If you want to see results from your workouts, you need to get intentional. Not just about creating consistent habits around staying active, but about whether you’re doing the workouts that are actually getting you closer to your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight or put on muscle mass will dictate that type of fitness you engage in.
What’s more, getting intentional about finding support, changing your mindset and committing to the work will keep you going when the going gets tough. If you’re serious about your achieving your fitness resolutions in 2020, here’s what you need to know.
Choose the right program for your fitness goals
Before you create a workout schedule, you need to figure out what you want to achieve and then find a program tailored to those goals. Do you plan to run a half-marathon, for instance, or is your main objective to build stronger muscles and reach a healthier weight?
Once you know the desired outcome, you can choose workouts that help you reach those goals. Here are a few examples of programs based on specific goals:
- Half Marathon Training Plans (Runner’s World)
- Body Building Programs to Put on Muscle (BodyBuilding.com)
- 7-Day Weight Loss Workout Plan (MyFitnessPal & Shape)
While it’s important to get specific about goals and then using them to tailor an effective workout program, you should also bring in holistic goals that promote long-term health benefits. Author and fitness teacher Larry Sarokin explains:
“Yoga, for example, trains both the body and mind at the same time. CrossFit is a combination of strength and stretching. Tai Chi trains balance and joints. In the West, we tend to separate workouts into categories—strength, stretches, meditation and cardio. In Eastern disciplines a training program is expected to develop your whole person—mind, body, nervous system and breathing.”
This might mean taking one or two days a week to integrate more holistic fitness and wellness, like yoga, stretching or dance.
Work with a coach or personal trainer
Whether you’re a complete workout novice or have been exercising for years, a coach or trainer can equip you with the skills, resources and motivation needed to get and stay intentional with your workouts. A trainer knows how to build a customized program, bolster your confidence, and educate you on nutrition and recovery in order to both sustain and optimize your performance.
“When it comes to fitness, everyone is different. Your unique body mechanics, experience, goals, fitness level, likes and dislikes can guide your trainer to create a plan that is specific to your needs […] A trainer can help you find credible information and provide direction on your fitness journey,” explains Amber Long, M.E.d.
More importantly, a trainer or coach will also hold you accountable to your goals, ensuring that when the going gets tough—and it will—you stay as intentional as you were on day one.
Identify micro goals that lead to long-term milestones
Marathoners do not just decide one morning to lace their sneakers and run 26.2 miles. They start by training for a local 5k race or build short runs into their routine and incrementally add mileage to boost their endurance and strength. This gives them intention and focus because each workout is building on the one before as they work toward their goal.
Setting micro-goals, like increasing your mileage by 2 miles each week, are crucial to your success in 2020, so don’t overlook their value. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of micro goals from MyFitnessPal for inspiration:
- Take the stairs to your office instead of an elevator.
- Set an alarm on your phone to stand up and move each hour.
- Leave the conference room for a staff “walking meeting.”
- Invest in quality fitness sneakers, clothes and gear.
- Keep healthy snacks within reach to fuel your workouts.
- Create an exercise playlist with songs that make you feel energized.
- Explore the parks and outdoor spaces around where you live.
- Park further away from a destination, so you’re forced to walk.
Slowly but surely, you can see your workout goals come into view. With each heart-pounding workout, walk up the stairs, or increase in squat weight, you’ll feel stronger, more confident and more dedicated than ever to the work you’re putting in.
Get intentional with your workouts
If you’re ready to take your workouts from an after-work chore you dread to a powerful tool you can leverage to turn your health goals into a reality, it’s time to get intentional. Figure out what your end goal is, and then find a program that gets you there. Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it and set micro goals that get you to the finish line. With an intentional mindset, you’ll get there one step at a time.