All of these numbered “tip” lists go the same way when it comes to exercise. 1. Exercise daily 2. Eat the right stuff 3. Count calories 4. Sleep 5. Be motivated
And every time I come across one of these lists I want to laugh and say ‘No s***, really?’ Writing the same obvious things over and over again as though you haven’t already attempted these things and maybe failed, or stuck to it for a while and got over it, or hey - maybe you’ve succeeded!
I’ve decided to compile my own list of 5 tips or things you should know as you continue your fitness journey.
1. Understand That It’s Not Easy
Your fitness journey is just that - a journey. It will not happen overnight and it will likely be a long process.
Health goals aren’t something that you can achieve and be done with, either. It’s an ongoing process that lasts throughout your life, so setting and changing goals is something that you should become good at in order to succeed.
2. Set Goals
In a study, Yale researchers asked graduating students how many had goals, and how many had written those goals down.
Just 10% had set goals for their future and only 2% of those had written them down.
20 years later the students were tracked down and studied again.
The group who had set goals were more successful, wealthier and happier than the 90% who had not set goals.
The 2% who had written their goals down were more successful, wealthier and happier than the other 98%!
So make goals. Write them down. And ask yourself these questions:
- What am I going to do to achieve my goal?
- What will I need to change to do it?
- How will it feel if I don't achieve it?
- What is my time limit?
- What help (if any) do I need from others to achieve my goal?
Your goals should be achievable, short term and - if a big goal like losing a lot of weight or running a marathon - should include smaller landmarks that you can cross off on the way.
My goal at the moment is to cut down my soft drink intake.
3. Stop Punishing Yourself
So you’ve set goals but haven’t managed to reach them. So you ate chocolate for breakfast. So you didn’t go for that walk today.
Sometimes things don’t go our way, and we fall down. But missing one exercise session, or feeling like crap for one day does not excuse you from the rest of the week.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again, without wallowing in self-pity or flagellation.
Which brings me to point 4.
4. Stop Making Excuses
I wasn’t feeling great this week. I don’t have time. I have kids. I have a full time job. I can’t afford it. I need to lose weight before I can exercise in public.
There’s a huge difference between punishing yourself for stepping off the path and making excuses for it.
No one can make you go on this journey. You have to decide to do it. YOU have to CHOOSE to put yourself and your health first.
Telling yourself you don’t have time in your week to do a workout is a copout so you don’t try to find that time. I’m not saying that finding time is easy, because sometimes it’s really not.
A 1 hour workout is 4% of your day, and a 30 minute workout is half that.
If you can’t find time in your day it’s because your fitness isn’t a priority to you. And if it’s not even on your list of important things you won’t succeed.
If you’re tight on cash and can’t afford to work out in a gym there are plenty of options available to you. I know how hard it is when money is tight and that’s why all of our classes are casual and super affordable, but there are also thousands of free workouts on the internet as well as recipes and fitness tips right at your fingertips. You can also walk, ride, run, and workout at home.
Yes, working out at home isn’t ideal for a lot of people but it’s something. Rope a friend in and make them walk the block with you. Get some cheap weights from Kmart or eBay - they do the trick as well as any.
Invest in your health. Invest your time, and a budget if you can. Prioritise taking care of your body and mind and you will succeed.
5. Find Motivation - From Wherever It Comes
It’s not as easy as the internet lists seem to believe to motivate yourself to succeed. I struggle with motivation daily, but in the end unfortunately no one can force you to exercise and eat well - only you can do that.
This is a great article on motivation, I highly recommend having a look: https://jamesclear.com/motivation
I’m definitely not the expert on motivation, but I find setting a schedule and sticking to it really helps. I also enjoy watching motivational videos or reading motivational quotes that inspire me.
Like this one: https://youtu.be/3sK3wJAxGfs
I’ll leave you with this. Success is something earned. Something worthwhile. And it comes to those who are dedicated, and committed.