Are you one of those who gets inspired on a Wednesday and think it is time to start doing something about your health, weight and fitness. Then you tell yourself, “I will start on Monday”?.
Then Monday comes and go...
You come up with all the right excuses not to commit to your diet or training program. There is always something more important, a reason for not making the effort. Then six months down the line, you think “I should’ve started back then” but you haven’t. Life happened and you are still stuck with the “you” you don’t want to be.
And then you see the gorgeous cover girl on the magazine...
Which either devastates you, or convince you to try again. And then the cycle just repeats himself again! You get sidetracked and the idea of getting fit goes out the window.
But all you need is guidance...
As much as all of us knows that eating healthy and exercise is good for you, we still get ourselves caught up in an obesity crisis worldwide. Unfortunately, fitness doesn’t happen overnight and it also doesn’t come easy. It takes planning and goal setting, effort, but most importantly, it needs you to change your mindset.
MY 10 TIPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS:
TIP #1 - SET REALISTIC GOALS
Sit down and write down all you fitness goals you would like to achieve. Now, in a few months time and also in a years time. Make sure it is small and achievable. Don’t think you can go and participate in the next Olympic Games (perhaps not now and it might be a long term goal).
Not now because you are not able to, but purely because a goal like that takes planning, it takes time and it takes a lot of effort.
Make sure your goals are achievable. And rather have a few small achievable goals than one big goal.
TIP #2 - MAKE A GOAL BOARD
Take fitness magazines and cut out the pictures, the words or the events that inspire and motivate you. Pictures of a certain body look you would like to have, or an advertisement of an event you would like to do. You can literally take anything you want. There is no right or wrong. This is your board.
Stick all your pictures on a board which you are going to put up somewhere so that you can look at it all the time. Write down the current date. This board will be your daily inspiration, especially on the days you feel like you want to quite, or you feel like you don’t want to do a training session. This board will change your mind.
TIP #3 - INCORPORATE HEALTHY HABITS
Healthy habits should become part of your everyday life. It should not be something you do for only a period of time (and that is my main reason why I hate diets). It should become habits, it should become part of your life, and it should become who you are.
Three examples would be:
- To park at the parking bay furthest from the shop’s entrance to force you to walk a little bit and if you are in a hurry, the walk would become a brisk walk or even a jog.
- Instead of taking the escalator, take the stairs or climb the escalator as if it is static stairs.
- Instead of buying a diet fizzy drink, start to drink water.
TIP #4 - GET A COACH/TRAINER
Accountability for me is the key to success!
Get a coach/trainer with whom you will have set appointments. This will help you get into a fitness routine. It will help you to get on track. You will be less likely to cancel your session even though you don’t feel like training. And if you do cancel for some reason, you will have to explain to your coach/trainer why.
This will help you to develop a training program that will be consistent, and consistency is the main ingredient to any successful fitness program.
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TIP #5 - TAKE SMALL STEPS
Start small and take it easy. You are not going to break world records in your first session. In fact, that is why most people fail at sticking to a training program, because they go out why to hard and they shock their bodies.
Start small and gradually build yourself up. When you are new to running or you would like to take up running, start with a run/walk program. Start with 2-3 weight training session p/week and get the body used to it than thinking you should jump in and do 5-7 session a week (yes, I know the fitness models does that, but remember, they have been doing it for months/years).
TIP #6 - DON'T PUNISH YOURSELF
There will be days when you won’t be able to do a session. That is okay! Don’t punish yourself for missing a session but try not to fall in the habit of doing it too often/regularly. A once-of missed session is absolutely fine. And no, you won’t have to go twice as hard on your next session to make up for the one you have missed out on.
TIP #7 - EAT DON'T DIET
When you follow a training program, you need to train yourself to follow a healthy eating plan as well. Your body needs to fuel and the energy to keep up with the demands of the training program.
Rather train and teach yourself to follow a healthy eating plan and learn to make healthy choices when you go shopping (and one way of achieving this, is to do your shopping after you have eaten and not on an empty stomach).
TIP #8 - TRAIN FIRST THING
I know this is not always possible but if you can make this happen, you are more likely to have success in your training.
There are two advantages by doing this:
- Training first thing in the morning switches the systems on – it will give you more energy for the day ahead (initially it won’t feel like it because you are not used to it). Exercise produces a lot of “happy hormones”of which the one is responsible for more energy.
- Once it is done, it is done! The chances of you cancelling or not making your session due to work/responsibilities, is less likely to happen.
TIP #9 - DON'T TRAIN WITH A FRIEND
As much as most people believe that you have to train with a buddy/friend, I disagree. Especially women! They tend to start chatting instead of training and they start loosing focus on their training. Their intensity of training is also much less than what they are supposed to or even capable of doing.
Yes, it is more fun doing stuff with a friend, but if you want to see results, train on your own. You can always meet up with a friend to do an event, like a Parkrun but I would suggest your daily routine should focus on you.
TIP #10 - LIFESTYLE
Don’t see exercise as the enemy. Change your mindset about training and see all the positive aspects about training. The way it makes you look, the way it makes you feel, the health benefits, etc. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Make it your lifestyle. You won’t regret it.
Anybody can do it, there is no excuse. There is enough time in a day, you just have to make the time.
These are the things I did a year ago that helped me get going with my training and yes, I am still going strong (physically and mentally). I train every day and it is part of my life and who I am now. And yes, I do sometimes miss a session but it is not the rule.
I really hope my 10 tips will help you get going and also, help to keep you going.