OK, so not everyone can afford a personal trainer but most of us have got the internet so we can find the exercises on blogs like mine and personal trainer videos on youtube to help us out but what about the other bits that a personal trainer can provide you with such as coaching, guidance and motivation? Well here are my top tips on how you can be your own coach. It will take some practice but you’ll get there!
Firstly a coach isn’t someone who trains or teaches you, so you don’t need to be a fitness expert. Being a coach is about helping someone or yourself to see what’s inside of that person and how they can maximise their potential, build self-confidence and to identify and improve on their skill set.
Secondly you need to address why you need to coach yourself. This is something that’s really important because you need to assess your progress and help yourself to move forward otherwise when you hit those hurdles you might stumble and not pick yourself up again. But with the right skills you will be able to do that and to dust yourself off and carry on. It also teaches you (as harsh as it may sound) that you and ONLY YOU are accountable for your actions and it will help you to stop making excuses and to take action.
What can you do to make yourself an effective coach to yourself?
- You need to motivate yourself
- You need to be able to question and challenge any negative thoughts you may have
- You need to be able to set goals where you can track and measure your progress
- You need to be able to listen to your body
So how can you question yourself? This sounds really weird that you might be interrogating yourself but you are also the only person who is going to hear your thought process and honest responses, so it makes perfect sense that you should ask yourself honest questions and answer them honestly.
- Firstly, ask yourself what’s stopping you? And is it really stopping you or are you using that as an excuse?
- What else? Not only ask yourself what is stopping you but also ask yourself what else can you do?
- How can you? Ask yourself how you can achieve those things? How can you make other things that are stopping you to not be an issue. What can you do?
- What did you do well? Sometimes as our own worst critics we focus on the negative. Have you ever done a workout and thought “well that sucked?! I may as well have not even bothered.” well stop it!!! Remind yourself what you did well during that workout. “Ok so I may not have been able to do those tricep dips but my plank was awesome, I held it for longer than last time.” Find the positive!!
- What can you do to improve or do differently? With the things you didn’t do so well at, what can you do to improve and do better next time. Because giving up won’t help. Here’s my thought and self coaching process “Those pushups were terrible. Why? because my shoulders aren’t as strong as they should be. How can I make them stronger? Or can I build up to doing a pushup? Well I could do some shoulder weight training to improve the strength, I can do a modified version of a push up with my knees down rather than a full pushup. I can do one full pushup then drop to my knees and carry on doing modified versions, then next time do two full pushups before dropping to my knees…” and so on. Can you see where I’m going with this?
To be a good coach you can follow either of these models (GROW or SMART) to help you build a structure until you get used to it.
Goal – What do you want? Is it measurable? what are you timeframes? Be specific. General goals can’t be achieved. Saying I want to fit isn’t a goal. Saying I want to be able to run X distance in X time by X date is a goal that can be measured and achieved. If you don’t set the goalpost at the beginning how do you know what you’re striving for? And then you can make excuses for yourself which is never a good option.
Realistic – Is your goal realistic based on your current situation? Can you reach the goal of running a marathon tomorrow if you’ve never run in your life? Probably not! Make sure you look at the obstacles in your way, how they may affect your journey, what are your resources? Do other people need to be involved to help you? Have you spoken to them about it?
Options – What can you do in order to achieve your goal? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these options. Which gives the best result, what feels like the best option?
Will – What will you do out of all the options you have given yourself?
Specific – Make sure your goal is specific
Measurable – Make sure you goal is measurable
Attainable – Is your goal going to achieved based on the specific and measurable quantities you have given?
Result focussed – You must be able to check a box when you hit your milestone and be able to say yes or no for achieving the result you set
Timebound / Trackable – Can you see along your route whether or not you are likely to hit your end goal? This is done by putting milestones into your goal. When you say I want to lose 1 stone in 6 months, that is your overall goal, but you can break this down into in my first month I want to lose X pounds, in month 2 I want to lose X pounds and so on. This is good if you have never done it before and don’t know if your goalpost is realistic. You can track your progress and if you’re doing better than expected then move the goalpost forwards. etc.
The SMART model really teaches you how to evaluate and re-evaluate your goals and your progress. This should be used to succeed and not to find an excuse to not achieve your goals though! So be careful when using this!
Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish. So get planning!
Love Roo xx
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