Regardless of which diet you follow or what kind of workout routine you choose, the following 7 things are paramount in realizing your fitness goals.
When designing your workout plan or diet, focus on creating long-term habits. Ask yourself the following 2 questions:
1) Is this something I can realistically do for the next month?
2) Is this something I see myself doing for the rest of my life?
You’re better off starting with 30 minutes at the gym twice a week and doing it for 3 months, than an hour everyday but you gradually stop going altogether after 2 weeks. After you’ve been going for a few months, it will be a lot easier to do 45 min 3 times a week and so on. It will be habit at this point. Same goes for dieting; start slowly changing your diet and expand from there. It will feel easy and help you a lot more in the long run.
Also Read: Getting Fit in A Stressful Job Routine
Part of creating new habits, is being consistent. While we all love constantly reading about new workout routines, new diets, trying new things, and changing our diet every 2 weeks based on some study we read about – that’s not how you get results. Results come from consistency. Results come from making a plan, and sticking to it. Our brains are trained to take the easiest route to get any task completed. This is why we keep trying to change our plans and coming up with easier ways we convince our self will be more effective. Don’t fall for this. Instead, make a plan (doesn’t have to perfect) and follow it. You can tweak things after you’ve been at it for a month, but not 3 days.
This is a very ambiguous one, but probably the most important. When you decide you want to start doing something, make sure you’re environment/timing is conducive to what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if you’re trying to eat healthier, think in advance. If you wait until you get hungry, you’ll most likely end up going for something fast and easy, no matter how much ‘Willpower’ you have. You’ll keep ‘failing’, although what you’re really doing is just bad planning.
Same for working out, if you know that after a long day of your work you probably won’t make it to the gym; schedule your workouts for the morning. Don’t set yourself up to fail and wonder why you failed.
Getting the right amount of sleep is something that all we know need, but sometimes don’t take so seriously. This should be your number one priority. Our bodies need a good amount of sleep to function properly. This is even more important when we are trying to get more out of our body. Sacrifice some TV time and your workouts will be a lot more effective.
Additionally, many people have told me that they crave junk-food when they are tired. So there’s that.
When I first signed up for a gym membership, the trainer asked me “How long you have been trying to get fit?” I honestly did not know. I knew it was a very long time, but not exactly how long. I also knew there were 2 month stretches where fitness was on my mind and I got results and 5 month stretches where I didn’t think about it at all. Meet accountability. Schedule a time every week, every month and every year where you will go over everything you’ve been doing. See how effective you’ve been. See what’s working and what isn’t. This brings us to…
Along with accountability comes adjustment. When you can look at a month and see how you performed and what results you got, you now have the necessary information to make proper adjustments. Maybe changing the time of day you eat or workout. Maybe inserting a snack somewhere to avoid the overeating after dinner. Or even expanding more on what’s going well like adding a morning workout since you’ve been enjoying those.
Failing is part of succeeding; but only if you learn from it!
Celebrate your accomplishments, even small ones. Not with bad food or being lazy, but by treating yourself better. Perhaps buying something nice for yourself or even telling yourself how proud you are of what you’ve accomplished. Or just look in the mirror and smile 🙂
Also Read: Best Workout Schedule for Body Building
I know this may sound cheesy and not super-important, but it is. Getting fit is a process and we sometimes get carried away focusing on the end result of having 0% body fat that we don’t realize how far we’ve come so far and risk losing motivation.