If you’re reading this article, you’re likely frustrated because from not getting results, have hit a plateau, or looking to get started with your fitness journey. I hope that by reading this article, you have a better understanding of what to do if you happen to fall under one of these three categories.
Before I get started, let me just say that if you are looking to get started with your fitness journey, making the decision to take control of your health is the most important decision you can ever make in your life. By improving your health, you give yourself a better opportunity to be happy and to enjoy all of the things life has to offer. So many people miss out on so many moments in life because they feel so poorly about themselves. Good for you for reading this article, which is your first step on that journey!
It doesn’t matter which stage of your fitness journey you are in. These 3 simple steps will get you to where you want to be.
Step One: Figure out what YOU really want.
This might sound simple or obvious, but it really is quite the opposite. The reality is, men and women have been conditioned to believe that they should look or feel a certain way. It is extremely difficult not to be conditioned by society and the media, as we are surrounded by these influences more now than ever before.
Figuring out what YOU want might take some time to figure out. Really stop and think about what it is that you are looking to accomplish. If you want to look a certain way, how is it that YOU want to look? What will make YOU feel good about YOU? How strong do YOU want to be? Is there an activity that you want to do that you’ve never done before?
This is the hard part: Do not take into consideration what your husband, wife or friends might think about what you want. When you take the time to stop and think about it, this is a pretty deep question, and one that will take some time to figure out. Even once you have figured out what YOU want, deconditioning your mind from what the media and other social influences have told us that we want is not going to happen over night.
“You are the sum of all of your parts — your heart, soul, brain, muscles, and bones. You are the experiences that you’ve had, the lessons you’ve learned, the emotions you’ve felt, the wisdom you carry, and the love you’ve given and received. You are far too powerful and amazing to distill yourself down to merely your physical appearance.”
-Jen Comas, Girls Gone Strong
Once you have taken the time to really stop and think about what it is that you want, you can move on to step two.
Step Two: Set a SMART Goal
Your goal must be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relative, and Time-bound. If you’re looking for an excellent resource to help you out with this, check out a book called “The Freedom Journal” by John Lee Dumas. One piece of advice: pay special attention to the-Bound portion of the SMART acronym. If you don’t set a deadline for your goal, you’ll drag it on forever.
Step Three: Commit and Be Consistent
Most people think they need to be absolutely perfect in order to achieve fitness results. I think this is one of the BIG reasons why many people quit before they even get started. They have been led to believe that in order to be healthy, they can’t have another glass of wine, piece of pizza, and can never go out and have fun with their friends. This is simply not true!
This is another instance where you might have to revisit your goals and think about what you REALLY want to achieve. If you are a very social person and enjoy going out with friends, that’s perfectly fine! You just might have to think about what is realistic based on ALL of the things you want to enjoy out of life. Remember, this is what you want, not what anyone else wants.
In order to live a healthy lifestyle and head closer towards your fitness goals, we need to do a nice job being consistent in three areas. These areas are:
I want to reiterate the fact that we just have to be consistent in these areas to see results. We do NOT have to be perfect. Let’s imagine for a second that you had to be perfect in order to achieve results. This means you have to workout 5x/week with a coach who has everything planned for you, your diet absolutely perfect AND you get 8 hours of sleep every night of the week. This is a fairy tale! You would have to live in never-never land for this to happen! We all have things that come up in life that will never allow us to be perfect. Plus, life is too short to have a glass of wine with friends or stay out late every once and a while. If you begin your journey with the idea that you have to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, aim for 80 percent. Eat healthy, whole foods 80% of the time. Do your best to get a well-planned workout or do something active 2-3 times per week. Make your sleep a priority. Remove those late night distractions and challenge yourself to get 7-8 hours of sleep. Make yourself and your health a priority, and watch all of the positive impact it has in all areas of your life. Maybe you want to make more money, and by working out, eating better and getting more rest at night, you show up with more energy and a better attitude. You start feeling better and having more confidence. More energy, a better attitude, more confidence just sounds like the recipe for a promotion, doesn’t it? Maybe you’re single or your intimate relationship with your partner hasn’t been what it once was. Taking the time to focus on yourself might just change your life!
More on Consistency
After coaching hundreds of people over the last 8 years, I have noticed that there is only one thing that separates the people who keep their results, from the people that lose them over time. The only thing that sustains results over time is consistency. The people who try things but never commit are the ones who get results for a second, but then two months later they are back where they started, or worse.
Let’s do a quick recap of the 3 steps to achieve your goals.
Step One: You need to start by taking the time to figure out what it is you really want to achieve. If you set out on a path to achieving something you don’t really want, at the end of the day you won’t be fulfilled. This would be the greatest mistake you could ever make.
Step Two: Create a SMART goal. Goals help you set your direction. Your goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, relative, and time-bound.
Step Three: Commit and stay consistent. Life is too short to attempt being perfect. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to commit to something. If you dabble in this or that, you’re not committing to anything, and you won’t see long-term results.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
CSCS, Director of Training
Beyond Measure Fitness Training
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