Excuses. You name them, I’ve heard them. In today’s article I’m giving you the tools you need to succeed and meet your body goals. Sometimes all it takes is some straight talking to help us realize we can be our own worst enemies. And I won’t let you sabotage your fitness plan, so let’s get down to it.
Many people see the New Year as a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning on the road to becoming a better, slimmer, more toned, more muscular, more committed and a more successful version of themselves. But something happens to, I’m guessing, about 90% of people who start out excitedly on a New Year’s healthy active journey. They quit. The reasons for quitting are vast. I’ll smile as I share with you that I’ve heard just about every excuse in the book during my 14 years in the fitness industry, and I’ll shyly admit that I’ve used some of them myself on a rare lazy day.
Quitting is a guaranteed way to not achieve your goals. When you decide to set business goals, fitness and health goals or career goals—if you quit, you fail. Getting frustrated and having a few setbacks is a normal and natural part of the self-improvement process. I’m sure you’ve heard the lyrics in Paula Abdul’s song, “Opposites Attract.” She sings, “Two steps forward, one step back…” I love that saying because I believe it’s true. We don’t always just make forward progress; many successful people will share that they learn a lot from the step back. My thought is that so long as you’re moving and striving to go in the right direction, you’re still succeeding.
Every time we feel a little bit of positivity from knowing we’re making the right choices, we get that feel-good feeling that can boost our confidence and fuel us to keep going forward towards our goals. Setting yourself up for success is the best gift you can give yourself.
I want to share some do’s and don’ts to help you accomplish your goals. Strategy is everything when you are setting out on a new journey, so let’s avoid some of the most common health-seeking resolution mistakes together.
Don’t delay… You don’t have to wait for a set date to get started. Some weeks and months may make it tough for you to prioritize nutrition and fitness, but don’t put off starting towards your goals. Every good choice you make today counts towards your goals.
Do start making good choices right now. Deciding ‘I may as well eat this,’ or ‘I may as well miss that exercise class’ is a dangerous mindset to have. Chances are if you keep that attitude and decide to be healthier tomorrow, then tomorrow will never come. Or, you’ve made it harder for yourself when you do decide to work on improving your fitness and nutrition, because your starting point is further from your goal.
Don’t feel you need to splurge on big fitness items… The expensive machines you see on TV could put you into debt and may end up just collecting dust. The models advertising the machines are just that—models. Companies hire fitness models who made a commitment to a healthy active life a long while ago, so don’t be fooled into thinking the machine alone is going to get you that body. Physical change requires lifestyle change, which includes taking a balanced approach towards your nutritional habits and making a commitment to be active. One fancy machine is not going to get the job done.
Do get fit with the only thing you really need—supportive sneakers. You can also add a few inexpensive fitness items, like some light dumbbells and a yoga mat to help get you started. You don’t need much to start your active journey. In fact, many very fit people only use their body weight to get in shape.
If you feel that a machine like a treadmill will help you to exercise more at home, earn it. Prove to yourself that you are committed first and develop a steady fitness habit. Once you are exercising 3-4 days a week for a few months in a row, making an investment in the right machine could be a good idea. My tip if you’re going to buy is to get a used machine. After all, most home gym equipment end up as dust collecting clothes hangers. With fitness equipment, ‘used’ often means ‘as good as new.’
Don’t go it alone… We are all human beings and thrive from getting positive encouragement from our loved ones. Don’t start on a secret healthy journey. Instead, share your passion for wanting to improve your health with the people you care about.
Do encourage a friend or family member to help you along the way. Ask them to help you stay accountable and be your shoulder to lean on for those set-back days. Every one has them. If you can find a healthy group in your community, get involved with them.
Don’t jump right in… One of the main reasons people quit with a new exercise routine is that they push themselves too hard at the start, which can lead to injury, stress, fatigue and low self-esteem.
Do accept where you are on your fitness journey right now, know your limitations and take it one day and one step at a time. The more fun you have and the more you embrace taking a progressive approach, the better chance you’ll have of getting results that last. Choose activities that you enjoy, and gently push yourself a little harder every few weeks. Remember, as your fitness level improves, you have to adapt your exercise routine to accommodate your newly improved fitness level.