Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans….

Do you ever feel that life is getting in the way of your plans?
 
You started out this year with the best of intentions and then lo and behold….it didn’t quite work out!
 
John Lennon’s quote at the top of this post is a lot closer to the truth. You are busy , busy , busy making plans and out of nowhere something quite unexpected crops up and distracts you.
 
Before you know it you have been completely side tracked and your goals are all forgotten
 
What if you had written your goals down and given them a completion date? You have far more chance of resurrecting abandoned goals if they have been commited to paper.
 
You’ve probably come across the acronym S.M.A.R.T. goals but although you know that this stands for :
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Timed 
 
….you still think it is okay just thinking about things you’d generally like to achieve?
 
Having your goals written down means you can still come back and pick up where you left off when the time is right. Perhaps they were unrealistic? Not specific enough? Or just a bit wishy washy!
 
I started off this year absolutely full of inspiration …off to a flying start. I had put together a vision board with major goals which had dates attributed to them.  One of them was to write a weekly blog post/ newsletter. January came and went …but still no blog post! I felt seriously annoyed at myself at my apparent lack of progress.
 
However …rather than get even more frustrated I decided to write a list of all that I had achieved in January. It looks like this:
 
  1. Finished writing my online  Mentoring programme
  2. Prepared and delivered 50% of our Mat Pilates Diploma
  3. Searched for and found an excellent Personal Trainer to set up her business in our new fitness studio
  4. Received approval from our Awarding Body to add Exercise Referral to our portfolio of qualifications
  5. Produced a Webinar on Exercise & The Healthy Pregnant Woman
  6. Re-organised the admin hours and staff
  7. Invigilated a Personal Training Exam
  8. Signed off my Tax Return
  9. Started negotiations to take our Mat Pilates training course to Aberdeen in September
 
Not to mention the day to day management of our busy Pilates studio, personally teaching 5 classes per week and a few 1:1 sessions thrown in for good measure!
 
PHEW!
 
My reason for listing my work achievements (I do have a family life as well) …is not to sound boastful merely to say don’t forget to look back and take note of what you have accomplished rather than berating yourself for what you feel you should have done.
 
To help keep yourself motivated why not copy Janus the Roman god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and after whom we have named the first month of our calendar, January.
Janus is  represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions, which allows him to look back wards as well as forwards. Traditionally at the beginning of each year we stop and reflect on what has gone before and also look forward to new beginnings. There is no rule to say we should only do this at the beginning of a year. To reflect on each month as it passes would help you keep momentum going and enable you to give yourself a pat on the back ….or a kick up the backside …whichever is appropriate!
Janus Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans....
So I challenge you to sit and reflect at the beginning of each month on what you plan to achieve …review your goals and re-set any that were perhaps a bit too ambitious. Feel free to make yourself accountable on my Facebook page if you think that making your intentions public will help to keep you on track.
In fact that is exactly what we do in the private Facebook group  for The Girls’ Fitter Business Club as it is a safe place to share your concerns and ask for advice and support from like minded female fitness professionals .
Remember ‘Where you put your attention is where the magic happens’
Fiona icon smile Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans....
 
P.S. Now I can add “Wrote blog post” to my list of achievements for February 
 
 
Click the link below to download my S.M.A.R.T. Goal-setting worksheet

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans….

Do you ever feel that life is getting in the way of your plans?
 
You started out this year with the best of intentions and then lo and behold….it didn’t quite work out!
 
John Lennon’s quote at the top of this post is a lot closer to the truth. You are busy , busy , busy making plans and out of nowhere something quite unexpected crops up and distracts you.
 
Before you know it you have been completely side tracked and you goals are all forgotten
 
What if you had written your goals down and given them a completion date? You have far more chance of resurrecting abandoned goals if they have been commited to paper.
 
You’ve probably come across the acronym S.M.A.R.T. goals but although you know that this stands for :
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Timed 
 
….you still think it is okay just thinking about things you’d generally like to achieve?
 
Having your goals written down means you can still come back and pick up where you left off when the time is right. Perhaps they were unrealistic? Not specific enough? Or just a bit wishy washy!
 
I started off this year absolutely full of inspiration …off to a flying start. I had put together a vision board with major goals which had dates attributed to them.  One of them was to write a weekly blog post/ newsletter. January came and went …but still no blog post! I felt seriously annoyed at myself at my apparent lack of progress.
 
However …rather than get even more frustrated I decided to write a list of all that I had achieved in January. It looks like this:
 
  1. Finished writing my online  Mentoring programme
  2. Prepared and delivered 50% of our Mat Pilates Diploma
  3. Searched for and found an excellent Personal Trainer to set up her business in our new fitness studio
  4. Received approval from our Awarding Body to add Exercise Referral to our portfolio of qualifications
  5. Produced a Webinar on Exercise & The Healthy Pregnant Woman
  6. Re-organised the admin hours and staff
  7. Invigilated a Personal Training Exam
  8. Signed off my Tax Return
  9. Started negotiations to take our Mat Pilates training course to Aberdeen in September
 
Not to mention the day to day management of our busy Pilates studio, personally teaching 5 classes per week and a few 1:1 sessions thrown in for good measure!
 
PHEW!
 
My reason for listing my work achievements (I do have a family life as well) …is not to sound boastful merely to say don’t forget to look back and take note of what you have accomplished rather than berating yourself for what you feel you should have done.
 
To help keep yourself motivated why not copy Janus the Roman god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and after whom we have named the first month of our calendar, January.
Janus is  represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions, which allows him to look back wards as well as forwards. Traditionally at the beginning of each year we stop and reflect on what has gone before and also look forward to new beginnings. There is no rule to say we should only do this at the beginning of a year. To reflect on each month as it passes would help you keep momentum going and enable you to give yourself a pat on the back ….or a kick up the backside …whichever is appropriate!
Janus Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans....
So I challenge you to sit and reflect at the beginning of each month on what you plan to achieve …review your goals and re-set any that were perhaps a bit too ambitious. Feel free to make yourself accountable on my Facebook page if you think that making your intentions public will help to keep you on track.
In fact that is exactly what we do in the private Facebook group  for The Girls’ Fitter Business Club as it is a safe place to share your concerns and ask for advice and support from like minded female fitness professionals .
Remember ‘Where you put your attention is where the magic happens’
Fiona icon smile Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans....
 
P.S. Now I can add “Wrote blog post” to my list of achievements for February 
 
 
Click the link below to download my S.M.A.R.T. Goal setting worksheet

Mentored by Fiona…this is just the beginning!

Writing a blog post has always seemed way down my list of priorities, however as part of this exciting phase of my business development  - the launch of Mentored by Fiona and The Girls’ Fitter Business Club I plan to be more organised. So look out for regular posts and guest bloggers in the near future.

The Girls’ Fitter Business Club has been brewing for well over a year and was inspired by a number of things. The final prompt has been my realisation that the business of Personal Training seems to have taken a whole new path.

Blokes with Sports Science Degrees and Bio-Mechanics specialists, along with would-be Nutritionists are guiding clients to Eat Clean & Train Mean. While this suits some it does not suit all clients. Dragging tyres round muddy parks whilst drinking protein shakes and eliminating certain foods from your diet is admirable ….but not every body wants to train like this . In fact I would go as far as to say that this type of training appeals to less than 10% of the population. So who is catering for the other 90%? One third of the UK population is aged over fifty…that’s a large section which ever way you view it. 

It also happens to be my area of expertise. I have mainly trained ladies in their 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s none of whom would have set foot in a gym …or a muddy park for that matter!  As a trainer of the trainers, I am regularly asked for advice and rarely a week goes by without an email or phone call from instructors I have trained in The EnergyWise Academy asking for guidance.

Formalising the mentoring process and putting my knowledge into bite sized chunks to help new Personal Trainers seemed to be the most natural path for me to take when building my own business.

I look forward to seeing how things develop and look forward to getting to know many more trainers over the next years.

Onwards & Upwards !

‘T’ is for Time-Bound – Day 8 of 31

The final stage in setting S.M.A.R.T. goal is to put a time limit on it….otherwise it will just drift 

Your goal needs to be time-bound  or placed in the correct time frame to ensure it can be
successfully achieved. 

For instance,
aiming to drop a dress size in a week is highly unrealistic.  Short of starving yourself and even then it would not be a healthy way to become slimmer.

Giving yourself time to adjust and substitute healthy eating for fast food or chocolate takes time. Losing weight is one thing keeping it off is another matter.

This also applies to getting fitter. There are no short cuts. If you liken this to playing a computer game …..you can't just load the game …then jump straight to Level 4 . You need to earn the right to be at that level by working your way through the lower levels.

In addition, learning the motor skills while your muscles develop a new memory , takes time and skill…..it's well worth it in the long run though as this will bring longer lasting results.

‘R’ is for Realistic – Day 7 of 31

Still on the subject of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals , making sure you are being realistic is possibly the most important feature.

You will find it's much more fulfilling to achieve a goal that is possible, rather than
being disappointed at not achieving something that was never possible in the
first place. This could be the crucial part of the goal that you brushed over when trying to achieve something new in the past.

Goals which appear to be unrealistic might be better to be viewed as long term
rather than immediate or short term.

Taking time to analyse whether or not you are being realistic  can alleviate the immediate pressure
and allow  you to identify ways of breaking down what seems an insurmountable
obstacle into smaller component parts that individually ARE achievable?

Be really truthful. Are you being a wee bit over optimistic? Do you have the time, energy, money to see your goal through to it's conclusion? If the answer is no…then break it down into bite sized chunks that will give you a thrill when you achieve them. 

‘A’ is for Achievable – Day 6 of 31

The third aspect of successful S.M.A.R.T. goal setting is making sure the goal you have set is in fact one that you can achieve.

There is very little point in setting a goal which you wish to fulfil but given your re-sources and present situation will never truly be achieved. All that happens is that you feel disappointed, frustrated and more often than not revert back to whatever old habit you were trying to break.

This is not to say that you shouldn't aim high with your goals…more that you need to decide whether ot not you stand a good chance of meeting your aim. For example if you have never, ever been a size 8 …you need to ask yourself whether or not this goal suits you and your body type? Aiming for a size 10 or maybe even 12 in the first instance will allow you achieve a certain level of satisfaction. You can always set another goal in the future …after you have reached the first one.

If you are an instructor and you want to make a career in fitness but only have two classes per week at the moment… setting a goal of adding a further six classes per week is aiming a bit high. It's better to establish two new classes with regular happy clients who will then be your best adverts for promoting you and your services. Setting goals in stages short, medium and long term keeps you focussed and enthusiastic.

Frequently, unachievable goals, when analysed, were doomed to fail as a direct result of being either too ambitious or simply badly planned or unplanned.

‘M’ is for measurable-Day 5 of 31

Still thinking about goal setting?  If you can't measure it …how will you know you have achieved it?

Your goal needs to be Measurable  

So find a method of establishing whether
or not the goal has been achieved: usually external as opposed to internal in other words simply feeling it is not enough.

You should have levels at
which the goal can be stated as being successful or not e.g. scales of 1-10, or
very successful, unsuccessful, yet to be fulfilled.

Dress size, waist size, distance , amount or an actual number…. find a way of measuring your goal so that you will know when you have achieved what you set out to achieve.

‘S’ is for Specific – Day 4 of 31

When you are setting your goals, rather than just dreaming wistfully and hoping for things to change… S.M.A.R.T. goals are the way forward

SPECIFIC goal setting means that you have to focus on the end result. So instead of simply thinking "I wish I was fitter….slimmerbusier…"

Take some time to consider what exactly this means to you personally?

For instance instead of 'fitter' decide on a task you used to be able to do with ease….a task which has now become a struggle.

It could be climbing a set of stairs (without stopping to admire the view), a walk in your favourite park, a fitness class you took once part in without  stopping or a distance you could run /cycle.

'Rather than just saying 'slimmer' decide on a dress size of a dress you felt and looked great wearing, or waist size on a pair of trousers  that zipped up without the aid of a coathanger!

If you are self employed and would like to be 'busier' be specific. Do you mean  you want more customers, or do you need to be better orgainsed to make you more productive?

Writing this Action Plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals will need to be detailed 

The results gained from being very specific give you a far higher chance of success …which means you are far more likely to succeed.

Reading and following this blog for the remainder of the 31 days of January will gradually build towards the Action Plan you have always dreamed of writing….except this time you WILL have committed it to paper and put it into Action.

 

Be S.M.A.R.T. with your goal setting

Dreaming of a perfect situation is quite different to setting goals to achieve your dreams

The first option…dreaming… is too woolly …too unspecific and for this reason your dream or goal may very well remain unattainable.

Setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T. could be the difference between continuing to feel unfulfilled and …..actually making the difference.

 Life coaches and business coaches have been encouraging their clients to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for many years.

It is not a mysterious process and is every bit as straightforward as the name suggests.

Your goals need to be:

S – specific

M – measurable 

A- attainable

R- realistic ( perhaps the most important aspect?) 

T – time measured 

The next few days blog posts will cover how to write each part of your goal ….to make sure it has a high chance of happening 

Accentuate the Positive

If ever there was a song with lyrics that match my 'Pollyanna' outlook in life it would definitely be this one.

I've heard it sung by Paul Mc Cartney on his 'Kisses on the Bottom' album but here is Rumer singing  her version which makes it the  perfect cooldown for a January exercise class

PMA – Adopt  a Positive Mental Attitude at all times

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bG0RlWgWBE ( PS Ignore Steve Wright's comments at the end!)