January is the start of a new year. The start of a new year means many individuals setting New Year’s resolutions related to starting exercise. As a performance specialist, my job is not to only help people start to exercise and maintain participation but to improve their performance in exercise as well.
Jillian is a co-owner of a fashion brand business. She also runs a fashion and makeup blog. Jillian experiences days that she hits the snooze button once just to squeeze in ten more minutes of sleep. During breakfast, she constantly hears her two sons say “Mommy I need you to sign these forms.” “Getting these forms sign are homework assignments that I forgot about last night.” “Mommy I forgot to pack my backpack last night.” “I cannot find my textbooks or homework assignments.”
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In the evening, she cooks dinner and helps her children with their homework assignments. After her children go to bed, she does other tasks to take care of the house. Before she realizes it, the day is over. She is rushing to bed to get as much sleep as possible. Since her husband is out of town a lot, she has to get up extra early to make breakfast and get her children ready for school. On the weekends, sometimes she wakes up forgetting that it is Saturday or Sunday. She goes back to bed looking forward to sleeping in only to hear her children say “Mommy make me breakfast please.”
Jillian heard that a performance enhancement consultant can help her begin, maintain, and improve her performance in exercise. She attended her first session last week. Before Jillian got married, she participated in running races all the time. She was also muscular and had a six-pack. Since starting a family, Jillian neglected her own needs by putting her family and her job as her main priorities. Jillian wants to start exercising again so that she can fit into clothes that she liked to wear prior to getting married.
Jillian went in for a follow-up session with the performance enhancement consultant. The first exercise performance consulting session consisted of going over the rules, expectations, gathering background information, and building rapport. We must establish a solid relationship prior to focusing on exercise performance. During the first session, we covered ways for her to get exercise to work around her responsibilities as a mother and a boss.
The second session focuses on proper goal-setting techniques and accomplishing her exercise goals for 2019. The second session starts with checking if Jillian had any questions over what we covered during the first session and progress that she has made.
Afterward, the performance enhancement consultant asked Jillian did she set any exercise goals for 2019. She informed her that she did saying that “she wants to lose weight to fit her pre-marriage clothes.” The other goal was to participate in running competitions again.
Afterward, we discussed that Jillian was not setting goals correctly. The first goal was too broard, which is a common mistake that people make in setting goals for themselves. The other mistake was that both of her goals were long term goals. She also did not write down any of her goals.
Goal-setting is a task that everyone has done in his or her lives. Clients are often unaware that they are not setting goals properly. We discussed proper goal-setting techniques.
The first thing that we covered related to goal-setting was writing down Jillian’s fitness goals for 2019. The performance enhancement consultant cannot emphasize enough the importance of writing down her exercise goals.
We discussed using the same notebook to write down her goals that she uses to keep track of her exercise activities. Since Jillian just started to exercise, it is easy for her to currently remember her goals. Without writing down her goals, Jillian would likely forget about her exercise goals during bad workouts and daily stress related to being a mother and at her job.
Long-term goals are necessary. However, long-term goals cannot be the only goals that you set to achieve your fitness goals for 2019. Many people make the mistake of setting only long-term goals and believe that they have completed the task of goal-setting correctly.
Short-term goals play an important role in Jillian reaching her long-term goal. Short-term goals must be related to your long-term goal. Think of short-term goals as a plan to achieve Jillian’s long-term goal.
These small goals enable Jillian to see progress and help increase her motivation and her confidence to achieve her long-term goal. A negative aspect of long-term goals is they can take a lengthy amount of time to accomplish. Without short-term goals, Jillian can easily lose her confidence and motivation to achieve her long-term goal due to her not seeing much progress.
We changed her long-term goal of losing weight to fit into her pre-marriage clothes to a specific and measurable goal of losing 80 pounds. What short-term goals will help her achieve that goal? Some examples of short-term goals include losing 10 pounds each month over five months. Another short-term goal is losing five pounds per month for five months.
Next, we went over using the acronym SMART to help her set goals correctly. Each letter of the word smart stands for one of the five important aspects of goal-setting to follow each time that Jillian sets a goal.
Specific-The goal must be specific. As previously discussed above, a common mistake is setting goals that are too broad. Some examples are I want to lose weight, I am going to exercise in 2019, I want to get in shape in 2019.
Measurable-Jillian needs to be able to determine that she has achieved her goals. The only way to determine that she has accomplished her goals is to set measurable goals.
Attainable-The goal must match up with her current physical condition and exercise abilities so that she would be able to attain her goal.
Realistic– The goal needs to be realistic meaning it has to be something that you can accomplish within the time frame that you gave yourself to reach that goal. It is important to adjust your goals as necessary.
Timely-Jillian needs to set a timetable for herself to reach your goals. With giving herself a specific date to accomplish a specific goal, it helps her maintain motivation to continue to exercise. For example, two weeks or one month.
We also went over external motivation again. Besides rewarding herself for doing the proper amount of exercise each week, Jillian can also reward herself for every small goal that she accomplished. After she accomplishes her current goals, she needs to set new goals to maintain her motivation in exercise and continue to improve her performance.
I emphasized with Jillian that she needs to pay attention to the progress that she has made by starting exercise last week and forming goals today. She should be proud of herself for making improvement in starting an active lifestyle by simply starting to exercise last week.
We all think that only a huge improvement qualifies as an improvement. This belief is false. Last week, Jillian did two hours of moderate exercise. She got mad at herself for only walking ten minutes on two days last week, and she was also upset that she did not do 2.5 hours of moderate exercise.
Jillian made an appointment next week for her third session with the performance enhancement consultant.
Rest and recovery are also important components to Jillian achieving her fitness goals for 2019. Unfortunately, we all have been trained to believe that rest is the same thing as laziness. Rest means that you are not a hard worker. Contrary to this false belief, rest and recovery are necessary for Jillian and anyone else who wants to achieve their fitness goals in 2019.
Rest and recovery enable Jillian to be fresh physically and mentally to perform at her best on days when she does exercise.
This post was written by Patty Luu who is a performance enhancement consultant. A performance enhancement consultant is also known as a performance specialist.
After Patty obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Randolph-Macon College, she went on to get a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology from the University of Tennessee in May 2014.
Patty also took a course in health and exercise psychology as part of her graduate education at the University of Tennessee.
She founded Driven To Peak Consulting in December 2017, which helps individuals in exercise, sports, and other domains learn performance enhancement skills in working together with her individually or in groups to improve their performance.
The performance enhancement skills along with a non-traditional approach to exercise can also help individuals begin, maintain, and reach peak performance in exercise. Patty resides in Henrico, Virginia. With technology, she can help individuals worldwide improve their performance.
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