Measure What Matters


Whether you’re newer to exercise or have been a long-time member at a gym, some days are going to feel like a struggle. You may have to convince yourself to get out of bed. You may have to push harder during a tough workout than you did a week ago. At times, I’ve asked myself, “Am I just wasting my time?”

When burnout or complacency strikes, there is a way forward.

you have to measure what matters to you

Let’s say you’ve joined the gym to lose weight. That’s a great first step! Two weeks into your gym routine, you start going a little less. By the fifth week, you decide you don’t have time, or it’s not worth the money, and you quit. 

Now, here’s a parallel example. You want to be healthier, but you don’t know exactly what that looks like for you. You also join a gym, but don’t have a specific weight or fitness goal yet. Your sole focus is being consistent. You commit to five days of workouts a week. After eight months of showing up five days a week, you add a sixth day of training and a 30-minute walk on Sundays. Three years later, you’ve dropped 50 pounds, improved in all areas of your health, and ended up with the added bonus of meeting your spouse at the gym. Not too bad for someone who didn’t have any specific goals at the start, right?

These are two real-life examples of people I’ve met on my journey as a coach. If you’ve been around a gym for more than a month, you’ve probably met these people, too. 

So why did the first person with the specific goal quit so fast, while the person who just decided to show up consistently succeed?

It’s simple. The first person set a measurement they couldn’t really control. The second person only measured what they could manage. Success is much more likely if you measure what matters.

Set goals knowing what you can control

Here are three questions I ask myself when I’m considering a new goal:

What matters to me?

  1. What can I completely control?
  2. How can I take this to the next level?

When I jot down my answers, it starts to look like this:

  1. What matters to me? Improving my health.
  2. What can I completely control? Showing up to the gym five days a week.
  3. How can I take this to the next level? Adding a sixth day of exercise and a 30-minute walk on Sundays.

There is only so much you can control. The number on the scale isn’t one of those things. If a specific weight loss number is your only goal, you’re measuring an outcome. You’ve eliminated your effort and hard work from the process. If the only thing that matters is achieving that number, you’re selling yourself short. 

be prepared to re-adjust

At South Landing, our staff has seen it all. Combined, we have more than 70 years of experience in the world of fitness. Do you want to know how we manage to stay in shape while still enjoying training after so many years and seasons of life?

We constantly analyze what is important to us, shift our training to match our stage of life, and keep our focus on what we can control.

As I write, one of our coaches has just shifted her training during pregnancy. Another is training for only 30 minutes for 30 days because that is the maximum she has free to herself as a mom. And another of our coaches has set specific times and days to exercise every week as he wraps up his final semester of college. 

If you are feeling burnt out from training,  readjust for this season of life by sitting down with one of us to create a plan that will help you prioritize your health in order to keep moving forward.