Progress takes many different shapes and has many different timelines. But in a world of Transformation Tuesdays & fad diets that seem to make dramatic changes almost instantaneous, it can be confusing to parse out what real, sustainable, positive results look like when you make a lifestyle change.
Time and time again, we see our members hitting goals and making progress. We notice both the small wins and the big victories. Whether you’re first starting out on a consistent workout routine or if you’ve been grinding on your goals week over week for years, there are signs of progress everywhere, you just have to learn how to recognize them. We know that it’s great to see physical changes, but what we also know is that the reasons you started your routine or the results you were seeking are probably based on much deeper things than you think.
That is, results come in many forms, but the below are a few things you can watch for to measure progress. If you’re looking for ways to mark progress that aren’t weight-focused, we are so on board. In fact, here are our top 5:
- Heavier weights. If you’re cruising through reps and are to the point where you can get through a whole arm section in cycle or the full set of bicep curls in flyhigh without slowing down, you’re ready to conquer the next set up. If grabbing the next set up intimidates you, grab your current weight & the next set up & swap when you need to!
- Increased endurance. If the thought of staying out of the saddle for 16 counts for a sprint in cycle class is laughable, challenge yourself to 4 counts at a time, increasing slowly & building endurance. Or maybe you hold the 2-minute plank as long as you can at the end of your flyhigh class but drop the variations & just test how long you can hold.
- Better self-talk. Your treadmill inner dialogue may have started as a bad word-filled, frustrated stream of negativity, but push to change that self-talk. Notice that little voice that tentatively says you can make it to the end. Nurture that self-talk & work to progress in how you’re filling your mind during the biggest challenges of class.
- Improved consistency. Did you start out as the Late Cancel queen? Find yourself making every excuse to opt out of your sweat session? Committing to your routine and following through on your workout plan is a huge victory – work toward that & celebrate those wins.
- Improvements in functioning. It might not feel like the immediate gratification of catching your back muscles flex mid-Pilates session in the mirror, but functional improvements in your day-to-day life can have a huge impact, so look for them & recognize them! Did you get to the top of the parking garage stairs less out of breath? Is lifting your child’s stroller not quite the challenge it once was? Try running a mile – how do you feel after? How did you feel before you started this journey?
- Boosted mood. Moving your body does all kinds of wonderful things for your mind. You might feel less stressed, sleep easier, and wake up feeling more refreshed and approaching the world with a more positive & resilient attitude. Start a gratitude journal & take a brief moment to reflect on those feel-good endorphins.
Remember that the biggest, most game-changing results always are beyond the physical. It’s when you start to feel at home in this community and feel connected to the people around you, even when they are completely different. It’s the confidence that develops through being ambitious and proving to yourself that you are capable. It’s the clarity that comes with recognizing obstacles are temporary, and that you have the fortitude to work through whatever life throws your way. Start looking for & working toward the results that will give you long-term motivation.