There are many ways to define Goal and Prize. Many people believe that both are the same. This confusion may interfere with a person’s success in fitness training. It may help to clarify the meaning of each word and then to anchor the meaning firmly with your desires.
A goal may be defined as a thing to aim for, a target, or a destination. In fitness training or conditioning a goal may be considered as a progression in stamina, strength and balance. A goal may also be considered as the perfect execution of an exercise making the next repetition better than the last.
A prize is often a coveted object and more often than not in fitness refers to a visual attribute of a healthy lifestyle and not the lifestyle itself. At first many people focus on the visual prize. Perhaps due to advertising and promotional footage that uses highly motivated individuals. The visual pales in comparison to, and unfortunately over shadows the health benefits. The visual prizes associated with fitness may inspire and may also become a frustration when not obtained. A participant may become disheartened, decide not to complete their training and lose out on the health benefits.
Maintaining a positive mindset is a very important part of fitness training. So much so, that when participating in a group fitness program, a personal one to one session with a trainer, or even completing a program on your own, your mind must focus on positive thoughts. The reason for this is that when you have a high heart rate, it is much easier for the mind to create emotional memory that becomes associated with the task at hand. Any negative thoughts such as lack of physical attributes gained (six pack for example) and constant second-guessing (why am I doing this, what’s the point) will also be associated with your fitness training.
When preparing for your next training session you may want to consider reframing your concepts of goals and prizes. Focusing on a goal will draw you away from a visual prize and the potential of a self-limiting mindset. After all, the visual prize is only an attribute of fitness training and a healthy life style. On the journey towards your goal you may learn more about yourself and still receive the true prize of a long active and healthy life.