Was your New Year Resolution to get fit? How’s that working out for you now that we’re into March? Statistically 66% of all resolutions don’t see February, with 80% being discarded by the end of March. But is there a better way to approach this, read on for some suggestions to help you out?
Define your fit
What does it mean for you to ‘be fit’? My definition of being fit will be vastly different than that of many people reading this, because my lifestyle, background, mindset and driving forces are unique to me – just as yours are to you. For me, being fit means being optimally healthy, strong, and feeling confident in my own skin. It’s not about the size of clothes I’m wearing, but about how I feel when I’m wearing them.
It’s time to think carefully and honestly about what fit means to you. This is the time to be realistic too, if being fit means a 6-pack then you will probably have a lot of time, effort and work to put in. While not an impossible feat, this goal will take a lot of learning because you will have to work out in the gym, eat incredibly well and ensure that you are getting enough rest and recovery time.
Maybe being fit to you is fitting into a certain size of clothing or completing a challenge (such as a 5k or a marathon.) It’s important that you are clear in your head what you are aiming for, that way you have a place to go. Being vague here is not an option, really spend time considering what being fit means – how will you feel, what will you look like, what will you do, how will this affect your daily life, what’s the bigger picture?
Now that you know what you are aiming for, you can take some time to consider why this is an important goal for you at this moment in time. Being emotionally invested in your goals is the key to long-term changes and success. There is a reason why you would like to ‘get fit,’ what is that reason? Identifying your own unique ‘why’ will help you to better assign importance to your goal by creating an emotional link to what you’re aiming for.
In my case, being fit will help me to better manage my migraines and the occasional low moods I feel. Eating better and heading to the gym help me to feel good about myself, which in turn, helps me to weather the times I feel less than good. My why is to avoid the pain of migraines and feeling down, but also to feel more in control of my own life by taking time for me.
For a seasoned athlete this could be improving their personal best in an area of expertise, but I’m guessing that not many athletes read my blog! Perhaps you have goal or challenge in mind such as running that 5k, 10k or even a marathon. It’s important to figure out what your end result will be, this is what we’re aiming towards. When you know you’re what, you can then work on your how!
According to motivational speaker and best-selling author, Tony Robbins, it’s all about pleasure and pain. If you can shift your association of these two concepts, you can begin to make changes in your life that will last. So, if you currently associate visiting the gym with a pain response, because maybe you’ve been injured or you’re unsure what to do when you get there – that pain is greater than the pleasure you’ll feel if you work hard and become your definition of fit. We need to switch the association, so that the pain of not being fit is greater than the short-term pain of hitting the gym.
Easier said than done, isn’t it?
This is where we must call in reinforcements. If you want to get fit, you’re probably going to need help in some shape or form. Research is key to figure out how you can achieve those goals. For some people heading to a group fitness class will give them motivation and encouragement, not to mention the social aspect of working out with a group of peers. Others may find that they want to venture to the gym. I’d recommend finding a good Personal Trainer to help you get the most out of your gym time and to help you learn correct form to ensure you don’t injure yourself.
But let’s not forget that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. A quick Google search will show you a multitude of ‘at home’ workouts you can do with minimum equipment and less experience.
Go easy on yourself
Start small. Maybe your New Year Resolution fell by the wayside pretty quickly, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up. You can start small, working out once a week, and build it up over time. No one says you have to be super fit by the end of March, this is your goal and it works for you.
You will have setbacks and bad days, accept this and make it part of your training. Don’t look at this as another thing to do, try to make it something to look forward to. Build in treats and rewards, such as booking a spa afternoon if you work out 4 times in the next 4 weeks. We all deserve a bit of a treat and dangling that carrot in front of yourself might be all it takes to get you started on your road to fit and healthy.