Here you are again. For the umpteenth time, you are FINALLY ready to start this workout routine. Doesn’t matter that your past efforts have all fizzled out around the 3 week mark. This time is different. This will be the time you incorporate fitness into your life for good, and make it a daily ritual. Before you even think about stepping foot into the gym, ask yourself this: Have I done anything to increase my odds of success THIS time, that I was lacking all the other times? Almost always, the answer is no. Simply telling yourself THIS time is different, is never enough.
Take a look at these five steps and actively use them before you prepare to make a long-lasting lifestyle change.
- Know thyself. In the world of health and fitness, it is critical to know precisely why you are working out. This is ultimately what is driving your reason for wanting to get healthy. Everyone “wants to be healthy”, you must ask yourself WHY DO I WANT TO BE HEALTHY. For yourself? your kids? your spouse? to look better on the beach? The reason doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you pinpoint the exact reason you want to begin this healthy lifestyle change.
- Precision. Far too often, we make open-ended goals like, “I want to get into shape” or the worst of all, “I want to lose weight”. What does this even mean? You want to get in shape? What do you mean by in shape? And you want to lose weight? How much weight…….like a pound or two? Get real. You must precisely lay out your goals in a very specific manner. Write them down and hang them where you can see them everyday. Solid goals would be, I want to have 12% body fat, run a mile in 6 minutes, and be able to complete 100 push ups in a row. Or, I’d like to lose 60 pounds by this time next year.
- Get Real. We all know the couch potato of 10 years isn’t all the sudden going to be hitting the weights 2 hours a day, everyday like they say they will. You are only setting yourself up for failure when you make unrealistic goals. This in turn, steals your motivation and puts you back where you started from. More time in the gym is not always better. Efficient time in the gym is best. A well designed workout plan that you can follow will help maximize your time spent. Give yourself days off and be true to yourself when setting your goals. You know what you will do and what you will not.
- Journal Time. This is age-old advice, but it still holds true today. Keep a journal. I guarantee it will make you more successful in your endeavors. Keep a journal to track your sets, reps, and weight. Use another journal to track your diet and sleep schedule. Both of these factors play a huge part in your health and fitness. It is often easy to see what people will succeed and which will fail by their willingness to keep a journal. If you are too lazy to even keep a journal how do you plan on hitting the gym consistently?
- Likes and dislikes. The goal to attaining a healthy lifestyle is all about starting a program and continuing a program. That’s it. You are going to be less likely to start, let alone continue a program if you are doing things you hate. You know yourself. If you absolutely hate running, don’t force yourself to run. Focus more heavily on weights to start, with mini cardio sessions worked in here and there. Let yourself build a solid base; your motivation will increase exponentially as you see results happening. Really work hard at the things you like and don’t feel bad for not waking up at 6 in the morning, slamming a glass of raw eggs, and running 10 miles. You don’t have to do that to enjoy a lifetime of health and fitness.