It’s January, and I am sure a lot of us have made fitness goals for the year. As a trainer this is an exciting time to see so many enthusiastic people, a buzzing gym and fuller classes. If only that feeling could continue! What makes the commitment to exercise SO difficult? Why do seemingly few people in a sea of gym rats reach their goals and feel happy about where they are with their fitness and their body image?
Although this list I am about to give you is nothing really new; they are THE ways to get success in the gym and reach your goals. I am not going to sugar coat it, but if you follow these simple steps you can achieve success.
1. Set a goal you can achieve in 3 months or less : Setting a goal to lose 60 lbs is not a detailed or short term goal. There is nothing inherently wrong with that goal, but set smaller goals along the way. I recommend a monthly weight loss goal – 8-10 lb a month (2 lb a week).
2. Mark your calendar: Write your workouts/classes in your schedule- make it an appointment like you would a meeting, school function or doctors appt. Don’t discount the importance of taking care of yourself!
3. Find a workout you enjoy: Like anything else in our lives we all have activities we like and don’t like. Just because your friends like Zumba or Pilates doesn’t mean you are going to. Try different activities and find your own groove.
4. Get used to being challenged and pushing through it: Too often I see people stop just short of success b/c it gets hard. While not every workout needs to feel like a death march, you need to be out of breath and muscles burning to achieve your goals. Push through those last few minutes or reps – it is uncomfortable but SO worth the results!
5. Be patient and stay committed! People don’t gain weight or get out of shape over night, and you won’t turn it around overnight either. Quick fix diets or killer workout programs seem to work at first but leave you exhausted and with a messed up metabolism. Consistency with your workouts and good eating plan along with patience is the only way to get to your goal and stay there.
6. Find support and make “fitness friends” As with any activity or interest support from others with the same interest or goals is essential. We ALL struggle sometimes with motivation, cravings, body image, etc… – even the most fit people at your gym struggle I guarantee it. Having friends form you exercise classes or gym make you feel better about your “journey” and help keep you going.
7. Make small healthy lifestyle changes: Thankfully the idea of health and fitness being a lifestyle seems pretty popular now. This truly is the biggest key to reaching your goals in a healthy way and staying there. Eating healthy (with an occasional cheat meal or dessert of course) is a way of life- not a 30 day commitment. Exercise is a daily routine like taking a shower – it is a part of your life. That will take some getting used to in beginning but will soon become a habit that you actually will miss when you don’t do it. To make this lifestyle achievable make small changes each month. Start with 10-15 min of exercise a day if you aren’t currently exercising. Work on changing one meal of your day to a healthy one and then add on from there. This will be less shocking to your current lifestyle and make this “habit” an easier transition.
I hope these tips help you if you are struggling this time of year. I live these steps and I do struggle as well- we are human. Hang in there and check back on my site for more detailed ways to reaching you goals!