjoy following a keto diet? Or is a trendy fitness influencer doing it?

Here are my top four goal revaluation tips:

  1. Work with a coach to set customized goals.
    • Let’s say you want to lose 50 lbs. in 3 months. No matter how motivated and excited you are, that is an insane rate of weight loss. Working with a coach can help you create a long term, realistic plan to reach your goals in the best way possible for YOU.
  2. Discuss goals each session/check in to keep progressing.
    • I complete a thorough check in with my clients every week in which I ask them about their short term and long term goals. It may seem repetitive, especially if they don’t change, but it keeps it at the top of mind. And sometimes the goals do change! That’s the point!
  3. Include your significant others and social supports.
    • Support can come in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s emotional support when you’re struggling or maybe it’s practical support to help you meal prep. Be open and honest about what you’re working toward and how they can help. And don’t be surprised if you receive some push back, this is your journey and not theirs. They don’t have to “get it” so ask that they at least respect it.
  4. Recognize that life, work, and family happen.
    • These may cause short term setbacks, disappointment, frustration, and lack of motivation.
    • Other times there will be no real barriers but you may lose focus on your goal. This would be a great time to reevaluate!

The worlds highest performers quit things faster than others. Sort, delete, and move on!

If you’d like help creating the right goals for you, apply for fitness and nutrition coaching by filling out the questionnaire here.

Five Steps to Prevent a Lapse From Turning Into a Relapse

There are going to be setbacks along your fitness journey. It’s important to realize that setbacks are just bumps in the road, not the end of the road.

Instead of viewing your “failures” negatively, switch your mindset to see the value in failures. Small lapses can provide you with a ton of feedback on how to better prepare yourself mentally and physically.

So how do you harness a lapse and make it work in your favor? Follow these five steps:

  1. Accept it.
    • Biological, social, and environmental challenges are hard to overcome. If you can’t control what’s happening, control the way you respond to it. Are you a female dealing with weight fluctuations due to hormones? Accept it. Attending a birthday party while on a diet? Accept it. Temps dropped before your outdoor run? Accept it! Everything is temporary and you’re much better off focusing on what you CAN control instead of what you can’t.
  2. Hit the replay button.
    • Step back and ask yourself “What happened?” Did you attend the birthday party and indulge in 3 slices of cake? Replay the day leading up to that point. Has your diet been too restrictive? Did you go into f*ck it mode?
  3. Take mental note & action.
    • What could you have done to avoid the problem? How could eating a healthy meal before the party have helped? Chances are you’ll have more social events in the future. So make a game plan for next time!
  4. Self monitor.
    • A lot of lifestyle changes simply come down to awareness and planning. Envision yourself succeeding! No matter what it is, what does that version of you look like, say, think, do, etc.? Get super detailed.
  5. Move on.
    • Don’t punish or overcorrect. Trying to make up for lapses with extra cardio or restricting is just the start to a vicious cycle. Focusing on getting back into the right state of mind, returning to your normal routines, and making consistent effort towards your goals.

Don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week or month! Remember why you started. Breathe. And get back on track.

Momentum builds in both directions, if you feel yourself picking up momentum away from your goals, I’m here for you.

To apply for fitness and nutrition coaching you can fill out the questionnaire here.

Five Steps of Problem Solving

There’s no doubt that you will encounter problems on your fitness journey. However, problems are just opportunities to learn and grow. Remember that continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

Instead of spinning your wheels on the same problem for months (or even years), break through it using these steps.

You’ll find there are three possible outcomes. One, the problem isn’t a real problem, but more of an inconvenience. Two, the solution is simple. Or three, the problem is a truth that you will need to accept.

Five Steps of Problem Solving

  1. Recognize the problem
  2. Define the problem
  3. Come up with alternatives
  4. Pick the best solution
  5. Test and verify that solution

*If you get through all five steps and the problem still isn’t solved, then it’s time to repeat steps 4 and 5 and keep working towards a solution.

Let’s dive into an example of a nutrition based problem and possible solutions:

Problem: You stick to your diet all day but you overeat every single night.

Step 1. Diet starts on Monday, and by day 3 you recognize that nightly overeating keeps occurring.

Step 2. You define the problem by either journaling about it or telling someone about it.

Step 3. You come up with alternatives such as having a cup of hot tea instead of food, fasting during the morning so you can eat later in the day, or increasing your overall calories as this may be a sign that you’re actually not eating enough.

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution One): You test the tea solution. And you think “f*ck this, I’m still hungry and this tea ain’t gonna cut it.”

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution Two): You fast in the morning but end up inhaling your food, leaving you overly full… remember the goal is to feel good, not just hit your macros.

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution Three): After a week or so of trying these solutions, you finally increase your overall calories to have more balanced meals that keep you full and satisfied throughout the day, preventing the daily binge at night.

I’m serious when I say take pen to paper and go through these steps. Yes, I know it may seem daunting, but you know what’s even worse? Ruminating on the same problem over the course of months with no actual solution.

If this trial and error doesn’t do the trick, reach out to a coach. I’m happy to answer questions and brainstorm solutions without being hired full time. Sometimes it just takes a few tweaks to find your winning solution!

To apply for fitness and nutrition coaching you can fill out the questionnaire here.

Six Skills for Self Regulation

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In the fitness community we often hear phrases like “discipline beats motivation” and it’s like “Cool… so what does that actually mean?”

Do I drag myself to the gym when I’m dead ass tired? Do I jump into a hardcore bodybuilding diet?

Probably not.

Going harder is not always better. Instead, start using some of these skills for self regulation aka self discipline.

Six Skills for Self Regulation

  1. Set some goals. (see previous post)
  2. Track your behaviors.
    • Pick one to start, like steps, macronutrients, or exercise.
  3. Get feedback on your progress.
    • If you have a coach or a trainer, this should be happening weekly or biweekly.
  4. Create a reward system for yourself.
    • This could be concrete or intangible! Make it meaningful to YOU.
  5. Use motivational self talk.
    • For example, pepping yourself up before or during your workout. Or celebrating little wins along the way.
  6. Confide in social support to boost your confidence.
    • When you have family, friends, or coworkers who are rooting for you, you’ll feel certain that you’re making positive changes in your life!

Put discipline into realistic action steps you can actually use.

Because at the end of the day, self discipline IS self love.

If you’d like help creating better habits and routines to reach your fitness goals, send me a message at littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com.

Challenges, Obstacles, and How to Fix Them

Last week we reviewed why goals work and how to create them, but it’s still easy to fall for these three mistakes. Review your goals and use the strategies below to fix them as needed!

GOAL SETTING CHALLENGES & HOW TO FIX THEM

  1. Failure to set specific goals.
    • Set specific numerical goals that can be assessed.
  2. Setting too many goals too soon.
    • Too many goals are overwhelming and untrackable. Instead set 1-2 short term goals at a time.
  3. Failing to adjust your plan.
    • Adjusting is part of the process. Lowering the goal is just like taking a knee, you’ll be back in the game in no time!

In a perfect world, you’d set ideal goals and pursue them without any interference, but that isn’t likely to happen! So how do you overcome obstacles? You take note of potential challenges and plan specific strategies.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

  1. List benefits of regular exercise. This makes drawbacks seem less important.
    • *Drawbacks are usually hassles, not real issues.
  2. Refuse drawbacks by replacing them with alternatives.
  3. Make a T Chart with three biggest obstacles and three practical alternatives.

It might seem like a lot at first, but goals point you in the direction of your dreams! So dream big, work hard, and make it happen!

If you’d like help setting your own goals, shoot me an email at littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com and we’ll set you up for success!

Your Guide to Goal Setting

You can snap a screenshot of your favorite fitness influencer and use their physique as #goals, but how effective is that going to be in the long run?

Imagine you’re building a house (in this case your body), would you pick a plot of land, randomly start building, and see where you end up? Of course not. You’d create a detailed plan- in this case, detailed goals. So let’s begin with four reasons why goals work in the first place.

GOALS:

  1. Direct your attention and actions
  2. Increase your effort
  3. Improve persistence over time
  4. Help develop new learning strategies

Think about how these apply to your fitness goals. When you have a specific training plan, you’re attention is focused on that, not what cardio machine to camp out on. Your effort increases weekly in order to beat your previous stats, which improves your persistence over time. Not only that, specific goals will help you learn new strategies as you adapt your plan to fit your lifestyle.

Now that we know why goals work, it’s important to know how to create goals specific to you! Use these six goal setting principles to create 1-2 goals of your own.

GOAL SETTING PRINCIPLES:

  1. Set specific measurable goals
  2. Set realistic but challenging goals
  3. Set both short and long term goals
  4. Focus on performance and process
  5. Get goal feedback and evaluation
  6. Set timelines to achieve goals

I think these principles are self explanatory, but I want to touch on are #4-5 for a minute. #4, Focusing on performance and the process will help you complete the daily actions that lead to your outcome! Sometimes the outcome seems so far away that we give up. Focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself! And #5 getting goal feedback. It’s important to share your goals with someone like a trainer, coach or friend who can give you honest feedback. My clients and I do this weekly and it helps us determine what’s working, what’s not, and where to go next!

So now you know why goals work and how to create them. Take some time this week to get crystal clear about what you want so you can start going after it!

And stay tuned next week, we’re gonna dive into navigating potential challenges and overcoming obstacles, because let’s face it, like happens and sometimes we gotta adjust our goals!

If you’d like help setting your own goals, shoot me an email at littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com and we’ll set you up for success!

Are You Asking Appropriate Questions?

When you’re starting a fitness journey it’s easy to ask yourself questions like “How do I get a flatter stomach?” or “What’s the best exercise to burn fat?” Simplistic questions often come with more complex answers though!

Instead, ask yourself powerful questions and get to the heart of your values and desires. These questions will help you determine where you are currently at and help you decide what‘s important to you going forward.

THE QUESTIONS

What is stopping you?

How does this relate to your purpose?

What resources are available to you?

If you could start fresh, what would you do?

Where are you too hard on yourself?

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?

After answering this series of questions, look for opportunities to uncover underlying issues, not just factual answers.

Be precise, use these questions as stepping stones and adapt them to your current journey!

If you’d like help answering powerful questions or making a plan based on your answers then send me an email at littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com I can’t wait to talk with you! Or sign up for online coaching where we will take a deeper dive into strategies like this!

Creating A Clear Focus

This post started out on Instagram, but I received a lot of questions on creating a clear focus, so I figured I would go a little more in depth over here!

The point of setting a goal, is to direct your attention and change your behavior in order to reach it. Let’s say your goal is to gain muscle. You know that in order to do that you will need to lift weights, eat in a caloric surplus, and limit cardio. But every time you hop on Instagram you see your friends perfecting their diets, attending fun group exercise classes, and doing cardio based workouts. You may be tempted to change your behaviors based on social cues, which will ultimately lead you away from your goal. But at the end of the day, creating (and committing to) a clear focus will point you in the right direction and keep you on the path towards what you want most.

Here’s my top four tips on creating clear, focused, goals.

Tip #1 Set long term goals, think big!

Easy “do your best” type goals are not always motivating. Challenge yourself! When coaching my clients, we review their long term goal once a week! The bigger the goal, the more important it is to be reminded of it often.

Tip #2 Climb the ladder one step at a time.

Set some small goals that will help you along the way to your long term goal. Once a week, we also review smaller goals that we’re working towards. These can be behaviors to change or milestones to reach. Short term goals are usually held in the context of weeks or months.

Tip #3 Build your goals on existing strengths.

Instead of saying “I’m gonna stop skipping workouts.” Say “I’m going to maximize my time in the gym to have the most effective workouts!” What are you already doing well? How can you improve upon that?

Tip #4 Don’t deny the difficulties.

Develop strategies for coping with challenges, because they WILL come. Anticipate barriers such as childcare, work schedule, and other commitments that might interfere with your fitness goals. Then, brainstorm possible solutions to each problem so that you’re prepared when they arise!

A clear focus will improve your effort and performance. When you walk into the gym with a focused training plan specific to your goals, there’s no question on where to begin. All you’ll need to do is focus on performing your best! Direction is more important than speed, so be crystal clear on where you’re going.

Most importantly, creating a clear focus gives you ownership of your goal. You’re in the driver seat, stay accountable, and let’s go!

If you’d like help defining your goals and creating a clear focus, send me an email at littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com I’m happy to help!

How to Recover Like a Boss

You’ve got a solid training plan, and you’re motivated as ever, but what happens when you’re three days into your program and you’re feeling destroyed? Quitting isn’t an option, therefore you’ll need to learn how to recover in order to perform at your best. I’ve outlined my top tips when it comes to post workout recovery so that you can keep your body in prime condition.

Active Stretch: My first few tips begin before you even workout. I start all my training sessions with active stretching to warm up the muscles and prepare them for exercise. Doing so helps bring blood to the muscles and increase range of motion, reducing risk of injury.

Foam Roll: There’s a lot of fancy products on the market today, but this is an affordable staple worth purchasing. If you’ve never foam rolled, it’s basically manual therapy to help reduce soreness,  and increase mobility and range of motion. I include foam rolling in my warm up routine, but it can be done after training as well.

BCAAs: Branch Chain Amino Acids usually come in a flavored powder and can be consumed during your workout. If you’re training fasted, this is a necessity during workouts to prevent muscle loss and promote recovery! When selecting a brand, make sure the product includes the three main branch chain amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine. My favorite is “Intra Flight” by Bare Performance Nutrition.

Static Stretch: This type of stretching should be reserved for post workout. It’s a great way to improve flexibility and cool down. The reason I suggest performing these stretches post workout is because your muscles are already warmed up and “loose” if you will.

Protein Powder: If you’re consuming enough whole food sources of protein, then protein powder isn’t essential, but it is a rather tasty, and convenient way to meet your protein requirements! The best time to consume powders is post workout because it will kick start muscle protein synthesis. Consider digestibility, taste preference, and budget when choosing the right one for you. My favorite is Peanut Butter Cookie vegan protein powder by Bare Performance Nutrition!

Sleep: The easiest, yet hardest part of the recovery process. Life is busy and we often don’t prioritize sleep, but it is when we rest that our body recovers! I know it’s hard, but aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

Water: When your body is properly hydrated, your metabolic function improves. This is because nutrients are distributed throughout the body, which allows them to be absorbed and used for energy (and recovery). There’s many recommendations for the amount of water you should consume. Check out my post on hydration to see a few. At the end of the day, I always believe the best recommendation is the one that you will stick to! So set a goal and stick to it!

Rest: There seems to be this idea that we should have #nodaysoff and while I love the hustle mentality, that’s just not the best way to make progress! Make sure to schedule in 1-2 rest days a week and give your body a break!

Stay Active: I know you’re thinking “Wait didn’t you just tell me to rest?” and you’re correct, but that doesn’t mean turning into a couch potato all day. I recommend getting movement and blood flow in on your rest days. Go outside for a walk, get some chores done around the house, or play outside with your family. A body in motion, will stay in motion!

There’s a lot of fancy products and services geared towards recovery but before investing in cryotherapy or deep tissue massages, try nailing these recovery tips first! It’ll save your muscles and your wallet!

Ready to start your plan and make real sustainable progress towards your goals?

Contact me to snag your spot.

Coaching: Apply here!

Instagram: @littlewarriorfitness

Email: Littlewarriorfitness@gmail.com