REFRAME YOUR GOALS
Nikolajev nudges clients to think SMART—a goal-setting acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (“What’s your ‘why’ or motivation?”) and time-bound (set a deadline). Instead of, say, vaguely aspiring to look like Karlie Kloss, your starter goal could be working up to running for 30 minutes non-stop by the end of summer to improve your overall cardio.
LAY OUT A PLAN
Once you’ve decided on your priorities, commit to an actionable step-by-step. “When we see something with an end point, it’s a lot more approachable and doable,” says Nikolajev.
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MAKE IT ROUTINE
Willpower sounds mighty, but it’s fickle. Habits seem boring, but they work. “If you’ve established two or three things you do every day, you will look like you have willpower. It’s not willpower—you may not want to do it, you have no energy to do it, but you’re still going to do it because that’s the habit you’ve bred into your day.”
BE KINDER TO YOURSELF
If you’re bummed because your body doesn’t look like it used to, know that hormonal changes (priming you for the child-bearing years and, later, menopause) happen to us all, says Nikolajev. “I try to remind women that they can find a place of loving self-acceptance and still want to be better.” Having gratitude for who you are now will enable you to make progress with “greater ease, joy and speed.”
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.