It’s the time of year again where everyone is setting their goals for the New Years and shouting, “New Year! New You!” People will eagerly pack into gyms and sign up for group fitness classes, which is great! But we all know the reality, some will stick with it and succeed, some will fall off the wagon and give up after a few days, weeks or even months. If you’re one of those people who are setting a fitness goal whether it is to lose weight, run a marathon or climb Mount Everest, what’s your plan so you’re not part of the group that gives up before they even start? Have you decided what you’re going to change, habits that you’re going to start practicing in order to achieve these goals?
I have seen people start working towards a goal with a fiery passion and immediately fizzle out because they did not have a solid plan. As a trainer I try to set monthly, weekly and even daily goals for clients in order for them to achieve their long-term goals effectively without losing that fire. Those that have succeeded have developed certain habits that have lasted with them throughout the whole journey and they don’t require you to give anything up, follow any complicated rules or buy into a special diet. I promise you that in the long run, these habits will make a difference in your journey.
1. Develop a routine.
It takes 21 days to create a habit, so if working out is not something that comes second nature to you, set a gym routine and stick to it strictly for at least 3 weeks. Pretty soon hitting the before the sun rises or after a hard day at work will become second nature rather than just a chore.
2. Spend more time in the kitchen.
We all know that we are tempted by a tasty restaurant menu, even when we have the best intentions to find a healthier option. I know I have a hard time turning down a burger and fries for a salad! But even those “Healthier” options often are not really that healthy. So spend more time in your own kitchen and feel satisfied that you prepared that delicious meal yourself.
3. Keep yourself accountable
Whether you decide to hire a personal trainer that will keep you accountable, you create a star chart to keep track of your work outs or track your food. Find a way to keep yourself motivated and on track or your goals. But also remember not to be so hard on yourself if you fall off for a day or a meal. Just move along and know that it’s all apart of the bigger picture.
4. Stay Hydrated
I am constantly shocked by how little water people drink during the day. A lot of the time when you start to feel sluggish in the afternoon and feel like you need to get a mid day caffeine kick, try drinking some water first. I am not immune to this either, I noticed about midday if I hadn’t drunk enough water I would start to feel sluggish and a headache would start to develop. I immediately thought I needed another cup of coffee, but that only lasted so long before I needed more. I started carrying around a water bottle with me during the day and surprisingly that afternoon coffee habit has slowly dissipated.
And last but not least…
5. PLAN AHEAD!
Maybe this one should have been first, but it is definitely extremely important. Pack your gym back the night before, plan your work outs ahead of time, and plan out your meals for the week ahead on Sunday. Knowing what you’re doing before you walk into those gym doors will save you a lot of time and frustration. Planning your meals ahead of time will keep you from eating out when you could have packed a lunch. If you know you have a long day ahead of you plan on not going to the gym that day and packing extra meals so that you don’t find yourself at the vending machine. Hindsight is always 20/20.