The New Year will be here before we know it. Between the holiday parties and cold/wet weather it is easy to lose focus on your fitness goals. This is why I always tell people to get into the fitness habit before the holiday sessions start, so you have good habits going into the New Year. But when you become determined to make fitness a top priority there is no time like the present to get started! Here are some of my thoughts on helping you get into and sticking to good fitness habits.
First it is important to know what you are doing, so do some research. Read up on different exercise routines. This will give you ideas that can be incorporated in your workouts and make them more enjoyable. Don’t get stressed if one article says you need to be lifting heavy weights, and the next one says light weights are better, don’t sweat it. Absorb the information then do what works for you, just be consistent.
Likewise read up on nutrition. Again don’t become discouraged if one nutritionist says to not eat carbs and another says carbs are fine. Just absorb the information and figure out what nutrition plan you think would work for you, what you think you will be able to stick with. I am going to let you in on a little secret, all diets work as long as you are consistent and pay attention to what you are consuming.
All this reading might seem like a waste of time, especially if you already have a routine or are working with a trainer. The real reason it’s important is that you will be surrounding yourself with positive reinforcement. The stories of people getting in shape the images of the physique models are all cues to your brain that this is important. The saying is, “you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.” So fill your day with fitness mags and you are sure to get in better shape.
Second, it is important to set real goals. If you intend to lose thirty pounds of body fat, don’t try to lose thirty pounds, set a goal to lose two pounds. Then when this goal has been achieved reassess, make small incremental changes and set a new small goal. Repeat. I remember the first year after I went from 30% plus body fat to under 10% I still saw myself as large. Your mind can’t comprehend what that is like. So your subconscious can actually try to sabotage your success in order to keep your body where you are “comfortable”. In my case I continued to by t-shirts for my larger self, size Large men’s. Now I am actually a size Small men’s. Making small changes can prevent that from happening.
Lastly, use this acronym to help you stick to your plan A.C.T. -
Accountable: Tell your friends, your family, social media what your goals are, buy summer cloths that don’t fit YET, all of these will help you turn your internal struggle into a crowd supported success plan.
Commit: You are in it to win it! But, I’m going to be honest here, it’s not easy making life changes. It’s worth it, but it’s hard. Commit to doing it. In the long run you will be healthier and have better discipline in life.
Track: Don’t plan on working out, plan your workout. Don’t plan on getting in shape, plan your path towards fitness. Don’t look for results, SEE them. If you aren’t tracking where you are, it’s like driving towards an unknown destination without a road map.
Have a great New Years and congrats on your future successes!