There is something about fresh starts in autumn. As the leaves begin to change and the nights get colder, many of us feel the pull to start something new or return to fitness routines disrupted by summer adventures.
Our September resolutions are often powered by the same short-term bursts of enthusiasm that lead the charge in January and slowly fade by March. This fall, consider taking steps toward investing in motivation that can stand the test of time by building a stronger connection to your goals.
As you begin planning for your fall fitness goals, try writing out answers to these five questions:
1. How will my life be different if I accomplish this goal?
Consider what it would mean to be successful and how it would positively impact you. Close your eyes and picture yourself achieving your goal. Could this be a starting point for even more exciting goals ahead?
2. Where am I starting from?
Consider current behaviours, habits, schedules, and potential obstacles. Setting a goal without asking this question is kind of like entering a destination into Google Maps without knowing your current location; you might get to your desired end point eventually, but it will certainly take longer and be a lot more frustrating. Making a list of what life looks like ‘pre-goal’ will help you anticipate challenges and identify the best route to where you are going.
3. What specific steps are required to get to my goal?
This is an opportunity to explore the “how” that will get you from your starting location to the figurative, or potentially literal, finish line. Taking the time to create a plan also helps you to figure out when you might need to ask an expert for help or seek social support.
4. What is the easiest first step?
Go for the low hanging fruit first, even if that means simply packing a gym bag as part of your bedtime routine or adding a new stretch into your warm-up. Tasks will seem less daunting when they are broken down into ‘wins’ that you can celebrate as you go.
5. What personal strengths do I possess that can help me achieve this goal?
Finally, give yourself a confidence boost! What skills and personal resources have you used in the past to find success? Make a list of all the great things about you that fuel your ability to accomplish this goal, and keep it visible!