Getting back on the horse after the break

05 January 2015

Getting back on the horse after the break

What Am I Doing Beyond This Holiday Break…

Most folks take a break over the Christmas and New Year.. But how many of you are setting goals ready for the first week back?

Getting back on the horse after any holiday break can be challenging. Many people find that having a goal in mind gives them something to work towards, motivates them to stay on track and provides a measure of how well they are doing.

If you’re trying to become more physically active, realistic, well-planned goals keep you focused and motivated.

Remember to see your doctor for a medical check-up before starting any new fitness program, particularly if you are over 40 years, overweight, haven’t exercised in a long time or suffer from a chronic medical condition.

The main principles of effective goal setting include:
-Pinpoint your ultimate goal.
-Make your goals known to others.
-Work out the best way to achieve your goal.
-Break down your ultimate goal into small, specific and achievable mini-goals.
-Monitor your progress regularly.
-Include a reward in your goal-setting process. Plan for how you will benefit if you meet this goal.
-Adapt your goals to fit changing circumstances.
-Don’t berate yourself or give up if you fall short.
-Pinpoint your ultimate goal

Suggestions include:
1. Be realistic. Your ultimate fitness goal could be to be fit enough to participate in a CT event on a set date or to do 50 laps of the pool. Whatever the case, make this goal realistic. Remember that most of us will never be world-famous athletes or supermodels. Think about what is achievable for you. Write down your goals.
2. Be specific. Don’t make your ultimate goal a general statement like: ‘I want to lose weight’. Make it measurable. Exactly how many kilograms do you want to lose? (find a picture)
3. Choose a goal that is meaningful and important to you, not to anybody else. For example, if your partner wants you to lose weight, but you’re happy as you are, you may find it difficult to commit to your exercise routine in the long term.
4. Find out how to achieve your ultimate goal

Once you have decided on your health and fitness goal, you need to consider how you will reach that goal.

Different fitness goals require different approaches. For example, weight loss requires you to regularly burn more kilojoules than you consume. An effective strategy may include:
-Choose aerobic activities such as walking or Kaos (Commando Tough)
-Exercise for at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week.
-Cut out junk food.
-Eat smaller food portions over more regular timings.
-Increase the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats in your daily diet.

Set small, specific mini-goals.

You are more likely to reach your ultimate goal if you break it down into small, short-term goals. Short-term goals are specific, daily actions or behaviours that lead you to your ultimate goal. Suggestions include:

You need to know your starting point, so you can pick activities that are comfortable and realistic for you, and build slowly at a pace that feels right for you.
Set a reasonable time frame. For example, if you want to lose 20kg, then a realistic weight loss of 1kg of body fat per week means that you need to allow yourself around 20 weeks.

Consider your exercise routines as mini-goals. For example, one mini-goal might be to exercise on all or most days of the week. Mini-goals should be set for every week or every fortnight. The more mini-goals you achieve, the more motivated you will become.

If you are unsure how to best achieve your particular fitness goals, ask an expert. For example, see your doctor, or talk to the qualified and certified personal trainer’s.

Monitor your progress regularly.

Adapt to changing circumstances.

Life can interrupt your training schedule. Suggestions include:
-Think about ways to cope with interruptions. For example, you may not be able to exercise in your usual way when on holidays, but you can always walk or use the hotel fitness facilities.
-If you get injured or ill, don’t abandon your fitness goals. Instead, adjust your ultimate goal’s time frame. Come up with micro-goals to keep you on track while you recover. For example, you may be too ill to exercise, but you can improve your diet.
-Write down these micro-goals in your training diary to keep up your motivation.
-If your fitness goal seems beyond you, set your sights a little lower, readjust your mini-goals and stay motivated.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Sometimes, you may find that your fitness goal is too ambitious. For example, maybe you are losing 0.5kg a week instead of 1kg. Suggestions include:
-The first few months of a new exercise program are always the most challenging. Adjust your short-term goals, persist and have faith that things will get easier with time.
-Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle is a tremendous achievement, even if your fitness goal is a little harder to reach than you first thought. Flip back to the start of your training diary and appreciate how far you’ve come.
-Have a secondary fitness goal in mind. For example, if your ultimate goal is to lose 20kg, a loss of 15kg may be your secondary goal. Achieving this secondary goal is still a great success.
-Don’t give up. You’re worth the effort.

Things to remember
-Break down your ultimate health and fitness goal into small, specific and achievable mini-goals.
-Keep a training diary to monitor your progress.
Always see your doctor for a medical check-up before starting any new fitness program, particularly if you are over 40 years, overweight, haven’t exercised in a long time or suffer from a chronic medical condition.

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