Reaching fitness goals can be challenging for anyone. If you want to achieve peak fitness and life-long health you must set and obtain fitness goals. But, how do we do this? Through understanding, focus, and commitment you can reach your goals.

The 5 pillars of Reaching Fitness Goals will provide the foundation to get you there. The 1st Pillar is the set your Ultimate Fitness Goal Mindset. In order to do this you need to find a fitness goal and set out a program to achieve it.

Pillar 1: Setting your Fitness Mindset

Set your goal. Then, find a workout program and diet program to fit your individual needs. Excellent! Now all we have to do is get motivated and in the proper mindset to start training towards our goals.

Pillar 2: Form Workout and Nutrition Habits

So you’ve set a Fitness Goal, and you’ve set your fitness mindset. Now what? Just like most things in life, we need to form a habit to accomplish our goals. The basic idea of habits is the same for everything, both personal and fitness related.

Patience! When you set your goals they may take longer than expected. Most people feel like they’re not making the kind of progress they want, so they think they don’t have enough self discipline. That’s not true. We all have plenty of discipline but the problem lies in the fact that we are often disciplined to habits that are not in line with our goals. We need to form meaningful habits that align with our workout and nutrition goals – this is Pillar 2.

The key to achieving fitness success is to form these new habits. New habits that are in line with where we want to go, the things that we want to achieve, the goals that we want to reach. How do we do this? There is a specific formula to form habits, which can be implemented in all parts of our lives. All it takes is 21 days.

Habit Forming Basics

The way you form a new habit is by doing it and tracking it for 21 days straight. It takes at least 21 days to reform the pathways in our brain and the muscle memory that is involved in making these habits part of the daily routine. If you can do it for 21 days straight, you’ll find that you no longer have to think about it very hard, because it’s now a habit.

Start with one habit at a time and build from there. For instance, your first habit might be to workout 5 days per week. Then, after these 21 days of implementing that habit, start the next habit of eating a healthy diet. Don’t try to force too many changes too quickly.

Pillar 3: Eat Like an Athlete

Water!

Water is so important it should almost be a Pillar on its own. Just remember, if you feel thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start hydrating! As little as a 1% loss of water can translate to an increase in core temperature during exercise, and reduced performance. A 3-5% loss of water can put serious strain on the cardiovascular system and impair the ability of the body to dissipate heat, resulting in heat stroke. When the body loses 7%, the result is most likely unconsciousness.

Make sure you drink at least 8 cups of pure water per day. You can drink other things, but make sure that at a minimum you consume your 8 glasses of water. Also, don’t drink it all at once. Sip water all day.

If you drink it all at once, you could actually get dehydrated even more. Your body will release diuretic hormones to excrete as much of the excess water as possible. Hypernatremia is the condition of drinking an extremely large amount of water in a short amount of time. It is important to know about this condition so you don’t overload you’re body with water.

Another thing to avoid is drinking large amounts of water with your meals. A large amount of water with meals will reduce the processing ability of your digestive system. Give your body 15 minutes before and 30-60 minutes after the meal before you start drinking water normally.

Balanced and Nutritious!

Athletes require higher quantities of vitamins, protein, and carbohydrates. Eat whole, organic foods to achieve the most nutrition possible from what you consume. Also, take daily supplements. You should strive to eat whole foods and a clean diet. The amount of calories the supplements you consume will vary depending on your particular fitness goal and your amount and length of workouts.

Protein Power!

It may seem like protein is just another form of energy, but it’s not. The muscle mass you build will largely depend on whether you’re doing physical training like lifting weights. And any excess protein that isn’t broken down by the body and used as an energy source. Make sure you eat protein at all meals, which can include meats, eggs, soy, or other options such as cheese and milk.

You need to increase your protein intake to one gram per pound of body weight to preserve your calorie-burning, muscle mass. Eating protein triggers muscle growth. In fact, every time you eat at least 10 to 15 grams of protein, you trigger a burst of protein synthesis. When you eat at least 30 grams, that period of synthesis lasts about three hours-and that means even more muscle growth.

Protein has a different relationship with your digestive system than other food, and protein doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar like carbohydrates do. With a smaller effect on your blood sugar comes a smaller crash, which means sustainable energy throughout the day and fewer cravings. Protein can keep you fuller for longer, too.

Build these three items into your fitness habits – – Drink plenty of water, eat balanced and nutritious, and make sure you’re getting enough protein. That’s Pillar 3.

Pillar 4: Make Adjustments to your Fitness Program

Do you want to make the BIGGEST fitness gains in your life? The easiest way to do this is by working hard and Making Adjustment to your Fitness Program – Pillar 4. What do I mean? We need to mix up our workouts and keep our bodies guessing. We need to keep things fun and interesting. Don’t always do the exact same workout routine! If you always do the same exercises, in the exact same order, you’ll start to plateau in your fitness program. So, here’s how we make adjustments:

Try a different type of workout:

• Boxing
• Crossfit
• Kettlebells
• Rowing
• Swimming
• Rock Climbing

Mix up your routines

If you always do cardio first, then lift weight, reverse the order. Make sure you warm-up properly, but reversing the order will allow you to be more energetic, stronger for your lifting routine. If you always do flat bench press, try using dumbbells instead. These simple tweaks to your routines will push you to the next level. Revamp your workout today!

Rest when you need it

If you need to throttle back or take a day off, do it. You’re never going to make big gains if you don’t rest. Just remember, being lazy and needing a rest day are two different things. Don’t take a day off just because you’re feeling lazy – get off the coach, put on your favorite high-energy music, and get motivated!

Pillar 5: Reward, Rest, and Repeat

You’ve just finished a phase of your training or you’ve completed a fitness goal. You deserve a reward. Setting and achieving ultimate fitness goals takes time and effort. One thing that’s important for you is taking time to reward yourself throughout your training. And, especially at the end you should reward yourself. Rewarding and resting is the key to your 5th pillar – Reward, Rest, and Repeat. Here are some Reward Ideas:

• Take a Vacation
• Go to the Spa
• Read a Great Book
• Go on a Hiking Trip

REST

Do you have trouble getting enough rest at night? If you’re working out and striving towards your fitness goal, rest is critical in your program. Rest increases performance because your body is able to repair itself and recharge its batteries. Without at least 7 hours of sleep per night, your progress will be slower and achieving your fitness goals will be harder. There are some easy things that help me sleep at night – try them and start sleeping better today!

• Establish a sleeping Routine
• Turn off the Television
• Use a Sleep Machine
• Keep your room below 74 Degrees F (23 C)
• Use Aromatherapy Products – Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood
• Take ZMA

These simple things will increase your sleep and they will increase your performance. These tips are the 5th pillar – Reward, Rest, and Repeat. Now it’s time to Rest and pick your next Ultimate Fitness Goal.