It’s challenging to stay on track with health goals during your everyday routine. Trying to stay on track, let alone see progress, while away adds another level of difficulty to the process. Being in a new environment with not always the most reliable access to equipment or quality food is likely, but doesn’t have to knock you off your path towards your goals. We’ll dive into how setting a solid foundation for your health goals on vacation will help you to see success.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
It’s one thing to set goals because you think that it’s something you should do, but it’s a completely other thing to set the goals with the actual expectation and desire to complete them! When setting fitness goals you plan on achieving, you must take time to thoughtfully think of how and why you want to achieve this goal as well as what will be required of you in order to come out successful. Setting “SMART” goals is a helpful method that will hopefully increase the probabilities of you achieving your health goals.
The acronym stands for:
It’s a must to be specific when setting your fitness goals in order to have a clear vision of what it is exactly that you want to become successful in. Make our goals SPECIFIC and narrow for effective planning ahead. A measurable goal is one in which your progress can be easily tracked. This could be tracking the amount of miles you are able to run each week, the servings of vegetables you consume each day, or how many times a week you are able to complete a structured workout. It is necessary to be able to track your progress in order to observe if your behaviors are moving you closer or further to/from your goal. We want to set ourselves up for success during the process of meeting our goals. In order to give ourselves the best chance possible in becoming successful, we must make sure that we can reasonably accomplish our goals within a certain timeframe. They should eventually be attainable, or achievable, and not so far off that we’re only setting ourselves up for failure.
Our goals should also align with your “why.” Your “why” is the deeply rooted reason why you are wanting to see such results. What will you achieve by doing so? How will it make you feel? Your goals should align with your values and your long-term objectives. We also need to choose a time-frame when setting goals. Setting an end-date or time frame helps to prioritize tasks and keep you on a structured plan to success.Choose a start and end time when you think the goal can be accomplished and work everyday to inch closer and closer. When setting goals for yourself, setting S.M.A.R.T ones is the first step!
Why do S.M.A.R.T goals matter when on vacation? While S.M.A.R.T goals are especially helpful for long-term goals, they’re also helpful for setting realistic expectations when on a trip! Here are some of our go-to S.M.A.R.T vacation goals, but remember, your long-term goals and interests will ultimately decide what is best for you.
- Go for a 20-minute walk 4 times on vacation week
- Use the hotel gym for 30 min at least 3 times while on vacation
- Try 2 new gym studios while away on vacation
Get your travel buddy involved
Most of us have experienced a lack of motivation when it comes to bringing ourselves to get up, get moving, and workout for the day. Having a support system when going through the journey of meeting certain fitness goals can make the process feel much more accessible. Having an accountability buddy is a great way to have a support system, feel more motivated, and gain insight/advice when struggling to stay on track. And when you’re traveling, you likely already have an accountability partner right there with you!
Who can be an accountability partner?
- A friend
- A partner/ spouse
- An online friend/ community
- A mentor
- Anyone who shares similar goals and values as you
An accountability partner can really be anyone who is willing to work together as a team and encourage one another to achieve their goals. It would be helpful for your accountability partner to have a similar lifestyle as you as you both can relate more on the obstacles you might face as well as be comfortable with each other as setting and going through the journey of reaching health goals can be a vulnerable space for anyone. Keeping your partner accountable, as well as them keeping you accountable, will propel you both into the direction of your objectives.
But how do you FEEL?
When setting any goal, having a clear idea behind the “why” is crucial to your success and longevity in maintaining the goal. Having a clear “why” will create value in the effort you are putting in to achieve your goals and will increase the possibility that you will get there. When determining your why, you have to be in touch with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you experience along the journey and as you partake in activities surrounding your goals. Be mindful of how your body feels before, after, and during movement. Fitness and exercise is proven to have beneficial health effects even long after your workout is complete. During a period of intense movement, stress is decreased and feelings of anxiety are lowered. Life can be stressful and chaotic so giving yourself a period of time each day to enjoy movement of any kind will not only benefit your mood, but will improve self-esteem as fitness is a form of self-care.
Regardless of your “why,” tune in to it after reading this article. Try out new fitness classes, experiment with your body’s abilities, and find the joy in movement when on vacation. Feel powerful and empowered by the capabilities of your body and mind. And enjoy your vacation!
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