If you’re looking for a way in but are not sure how to get started, here are 25 ways to make fitness work for you.
1. Optimize Your Daily Decisions. This could be keeping water on your desk to encourage you to drink more or keeping a gym kit at work so you never have the excuse of having forgotten it.
2. Don’t Keep Temptations in the House. Don’t keep your weaknesses in the house, it’s just asking for trouble. If you find yourself eating a whole packet of biscuits every night then stop keeping them in the house, this will remove the temptation. Simple.
3. Do Exercise That You Enjoy. Make fitness easy by doing the things you like doing. It could be lifting heavy weights with music blasting through the headphones, the peaceful solitude of long runs through nature or the adrenaline-pumping action of martial arts or team sports.
4. Set Short, Medium & Long-term Goals. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. Take the time to set a single long-term goal before breaking it down into more manageable medium and short-term goals.
5. Don’t Restrict Yourself. Restriction leads to cravings and cravings lead to binge eating. I’ve seen it time and time again, those who restrict themselves struggle to enjoy long-term success.
6. Realize You’re Playing the Long Game. Approach fitness with a long-term mindset, know you’re in it for the long haul and that any progress worth having will take time.
7. Remind Yourself of How Far You’ve Come. It’s so easy to get caught up in the end goal and continually strive for more progress, more of the time. When your success actually hinges on your ability to take stock of the progress you’ve already made and recognize how far you’ve already come.
8. Plan to Fail, Don’t Fail to Plan. You have to realize that even with the best of intentions things won’t always go to plan and it’s at times like these you need to be prepared. When setting goals, plan for any potential barriers to your success and find the solutions ahead of time.
9. Understand That Progress isn’t Always Linear. Progress is messy, it hops, skips and jumps around. You can be strong in one session and weak the next. The key is to look for the overall upward trend over the weeks and months instead of relying just on day to day improvements as an indicator of success.
10. Build a Support System. You don’t have to go at it alone. There is only more strength in reaching out to others for help. Whether you need someone to keep you accountable or to pick you up when you’re down building a network of support around you.
11. Learn and Use Proper Technique. Nothing will have you quitting quicker than not seeing results, so invest in yourself and take the time you need to learn the correct technique, then practice it at every opportunity you get.
12. Remember It’s a Lifestyle Change Not a Temporary Change. Real results come from hard work and consistency over time, not from temporary changes in routine.
13. Educate Yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you read blogs, books and magazines, listen to podcasts or take courses. Knowledge is power and the more of it you have the further you will go.
14. Apply Progressive Overload. Progressive overload is the act of increasing the difficulty in order to provide your body the stimulus it needs to change. This could increase the reps or sets of an exercise, decreasing the rest time between sets, running the same distance faster or running further.
15. Build Habits and Create Routines. Make the hard stuff easy with habits and routines. Try leaving your gym kit prepacked and by the door so you practically trip over it on your way out.
16. Accept Yourself As You Are. You will spend most of your time in the ‘journey’ stage of fitness, as you transition from one state to another. If you can’t accept yourself as you are in this moment, you’ll find yourself desperately wanting to change at an accelerated rate. When the rate you desire to see change outstrips the actual rate of change, you’ll become disillusion and will quit.
17. Make a Killer Playlist. Music has the ability to change the way we think, feel and act. It can pick you up and propel you forward even at the toughest of times. It can push you to do more than you thought possible, so before you, next workout, go and make yourself a killer playlist.
18. Get Excited. You should feel excited about fitness and the power it has to change and transform. Find the activities you love to do and get excited.
19. Reward Yourself. Celebrate the wins, big and small. When you reach a goal, acknowledge it, reward yourself and then keep working towards the next one.
20. Be Accountable. Take responsibility for your actions, don’t make the same old tired, weak excuses that everyone uses for not taking action. Stand up and be responsible for the path you’re taking as you’re the one who controls your next move.
21. See the Bigger Picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day grind, to look only at the here and now with no thought for how far you’ve come and where you’ve still got to go. Don’t dismiss slow progress as lack of progress, take stock of the bigger picture to see how you’re truly doing.
22. Stop Saying You’ll Do It Tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes and every time you say you’ll do it tomorrow, you’re killing that dream. You’re saying it doesn’t matter and it’s not a priority.
23. Track Your Progress. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be tracked. So, weight yourself daily and take a weekly average, track every workout you do, measure yourself monthly and take fortnightly photos. Or, just pick one and do that to start with.
24. Don’t Measure Yourself By Other People’s Standards. Your misguided preconceptions of what you should look like, what you should eat and how you should train are symptoms of your misplaced desire to live up to someone else ideals. F**k that.
25. Just Get Started.
It’s the hardest thing to do, to drag yourself out of your comfort zone and do that thing you’ve been putting off until tomorrow.
You need to change, want to change, have to change, yet you don’t change.
The task seems too big, the goal too far out of reach…
But you are capable beyond your own reckoning and if try, just try…I promise that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.