Measuring Progress Without Numbers
We need goals to make progress. But setting goals that can only be measured in numbers sets us up for added stress, pushing the intention further away. Numbers are easy to fixate on but don’t show us a balanced picture.
The fitness world seems to agree and is moving away from scales and BMI and toward determining body composition for a clearer picture of success. Measurements and body fat percentage certainly have their place, but we can add different approaches to gauge our proximity to meeting our healthy ambitions. Ways that steer clear of digits and help us stay the course.
Here are some non scale victories to become aware of and celebrate when improving your health and wellness.
One big benefit of training has little to do with appearance. Brain Imaging proves that endorphins are released during bouts of exercise. Endorphins are essentially our body’s own naturally produced opioids and have the ability to reduce depression and anxiety, making our workouts mood-enhancing and, with consistency, mood-stabilizing. Noting how we feel, especially in comparison to when the latest goal was set, could indicate which direction we are headed. You may want to keep a journal to be able to track this information effectively.
Regularly “checking in” with ourselves will bring mental clarity. Determine if your training feels like a chore or if it is something to look forward to, then ask yourself why. The answers are telling signs of what is and isn’t working. The why is one key to unlocking solutions.
Two of the most common reasons for missing a training session are boredom and not wanting to go alone – both of which can be linked to our moods. Delve deep to find the causes and explore ways of combating them. Share and discuss these findings with your coach to help them individualize your training and bring you closer to the objective.
One of the best ways to track your non scale goal accomplishment is by journaling your training efforts. Don't just write down the type of session you do or your weight loss progress: focus on how you feel. Take time to end the day with some reflection. Do you feel happier? How are your energy levels?
Take a deep dive into your mood and track your improvements. Not only will this give you better insights into the success of your goal setting, but it will also help you become more self-aware. Consistent training and a healthy diet won't only help you lose weight, but it will also have a significant impact on your mental health.
The Gloveworx coaches were selected for their experience, knowledge, and ability to coach. Their job is to help us hit every target we set. So, who better to ask: how is my technique? Has my reach improved? Am I faster, more flexible? Essentially, am I making progress? Questions that are best answered by someone who is watching your transformation up close.
However, the information is useless if we aren’t open to hearing the good and the bad. Chances are that some of this feedback has been given before – we simply didn’t process it. To really measure growth, it’s important to acknowledge our coaches as the valuable resources they are. Take their insight seriously and implement their advice in and outside of the studio to see quicker results.
Remember, your coach wants you to succeed. Whether you're pursuing weight loss goals, trying to lower your blood pressure and get healthier or trying to improve your strength training efforts to get stronger, your coach is rooting for you. A coach is both a resource and a source of motivation that can help you set a goal, smash it, and celebrate your small victories along the way.
Introspection is a necessary component of any evolution, fitness included, but seeking an outside perspective gives a complete picture. Setting and striving for healthy goals brings more than just physical gains, and those around us notice. Typically, there’s no need to even prompt; people will often point things out without any inquiry. It’s important to note that constructive criticism should only be considered from a knowledgeable source that is on your team – think doctor and coach.
In the rest of our lives, we can simply pay attention to see if there are few positive yet subtle missed signs. When we stay present in everyday conversations, we begin to pick-up on outward signs of our progress or lack thereof. If you are getting positive feedback related to your attitude, focus or abilities, you are probably on the right track. Regardless, pay closer attention and decipher which outside observations are helpful to your journey.
Outside of the Studio
Whether or not we meet our next goal (and how fast) is largely determined outside of the studio. If only we could workout and call it a day, but the truth is every second matters. Choices from what we eat in our nutrition plan to the quality of our sleep inch us in one direction or the other.
To get an objective view on what life looks like outside of the studio, just read your bank statement. If most of your disposable income is spent on gym equipment, grocery stores, and inspiring books to keep you motivated – you will meet your goal and be setting the next one in no time. If instead, you see more bars and fast food restaurants, it might be time to reconsider your lifestyle.
Want to take this a step further? Consider analyzing your grocery receipts. It’s impossible to live in denial when the proof is before you. Those little treats we're eating as rewards might suddenly reveal themselves as consistencies, rather than rarities. If this is true for you, use the shock of seeing how we mindlessly sabotage ourselves to re-prioritize and get in alignment with a proper nutrition plan. Success comes easier when it is front and center in your mind. Think “health and well-being” within your day to day activities. Contemplate each new purchase with the question: Is this helping me get where I want to go or not?
The takeaway is that every moment counts. We should continue to set new intentions; just don’t forget them once the day’s workout is complete. Hitting the bag, fitting in cardio, and finding time to stretch is imperative, but keeping our eyes on the finish line 24 hours a day is the fastest route to getting there. It is natural to want to know if we are improving, but if we aren’t careful, a goal that was meant to bring us better health can quickly turn into an unhealthy preoccupation.
Non Scale Victories to Celebrate
If there's one thing to takeaway from setting goals and reaching success during your fitness journey, it's that your progress is more than numbers on a scale. Regardless of your goals, you can celebrate small victories throughout. Remember, you can't control the outcome, only the actions that lead you there.
Here are some non scale victories to celebrate:
- How your clothes fit - if you're doing a lot of HIIT workouts and strength training, you may have difficulties with your weight loss goals. This isn't because you're failing, but rather a result of a change in your body composition. As you gain muscle mass, the scale might not move. It may even result in weight gain. Instead of worrying about the numbers, take a look at how your clothes fit. If your clothes fit looser than before, you're probably experiencing fat loss, even if you don't lose pounds on the scale.
- Sleep quality - sleep is essential for proper hormonal regulation and metabolic function. Additionally, as you get healthier, your quality of sleep may improve. This is one of the best small victories to celebrate, as it will go a long way to helping you with shedding pounds, staying consistent, and improving your overall health and wellness.
- Improved health metrics - while you can leave behind the scale numbers as you try to get fit, there are other numbers that are worth looking at and celebrating. For example, if you have a history of high blood pressure and cholesterol, seeing lower numbers as you pursue your weight loss and fitness goals is a huge win. Watching those numbers change can be extremely motivating.
- Habits and consistency - instead of focusing on your the change in your body, consider the change in your mindset and motivation. Keep track of how long you're able to drink eight glasses of water a day or get to the gym to exercise three days each week. Keep a journal of your efforts and celebrate your ability to stick to the plan or course correct when you fall off the wagon.
Setting Non Scale Goals
You can achieve weight loss success without thinking about your weight. Here are some non scale goals to set instead:
- Create a meal plan every week
- Sign up for an event (such as a race or a competition)
- Stick to a nutrition plan that incorporates more vegetables
- Improve your skills and personal bests
- Feel better and have energy to keep up with your kids
Put some thought into your goals and identify the reasons you really want to accomplish them.
A Balanced Approach
Most of us have either known someone or have been someone obsessed with calories or the scale. There is no way to escape numbers while trying to achieve specific fitness goals, but creating a balanced approach is more sustainable than using digits only. Monitoring how we feel, our overall behavior, and asking for feedback gives us much more than a number. It encourages a balanced approach to fitness. It’s also a reminder to be mindful, connect with others and tap into the resources available to us. All of which will likely get us to the finish line and help us maintain the results. Keep this in mind during your next Gloveworx training session and consider asking your coach for feedback.