When making healthy happen, it’s important to stop and celebrate the little wins along the way. While your big goals are important to reach, working towards those goals can feel daunting without including micro goals, or mini milestones, into your plan. A great way to add momentum into reaching your health and wellness goals is to give yourself smaller goals that ladder up to your big win.
What Is a Micro Goal?
Micro goals are small-scale milestones that help you stay engaged with your big goal by celebrating achievements along the way. There’s no hard and fast way to decide what your micro goals should be, but as long as they help keep you motivated—you’re on the right track! For example, if you are working towards losing weight, a micro goal might be fitting into a smaller pant size. Or if you’re training for a half marathon—a new personal record for a shorter distance could be a great way to not only celebrate success but also track your progress.
How to Set Micro Goals
When thinking about how to set and reach micro goals, you need to keep your greater goal in mind. What milestone will help you reach your bigger goal? It may help to just break your big goal up into smaller goals instead of creating additional milestones. By designating complementary or simultaneous micro goals, you’ll stay encouraged with more constant gratification.
Not everyone is working towards a greater goal, but micro goals can still help! If you’re striving to make any positive changes on your health journey, consider setting small milestones to help you track your success.
Why Micro Goals Matter
So now you know howto set micro goals, but you still might be wondering why. In addition to helping track your progress, they help keep you motivated in your journey to make healthy happen. With more tangible results and frequent positive reinforcement, it’s no wonder experts agree setting smaller goals help you reach greater success.
It’s Time to Set Your Micro Goals!
What will help you make healthy happen? Let us know how setting micro goals will help you!
217 Pounds Down And Still Transforming!
Transformation takes time—and perseverance. Joe Scarmack certainly understands this; he weighed close to 500 pounds about eight years ago. Joe lost his young brother surprisingly, who weighed about 600 pounds, and then his mother less than two years later to diabetes. While grieving both he decided he didn’t want to lose his own life to the same issues, and started making healthier choices. Joe started with weight lifting and soon added cardio; then he adjusted his diet. Pounds began to melt away, and Joe felt better and better. Now many years into his lifestyle shift, Joe worked out more than 200 times in 2015 and has set an even higher goal for this year.
Follow Joe’s journey as he takes over the Anytime Fitness corporate Instagram account April 15-21, 2016!
Joe Scarmack, 42
From Farrell, PA | Married to Amanda
Gym: Hermitage, PA
Anytime Fitness Member since 2008
Trainer: Breanna Griffin
Favorite motivational quote: You get out what you put in.
Get to Know Joe
Primary Wellness Goal: “I don’t ever want to go back to being diabetic and want to better cope with disabilities I currently face.”
Struggling with… “The thought of going back to my old ways of eating with no way of stopping myself, or quitting on everything.”
Striving to… “Handle the cards I’ve been dealt in life and show others life doesn’t have to stop when dealing with any disability, whether physical or mental.”
Secondary Goal: “Work out 500 times this year. So far I’m ahead of schedule.”
People describe me as… “Motivational, inspiring, no quit, gym freak, go-getter”
Favorite piece of equipment: “Chest press. Personal best: 600 lbs, 3 reps.”
Least favorite exercise: “Elliptical”
Nutrition tip that’s worked for me: “Read the labels! If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. Single digits and ingredients you can pronounce are good things.”
I’d like to add: “I’ve been doing this for my brother and mother. Not going to die young, weighing 600 lbs like him. I won’t let diabetes slowly kill me like it did her. 217 lbs lost. Diabetes is gone but unfortunately, the damage stays. Such a mental battle every day to get up in the morning and face the world, but I know at the gym I am the world. I’m thankful I have a great wife that has supported me through all the ups and downs the past 8 years. I think she is more upset I get to buy new clothes every six months because everything keeps getting too big on me. I don’t know where the rest of the journey is going to take me, but I know I’m not looking back at where I’ve been.”
Our Guide to Exercising Outside
Heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke, occur when your body can’t cool itself properly. In extreme cases, overheating can hurt the brain and other vital organs. Sweat normally keeps us cool, but in some cases, sweat just can’t keep up with your body.
Plan for the Heat
Schedule your outdoor exercise around the coolest part of the day: early in the morning or after nightfall. Take advantage of shaded paths. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing. Choose cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics that allow air to circulate without chafing. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sports-suitable sunscreen.
We can’t say this enough: drink more water! In high heat and humid conditions, it’s easy to underestimate how much water you need to drink. The CDC directs you to drink 16-32 oz. of water each hour during heavy exercise in a hot environment. If you have a hard time keeping up with that amount, try using flavored water—add a wedge of lime to your water bottle or try a sports drink. If you aren’t on a salt-restricted diet, you can allow yourself a few more salty snacks (like pretzels and chips and salsa) to replenish the sodium lost through sweat.
Exercising outside means you are waving goodbye to the comforts of your indoor gym. For many, that’s the allure—but dressing properly is important. If you plan to break a sweat in a wooded area, put a light jacket over your favorite tank top to make sure you are fully clothed. If you’re working out in a park or on a pathway with little to no shade, make sure to wear a hat and load up on the SPF.
Be Cautious of Overheating
Exercising raises your body temperature, and when the air is hotter than your body, heat can’t dissipate into the air. To make the situation worse, heat gets trapped in dark-colored asphalt and the sun reflects off water, sand and glass, bombarding you with heat from every direction. This environment is ripe for heat-related illness, but with some good sense, you can still enjoy your time outside, without having to pay for it later.
Focus on the experience when exercising outdoors and don’t expect to set personal records. To avoid over-working yourself, wear your heart rate monitor and know your target heart rate for your age and fitness level. The American Council on Exercise even provides a heart rate calculator!
Find an Exercise Buddy or Group
Working out is always way more fun when you do it with friends. It’s also safer—and when you’re exercising outside, safety is top of mind. There are lots of local exercise groups on Facebook and some Anytime Fitness clubs offer free outdoor workouts in the month of May to kick off a summer of fitness fun. Check with your local Anytime Fitness to see where you can find a class!
4 Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Workout
We’re all tempted to cheat on our workout at times—whether you’re talking yourself out of doing that last set, debating if you really need to do cardio today, or convincing yourself to not do leg day so you can walk tomorrow, experiencing a lack of motivation in the gym can be just as detrimental as experiencing it before you get there.
We believe that the only workout hurdles that test us are the ones we jump over, so we’ve compiled a list of ways to stay invested during your entire workout. You’ve got this!
Make it a friendly competition.
Even if you don’t have a competitive nature, having to push your efforts in relation to someone else can be a major motivator. Whether it’s the stranger running on the treadmill next to you or a dedicated workout partner that’s a little bit closer to where you want to be, letting someone else’s motivation rub off on you will help you push yourself farther, keep going longer and stop you from being tempted to quit.
Make a bet.
From fitness accountability apps to friends who won’t let you off the hook, there are plenty of ways to hold yourself accountable—especially when there’s cash on the line. Make a bet with yourself, a friend or an online community about a goal of yours. Whether it’s frequency of workouts for the next two weeks, amount of progress made over the next three months or the amount you’re able to deadlift this time next year, putting your paycheck on the line will make you think twice about skipping that extra rep
Setting physical goals are great, but what powers you to achieve them? The satisfaction isn’t always enough incentive for you to see your goals through, so try giving yourself a tangible reward! A new pair of headphones or maybe a pair of jeans, even a dinner at your favorite restaurant are all awesome ways you an encourage yourself to stay motivated.
Consider a trainer.
Many people think that they don’t need a personal trainer if they know what they’re doing, but working with a trainer at any level can help kick your workout into overdrive. Having a professional there to remind you about form, technique, and following through on each rep will take you further, encourage you to work harder and keep you dedicated for the full duration of your workout.
Sometimes motivation is hard to come by…but with these tips, you’ll be ready to kill it at the gym for the entire time, every time!
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