With lockdown 3.0 pressuring people to do something epic with their time, celebrity trainer Sarah Lindsay shares her advice on realistic lockdown goal setting
Learn a new language, lose the lockdown belly, start a business are just some of the ‘goals’ I have seen floating around at the moment encouraging people to make the most of their lockdown.
The pressure for people to be completing a huge goal just because we’re in lockdown and seemingly have more time seems to be everywhere – especially when it comes to social media.
Take each day as it comes and do what you can to make the most of that day
But, realistically what on earth can people achieve during these unprecedented times? Yes goals are important, but they don’t need to be life changing or career altering goals.
My advice? Just survive and stay sane. Take each day as it comes and do what you can to make the most of that day.
Lockdown 1.0 vs Lockdown 3.0
Lockdown number one was a different time. We all turned it into a holiday, drinking in the garden, staying up late watching Netflix, spending time in the kitchen making banana bread and Zooming everyone and everything.
People were also more motivated to exercise as that was all we were allowed outside to do and it offered some structure the new working from home days. The weather was lovely too and there was a feeling of ‘it will all be OK after this lockdown’.
But this lockdown 3.0? People are fed up and burnt out. This time it feels different – it’s colder, darker and people are less bothered about making healthy choices. I mean who wants to go for a run in the cold rain? Nobody! Plus, lockdown 3.0 started right after Christmas, and since then the months have all just rolled into one.
People are fed up and burnt out
Now though, there is an end date to lockdown – hopefully – which means things will be opening on April 12th (including gyms), which means people can now see some light at the end of the ‘stay home’ tunnel.
BUT this does NOT mean you suddenly have to spring into action and smash 10k runs daily or lose to stone or learn Spanish. I’m not too keen on that knee jerk reaction to things.
Yes, a timeframe is great and some people are motivated by that goal, but if you are feeling like you have let yourself go and are in a bit of a slump, throwing yourself in at the deep end will not help things in the long run.
What lockdown goals should we be aiming for then?
I have spoken to Healthista about goal setting before, (Read More: Celebrity trainer Sarah Lindsay reveals the golden rules of goal setting) and I do believe everyone needs a goal to strive towards when it comes to health and fitness.
Why wouldn’t you strive to be the healthiest version of yourself? Setting a goal not only keeps you accountable but also keeps you motivated.
I stick by what I have said in the past, setting a goal doesn’t have to be a huge deal. You don’t have to think of goal setting as life changing or a way to show off, such as dropping half your body weight or being able to lift more than any of your mates.
You don’t have to think of goal setting as life changing or a way to show off
Goals can be extremely personal such as, improving your energy levels, getting more sleep, building confidence or drinking enough water.
Even the smallest goals such as being sure to drink three litres of water, will make you feel as if you are on the right track and will encourage feelings of happiness and achievement.
#1 Find something you enjoy
It’s cliche and everyone says it but ultimately that’s because it’s the truth. The first thing to do is start finding a way to enjoy exercise again. Especially now that people have more time, it can be easier to find something you enjoy.
You’ve probably been sat on the sofa binge watching box sets for the past few weeks and the thought of going for a run probably doesn’t fill you with joy – your knees and joints especially won’t be pleased.
If you hate something, the novelty will wear off extremely quickly and you’ll throw in the towel in no time at all. Finding something you like though, whether it’s a dance class, a weekly HIIT class or an abs challenge will mean you’re more likely to keep it up.
#2 Make it social
People are desperate for social interaction.
FaceTime a friend and do a workout together, or go for a socially distanced walk.
Why not rope a friend into your online workouts too? I have found a real community surrounding these online classes and live workouts.
Everyone comments on posts talking to each other: ‘How did you find that class?’, ‘My legs are still killing from Wednesday’, ‘When are you next joining the class?’ and so on.
You end up in a bit of a club, and feeling like you’re not alone even though you are on your own in the living room.
#3 Don’t go crazy
Physically, if you’re doing a huge day of exercise and throwing yourself in at the deep end, you’ll become so physically exhausted that you can’t do anything the next day or day after or even the day after that.
Running 20k one day and being exhausted for the rest of the week is very different to running 2 to 3k everyday. Smaller distances more consistently will build your fitness over time and also create routine and discipline.
I understand people get excited and motivated but then all that energy at once won’t help you in the long term. Remember, don’t punish yourself with exercise. Being able to exercise is a total privilege that we should enjoy.
#4 Aim for small goals and often – remember consistency is key
You can have an end goal, or short term goals, but ideally routine and consistency is key.
Whether you reach that goal or not isn’t necessarily in your control, but if you think about the process and routine that will get you there that is what you can control.
Break it down and ask yourself, ‘how am I going to address this?’, ‘What am I going to do this week that will help?’, ‘What can I change daily to help towards my goals?’
Whether that’s walking for an extra ten minutes, completing a daily ab challenge, making five meals from scratch or hitting your five fruit and veggies a day.
do what you need to do to stay consistent in your routine
What you can control and take charge of on a day to day basis are the goals you need to focus on. Once you have planned that out you simply have to make it consistent and stick to your routine.
Same days, same time – do what you need to do to stay consistent in your routine and you’ll definitely start to see results.
Just doing enough each day to get your heart rate up, release endorphins and increase your strength, learn a new move, whatever it may be – it will all help you to feel better every day and you will slowly start to see improvement in your strength and overall health.
You may even be able to do things that you couldn’t do before like beat a personal best running a 5k.
#5 Do what makes you happy
I truly believe that there is no better antidepressant than exercise. To get out of a slump you need to be moving your body, but there is so much more you can do every day to help you feel better and happier.
Cooking, cleaning, reading, calling a friend, walking the dog, making a coffee – whatever makes you feel better and gets you through the day, do it!
Don’t listen to the ‘this is how you should be spending your lockdown time’ nonsense.
Sarah Lindsay is a three-time Olympian and personal trainer like no other. A European gold medalist, 2x world silver medalist and 10x British speed skating champion, Sarah is an inspiration to anyone looking to reach their full potential.
She is one of London’s most recognised celebrity personal trainers, who’s clients include Caroline Flack, Pixie Lott, Melanie Sykes and Sheridan Smith to name a few.