When it comes to reaching fitness goals, I understand it can be very easy to fall off the wagon and give up. Through my own experiences and through others, I thought it would be a perfect time (with the new year, just around the corner) to offer some awesome New Year's Resolution ideas that may help you set a goal and stay on track!
1. Be Realistic
If there's one thing that is high on the list it's this one! Be Realistic! Quite often we hear some outrageous fitness goals that simply are not achievable or healthy for that matter. One of the biggest ways to give up and lose sight of your fitness goals is by setting unrealistic standards. For example, expecting to see results in a week, starting a fad diet, or even training twice a day for 7 days a week, especially if you haven't set foot in a gym for years. Setting a realistic fitness goal that caters for your lifestyle, will not only help you to stay on track, it will also ensure you will actually achieve your goal while maintaining motivation.
2. Give Fad Diets the Flick
You started off with a gung-ho attitude but your sprint has turned to a crawl. I hear ya. But hey, you signed up to a marathon, not a sprint and now isn’t the time to give up! Don't turn to fad diets to give you that boost. Not only will they let you down, they are a really un-healthy way of losing weight. Fad diets = Low Calories. They may help very quickly, but soon the weight will be back on and even harder to shift. Stay focused, I always say 'The Tortoise Wins The Race' and in this case, it does! Create a new lifestyle change, not a flash-in-the-pan diet.
3. Keep a Schedule
Keeping a schedule is a great way to keep track of your goals. By establishing a plan, your holding yourself accountable for your actions and more likely to stick to your training and soon enough will become a part of your daily routine. A schedule will help change the way you approach training and instead of seeing it as a chore it will start to feel like an essential part of your lifestyle. So buy yourself a daily planner and see where it takes you!
4. Keep a Food Diary
This tip goes very well with keeping a schedule. Keeping a food diary is absolutely paramount when it comes to any fitness goal and I mean any! Whether your goal is to lean up or bulk up, a food diary is a must! Most Pro Athletes keep a food diary, why? Well, firstly again it holds them a accountable for what they eat throughout the day! What it can also do, is actually bring to light certain foods that you didn't realise you were eating or drinking that could be contributing to a standstill in achieving your fitness goal. If you love apps there are loads of fitness apps available now on both Android and IOS that take the guess work out of calorie counting.
5. Take Photos
What a wonderful way of seeing how far you've come and staying motivated in the quest of reaching your goal! Photo's can give you visual proof that your training and food plan is making a difference. I recommend taking photo's from the front, both sides and back to see your progress from all angles.
6. Take Body Measurements
7. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Sleep! We all know how important sleep is, it works wonders with achieving fitness goals. Studies have shown lack of sleep leads to weight gain and an increase in other health issues. While your sleeping your body produces growth hormone, this hormone not only helps with repair and recovery, it's responsible for muscle growth as well! So do yourself a favour and aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
8. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
When your stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol enters your body you can pretty much guarantee it's game over! Cortisol is responsible for a lot of health issues and in this day and age, it can be very difficult to keep cortisol at bay. Studies show cortisol ie: stress, can lead to increased girth around the belly and stomach fat which has been associated with diabetes. Relaxation, meditation or even going for a walk can help drastically lower cortisol.
9. Forgive Yourself
We all have moments where we indulge in a treat or two and that's ok! It doesn't mean you have to give up. It's vital to forgive yourself and not feel guilty if you fall off track one time or another. In fact, I find I'm more motivated than ever to keep on track with my fitness goals. I become more determined, and normally find I have my best workouts after a little binge. Forgive yourself, use it as fuel and move on!
10. Lastly, Remember Why You Started
We can all lose sight of why we started on our fitness journey's. When you are finding it especially hard to muster up motivation, try and remember why you started. Take a look back at your before photo's, perhaps place them up somewhere close, where you walk past on a regular basis, just to show how far you have come. By revisiting before photo's, that can reiterate that feeling you had in the beginning of your journey and become motivated again to hit your fitness goals.