Some people start working out and expect the scale to drop rather quickly. It can be really discouraging to go in with that mindset because if you’re expecting to see the numbers go down and they don’t, a lot of people give up because of that. But the fact of the matter is: muscle weighs MORE than fat. So if you’re gaining muscle and losing fat, the scale might actually go UP instead of down. But that’s not a bad thing!
I think the best way to stay motivated is to set goals NOT related to your on-the-scale weight. If you’re big into the fitness world, you’ll hear these called “non-scale victories” or NSV. You don’t need to watch the scale in order to know you’re making progress. Here are some other goals to focus on besides losing weight to keep you motivated on your fitness journey:
1. Drink more water every day. Technically, we’re supposed to be drinking 1/2 a gallon of water per day. I am awful at remembering this, so this is a goal I set for myself. Get a cute new water bottle and try to drain it 3 times a day.
2. Commit to a group class. Working out with others can make it a lot more enjoyable. Commit to going to at least 5 classes to see your improvement. Check out Groupon to get started for a discount!
3. Increase flexibility. This is another one of mine. I was a cheerleader half my life, and used to be way more regular with my yoga than I have been lately. I’ve lost a lot of flexibility and I’m working toward getting it back. This is something I think most of us can agree we need work on!
4. Picking HEALTHY options. When given the choice between healthy and not-so-healthy, choose to go the healthy route. If you don’t want to cook, find a place you love that has healthy options. Avoid fast food as much as you can.
5. Run a race. This is my favorite thing to see people work toward! Running a race of some kind is a great goal to have. You can start out walking a 5k if you need to, but get out there and do it. Work your way up at your own pace. This goal comes with a great feeling of accomplishment and gratification.
6. Don’t have a New Year’s resolution, have a year-round resolution. We all fall into the “New Year’s Resolution” trap where the year ends and we are so determined to get back in shape. But that quickly fizzles out, right? Did you know January is the biggest month for gym memberships every year? This is why! But come February, most people fall off the wagon. Make working out a part of your every day schedule so you can stay dedicated and have it be a part of your routine.
7. Set a number of times a week to workout. I have a goal to work out a minimum of 3 times a week. Sometimes it’s 5, but I have to do 3. This gives you some leeway on those days you’re tired. BUT you still have to hit 3, so don’t use this as a way to procrastinate!
8. Work at perfecting your form. Do the perfect pushup. Make sure your back is straight, 90 degree elbows, etc. Make sure your knee doesn’t go over your toe in your lunges. Perfect your yoga poses. There are plenty of things to work toward in terms of getting better form. Working out with good form will make you stronger faster, so it’s a win-win!
9. Work towards a number, not your weight. Maybe you want to be able to lift in a certain amount of weight, or do a specific number of reps. Work your way up to those numbers gradually, and then set another goal for the same thing once you hit it.
10. Clean up your diet, but not by counting calories. Set a goal to eat more fruits and veggies in a week. Start planning your meals for the week so you don’t have to impulse buy lunch or dinner. I grocery shop online every week to save both time and money from not buying things I don’t need.
Make sure you’re setting SMART goals. Meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. All of these can easily be made into a SMART goal. I’ll give you an example:
I told you I’m currently working on flexibility. That’s pretty general, right? I have to make that more specific. So my goal is I want to be able to do a split again. That’s specific. I’ll measure it but how far I progress each week, and my goal is a month from now. The goal is attainable, because I’ve done it before and know I can do it again if I work at it consistently. One month is realistic and timely for me because I’ll be working at it every day and I don’t want to give myself too much time to drag it out.
And remember, treat yourself when you hit a goal! Do something to celebrate the small victories 🙂
Share some of your non-scale victories below!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!