Why Is Setting Goals An Important Part Of Continued Fitness?

If you want to achieve your fitness goals, Lesley Logan can help you discover effective strategies, tips, and personalized plans.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • January 7, 2024
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new year fitness goals online pilates classes
new year fitness goals online pilates classes

Achieve Your New Year Fitness Goals with Lesley Logan

Hi, I’m a certified habits coach. And if you are wanting to know how to stick to your pilates fitness goals or actually any habits you’re wanting to create, you owe to yourself to watch to the very end. I’m Lesley Logan, co-founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com. I’ve been doing Pilates since 2005, teaching it since 2008. And I’ve been studying habits and goals and how to achieve them for years, taking into account the latest strategies, including what experts share on how to stick to fitness goals in 2024. It’s something I’m kind of obsessed with. And I went through a formal training in 2021. Today I want to talk with you about all the myths around habits and also how to actually set them so you hit the fitness goals you have now and ongoing.

Welcome to OnlinePilatesClasses.com™, the most supportive Pilates-loving community across the globe. Enjoy new weekly classes with our amazing teachers. Download the OnlinePilatesClasses.com™ app today.

Setting Realistic Goals How Daily Habits Can Shape Your Best Performance

Alright, so let’s just first talk about goals, particularly focusing on setting fitness goals that you can actually achieve. You want to think about the habits you are wanting to create to support the goals you have. So do the goals have a realistic? Sure, I mean, we can’t ask ourselves to be the pitcher of a baseball team if we’re 40 and you’ve never played baseball. But, taking a big goal that you’ve always wanted to achieve that you could do and really getting clear on what that is. But then looking at the habits that you have in your daily life, because your habits every day are what actually are going to help you achieve your goals, literally.

If you want to run a marathon, it’s not like you run a marathon tomorrow or run a marathon every day. But you do have a running plan that progressively builds your ability to run a marathon, aligning with your exercise goals. So we actually have to come up with the running habit. Now, how do we actually do that if you’re not running? I’m using running as an example, but this applies to all workout goals. But you can insert any fitness modality here, for me, it’s Pilates. So when I wanted to have a habit of doing Pilates daily, I didn’t go out and say, “I’m gonna do with full hour every single day.” Even though my goal is to do a daily, consistent Pilates program. What I instead did was focus on what I could do.

This is where the word ‘realistic’ does help us. When you look at your busy schedule, what is the amount of time you actually could do in your day? So if you look at the course of your day, and you know, oh my gosh, the idea of doing an hour long workout, even five days a week is impossible, I want you to look at it and go okay, well, is 30 minutes possible? Is 15 minutes possible? Is five minutes possible? Get down to the amount of time, you know you can do. This is really important.

Embrace Small Steps and Consistent Celebrations for Lifelong Habits

Oftentimes, people set up habits and goals and dreams for their fitness modalities that are too big, undermining their fitness goals from the outset. “I’m gonna run 10 miles every day,” that is impossible, that’s so much time! (Unless it’s not for you. But for most people it is.) So you want to get really granular, really small. And then this is the key – ditch the 21 days. It doesn’t actually work. Because guess what, sometimes you travel, I travel a lot. So if I was to only be able to achieve goals that I could do every single day, I would have to reset my fitness goals every time I came back into town, that’s not going to be realistic for anybody. It’s not a way you can be consistent. But when you make a goal small and achievable, then you actually can pick up your habit at any time.

You can create a habit in three to five days if you do this – you ready for it? – you set a goal that you can actually do and then you celebrate it. Very, very important. Let me repeat that, again, you set a goal you can actually do and you celebrate. If you’ve never ever gone for a mile long walk and you’re like, “I’m gonna walk a mile every day” that is huge! You’re going to do the first day, you’re gonna be super sore. And you’re going to quit the next day because you’re too sore. But maybe the habit is I’m going to put my walking shoes on every day in the morning. And then I’m going to jump up and down and celebrate if you walk around the block for extra credit. But do you see how that works? And then that way, if you’ve gone on a long trip, you got out of your routines, you can come back and pick up right where you left off with an achievable habit where you celebrate it.

If having a Pilates habit is something you’re looking for, but you’re new to Pilates, go check out our video “What is Pilates? No BS.

Effective Accountability – Transforming Your Goals into Habits that Stick

Let’s talk about accountability and how it can help you with your fitness goals and habits you want to create. First of all, let’s talk about ways that it doesn’t. So if you are using an alarm, a timer, a buzzer to create accountability, shame judgment. There’s those tools out there that if you don’t do something on a certain day, it’s going to like texr something to somebody you don’t want. None of that actually works. No shame is going to get you to do anything! And also buzzers and prompts ended up wearing off and not having their value over time. Because if it ever goes off when you’re busy, you ignore it. And then you just create the habit of ignoring it, right?

So you want to have accountability that works. What are some ways accountability can work? At OnlinePilatesClasses.com the way we do accountability is we actually take the class away. Every single Tuesday, a new class drops, the old class disappears. This helps you show up for yourself because you don’t want to miss the class! Same thing like an in-person class, an in-person class, if you miss the class, you can’t go back and take it. It happened! It’s over. So those kinds of things help hold you accountable. Cancellation policies that a lot of in-person studios have helped you show up for you even on the busiest day. It’s really important that you find a way to make accountability work for you.

Beyond Motivation Building Sustainable Fitness Habits with Attainable Goals

If you are waiting for motivation to help you get started…I really want to talk about this. Motivation is a very fickle friend, it can help you get started on one day. It’s kind of like what helps you get the car turned on and going out the driveway. But it is a fickle friend, it’s really great for a party, terrible at picking you up on time at the airport. So you don’t want to be, “I gotta wait for to be motivated today do this thing.” That’s actually not going to work. So, going back to point one, picking things that you can actually achieve at the time or the capability and then celebrating that is going to create the habit, and help hold you accountable to your goals.

If the idea of being held accountable to taking Pilates or a workout on-demand, so it’s at a time you can do but also has accountability sounds good to you, learn more about OPC and how we operate at this video here.

Redefining Consistency: Flexibility, Rest, and Self-Celebration in Your Pilates Fitness Routine

Let’s talk about consistency. So I love consistency, because it is one of the core values of OPC. And here’s the thing, consistency does not mean daily, it does not mean all or nothing. It doesn’t mean no pain, no gain. Consistency means picking a pace that works for you. And listening to your body and seeing if it is actually working. If you said you’re going to do 10 minutes of Pilates Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and you’re constantly realizing that it’s easier for you to do it on Tuesday and Thursday. Guess what? You just change the days. It’s really, really important that you take away this like, “I said, I was going to do it on these days, and it has to be these days” if that’s not working for your schedule. It was a great idea. You went and workshopped it. And now we switch it. That’s one of the best ways to be consistent and guess what – celebrate! You just listened to your body. If you said you would do 10 minutes, and you’re realizing that eight minutes is actually better for you. That’s great. Celebrate the eight minutes! Over time, as it becomes easier for you to show up for yourself for those eight minutes, as you start to realize you have more energy and therefore more time in your day, you can expand the eight minutes to 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

At OPC we have this running joke that finishing is optional. If you log in, press play and do the amount of minutes you can. That is it! You actually did the habit. You did the goal, you achieved it. Celebrate that! Being hard on yourself is actually going to take you away from hitting a goal. And being consistent, helping yourself while held accountable and actually achieving that goal. Nobody has ever hit a goal shaming themselves and judging themselves to get there.

One more thought about consistency, and here I’ll share some tips for reaching your fitness goals. Just because you’re not seeing results right away doesn’t mean it’s not working. The truth is that we see ourselves every single day. We are too close to the mirror. And so we often don’t see the changes that are actually happening in our bodies. And oftentimes, we’re not tracking what we could do. Sometimes we’re going after what we should look like versus: you couldn’t do a roll up yesterday, and you can do it today. Please make sure that how you’re checking for your results actually will show you the results you’re getting. And maybe you need to have someone around you to show you what you’re not seeing. And that’s where OPC could come in, or a teacher can come in who’s actually an outside person who can celebrate what you’re doing.

And another thing that’s really important. Consistency, as I said, doesn’t mean every day. You need rest days, your body needs a break. If you’re wanting to see results and you’re not seeing them, oftentimes, because you’re doing too much. Working out all the time can actually cause and raise cortisol in your body. That stress can affect you getting results that you’re looking for. So please make sure you have rest days built in. That’s why 21 days to make a habit doesn’t work. Because you have to take a day off. I take a day off, you have to take one too. And it doesn’t mean you’re not going to hit your goals. In fact, it means you’re gonna get there faster.

How Small Victories Lead to Big Successes in Fitness and Life

Alright, let’s talk about celebrating your wins. I know we’ve hit on it a little bit before but I think it’s really important to get through you, into your brain, and become part of your daily life because so many people do not celebrate unless it’s a big win! Unless they achieved exactly what they want. For example, if you said you want to do a marathon in under four hours and you did the marathon it was four hours and five minutes you’ll be like, “Oh, but I didn’t do under four hours.” Do you celebrate nothing? That doesn’t work. Here’s the thing – if you want habits that stick, if you want to achieve goals that you have set out for it, you must celebrate the little wins along the way. And I know this is hard for my Type A. I know this is hard for my overachievers. I know my perfectionist are going to struggle with this like crazy, but you must give yourself a pat on the back.

Even if you don’t have time to do the thing that you want to do. Let’s say you want to do mat Pilates for 15 minutes with me here on this channel and you’ve ran out of time. If you remember that you wanted to do it, you have to celebrate! Here’s why. The brain works off of dopamine. So when you celebrate, when you create something that brings energy around what you want to have part of your life as a habit, to have a goal, that actually creates dopamine in your brain. Guess what your brain does?! “I want more of that.” That’s like sweet candy. “I want to do it again.” But if you instead shame yourself, judge yourself or only celebrate when you’ve hit the biggest goal because you don’t create the habit, that sticks. Guess what? You won’t achieve the goal. Why? Because all goals are just daily habits that add up to a goal, right?

Celebrating Progress with Affirmations and Community

How do I celebrate? Well, first of all, words of affirmation are my love language. So I go around the house and I go, “I’m amazing. I just nailed that.” I put on my favorite music, I dance up and down. I’m not even a good dancer, but I do that because it’s so important. At OnlinePilatesClasses.com we have something called F-Yeah Friday, it means it’s the day that if you forgot to celebrate along the way, you do it on that day. And what’s so fun is that everyone in the group gets to jump on and celebrate with you, which for a lot of people means even more to the celebration, and it inspires others to go, oh, that’s a win. I had that win on Tuesday, right?

Here’s what I don’t do – reward myself. What is a reward? So let’s say you’re going to work out five days a week. And if you work out five days a week, at the end of the month, you’re gonna take yourself to the spa, that’s a reward. It’s not a celebration, it’s too far from the actual act of the habit. So you have to actually do the habit. Whether it’s putting on the running shoes or laying out the Pilates mat. Celebrate so that it becomes this dopamine thing that becomes a habit and become something you do daily or as often as you want it. It cannot be, If I do Pilates five times a week this week, then I get to go do X.” You should go do whatever that reward is, but don’t put it as part of creating the habit of the goal because they just don’t work together.

A Community Committed to Support and Celebrate Your Fitness Journey

Over at OnlinePilatesClasses.com we love to celebrate you. We love to celebrate your wins. And if you want to try it out, make sure you check out our trial OnlinePilatesClasses.com/free. Thank you so much for watching. I am extremely passionate about how habits are created because I’ve seen way too many people set goals and not be able to achieve them, shame themselves, blame themselves and then they don’t actually ever get to where they want to go. And my biggest thing is I really want people to have the life that they want to have and to have the energy to do it! So I really hope this is helpful and how you’re going to set your goals. If you have any questions about anything we talked about today. Drop in the comments below. I go live on Sundays at 9am Pacific Time answering your questions. Thank you so much for watching this and have an amazing day.

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    An OPC favorite theme is back! This week's class is prop free and all about focusing on your breath. Focus on when you're holding your breath so we can explore why. And as best you can inhale and exhale as you move so that the breath can help you rock, roll, reach and stretch!

    Joseph Pilates was BIG ON BREATHING! I won't make you pull out your breathisizer but I do want you to fill those lungs up!

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      ANCHORS AWEIGH!

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

      Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
      Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

      See you in class,

      Christine

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WINTER WONDERLAND

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Wish I was a Baller

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.