As a strength coach and weight loss specialist, I see people start and quit their fitness goals on the regular. What keeps some people in it and achieving results, long after the rest have fallen to the wayside?
Here are the 11 tips I think are most important.
1. Put yourself first.
If you cannot do this, for at least a little while each day, it’s going to be hard to find the time to achieve your goal. Working out, traveling to your training sessions, planning meals that consist of healthy choices, learning new habits that support your goal. All of this requires that you set aside some time.
If you are always choosing to put other people and other priorities before your own, you will not see results.
2. Clearly define your goals
If you don’t set tangible goals, it’s that much easier to lose your motivation and stop trying. Something as general as “I want to feel better” or “I want to look better” is really hard to measure.
Pick something specific.
“I want to fit into my favorite jeans. They fit me perfectly before my stressful year of binge eating. ”
“I want to be able to run a 5k with my daughter this summer”
“I want to be able to get up and down from the floor to play with my grandkids”
“I want to learn to squat with a bar on my back”
3. Plan for this for life
Here’s the thing. Once you “get in shape”, and reach those specific goals that you set, you still need to adhere to much of the same habits that got you there, in order to stay there.
Or maybe you want to go even further.
Creating new goals that build upon your original ones can keep you motivated. Goals give us a reason to stay on track and keep showing up.
4. Figure out what you can afford in advance and financially commit
Getting in shape, and staying in shape, is an investment in you. If you constantly put other material items above the importance of your health, you may need to rethink your personal priorities.
If you aren’t very good at budgeting your finances, keep in mind that financial fitness also impacts your health. Perhaps seek out a financial coach who can help you better determine where you want your money to go, and how to budget it appropriately.
5. Get serious about this
You are just as deserving of your time as anyone else. There can be backlash from others if they see you making a commitment to better yourself, because it makes them feel self conscious that they aren’t doing the same. Don’t let that thwart your resolve or your commitment to your new goals and habits.
Think of the other responsibilities in your life that you would never imagine shirking. Treat these new habits with the same mindset.
6. Keep it realistic
Instead of committing to go to the gym 7 days a week, what if you initially chose to go 2 days a week? That’s still 2 days more than you’re already going. Make your starting goals as doable as possible. Make success a no brainer.
Consistently going to the gym 2 times a week for a year will give you results. Going to the gym 7 times a week for a month, and then never again, won’t.
7. Don’t compare yourself to other people
You are an individual with your own set of circumstances, genetics, life experiences, and personal challenges. Keep your focus fully on yourself and when you measure your results, only measure them against what you were doing previously.
It’s easy to look at someone who seems to have it all, and with so little effort, and feel frustrated. But in the end, none of that matters. Tonight you’re going to go home as you. And tomorrow you’re going to wake up as you. When it comes to reaching your own personal goals, other people don’t factor into your journey.
8. Be willing to try something different
We get so stuck in our ways that we become our biggest roadblock. If you want different results, you need to be open to listening to others (certified professionals) who can suggest what you are doing wrong and how you need to fix it.
Let yourself be a little vulnerable. It’s so hard, I know. But putting your faith in someone else hands, and letting them be your guide, is the whole point of hiring a coach. If you don’t trust the coach you hired, ask yourself why. Is it the coach, or is it you?
When it comes to diet and fitness training, a year is a reasonable amount of time commitment for learning consistent behavioral changes and seeing noticeable transformation.
Most people only last a couple months, if that.
9. Don’t be a fad follower
Fads will come and fads will go. But anyone who has achieved great results and been able to maintain them for years on end, without losing their sanity, will tell you the same things. Eat a sensible, well balanced diet. Train progressively and consistently. Get lots of sleep. Manage your stress levels.
If you are constantly jumping from program to program and diet to diet, no one can help you. The best thing you could work on first? Developing patience and some fortitude.
10. Love yourself
This one may sound hokey but it’s true. When you don’t like yourself, or treat yourself like you’re worthy of your time, care, and improvement, your choices reflect that.
Ask yourself why you keep getting in your own way and why you don’t think you’re worth the same attention and effort you offer to other people in your life.
11. Decide what has to go
You can’t have everything in life. In order to make time for your new habits, some other things will have to go. Take time to decide what those things will be right from the start, and visualize yourself engaging in your new activities, in place of the old ones.
Don’t expect it to be easy at first, because it won’t. But nothing worth accomplishing ever is.
Stay sane and healthy!
Founder, real [FIT] life
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