22 September, 2014

Why Non-Performance / Composition Based Goals are important too!

Having measurable outcomes can be a useful tool to help keep clients motivated about their exercise programs, especially when their numbers are moving in the desired direction, but we all know that sometimes things don’t go quite to plan.

People get sick or injured, priorities shift, people have other distractions that mean they don’t sleep or eat as well as they might like, they might miss a few sessions for whatever reason, and so on. It’s important that both we and our clients are able to ride out those times so that long term progress can occur.

It’s also important that we educate clients to expect that some months will go better than others, and that’s totally normal and healthy and ok, as long as we keep moving forward in a positive direction as best we can.

For this reason, it can be helpful to include some non-performance or composition based outcomes to measure success, along with the standard outcome goals like strength gains (or whatever it is that is important to each individual client).

Some examples of things you might like to check in with your clients about include:

  • Are you feeling generally more energised?
  • Are you feeling more confident about working out?
  • Do you feel like you’re eating mindfully? (or are you at least aware of when you’re not?)
  • Are you enjoying being active?
  • Are you more aware of your breath control during exercise?
  • Are you remembering to engage your core/pelvic floor more often throughout the day?
  • Are you more aware of your posture when you’re sitting at work and at home?
  • Do you feel more co-ordinated?
  • Are you more aware of where your body is in space while you’re moving?
  • Are you feeling more at home in your body?
  • Are you taking the time to stretch regularly?
  • Are you experiencing less pain?

These are all positive things we can bring our client’s attention to even in the times when they’re not able to train as intensely or frequently as they might like, and are things that will continue to benefit their training over time.

They are also the type of results that are generally intrinsic to being engaged in regular physical activity regardless of intensity, making it more likely that people will feel positively about continuing to be active for it’s own sake, as well as motivating them to increase activity levels as they are able – which is exactly how real long term, sustainable success is built.

Written by Shelley Lask. Shelley is an AFA Graduate, the owner of Body Positive Health & Fitness and is an AFA Ambassador. You can find out more about Body Positive Health & Fitness at www.bodypositivehf.com.au.

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