The road to fitness success holds many rewards, and as many roadblocks. So when we begin a fitness program, we are full of energy, drive, motivation and dreams of our “fitter self”. We have a vision of how much more toned/muscular and slim we will look. We go out and buy the proper gear and accessories, to look the part but more important BE the part. We are full of enthusiasm as we write the cheque and sign up for a year membership to our local gym.
Top Tips for Fitness Success
We steam ahead day after day, week after week, and suddenly after a certain time, realise we don’t really look any better; don’t really feel any fitter. We are plagued with self-doubt. We question our motives and reprimand ourselves for even thinking it was possible.
This is the beginning of the road to failure.
If we cannot believe we can do something, then we truly cannot achieve it. The quickest way to counteract this is by turning around our self-talk (the chatter in our head, the OTHER voice). We can focus on what we CAN do rather than what we CANNOT do. We discussed setting SMART goals in an earlier post, so write down your goals and if you don’t lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, re-address those goals and make them realistic.
I thought I was being realistic when I assumed I would lose 7 pounds in 3 months. However, I did not lose 1 pound. Instead of losing weight, I lost fat and replaced it with muscle. It took 4 months but that 4th month made more difference than the other 3 put together. However, before we think it all happens at a certain point, think again. Cumulative is the name of the game. Everything we do in the first 3-4 weeks, or 3-4 months (everyone is different) accumulates and all comes together seemingly all of a sudden.
The important thing here is to stay motivated, keep that vision in our mind’s eye of how we will feel when our goals are achieved.
So I have put some pointers together for you to focus on when you hit a “roadblock” on your journey to a fitter and healthier you:
#1. Use your common sense
Set SMART goals and write out your action plans. If you have an old picture of a fitter or slimmer you, pin it up and use it to motivate you when feeling you’ve hit a roadblock. Visualise yourself as that person again. Dedicate a space and time that will empower you to achive your goals.
#2. Refuse to be a victim
Don’t play the “Blame Game” – time constraints, travel, kids, the list goes on. If you are not prioitising your fitness program then it is not the time for it. You must take complete ownership of your decisions and completely accept that you will hit roadblocks along the way. Learn to maneuver your way around the obstacles. This can be achieved by listing all the constraints and problems you will face on your fitness journey, and list counteractive measures or procedures to follow if they occur.
#3. Maintain high ambition
Keep up the momentum to assist significant change. If you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and get right back on again. Remember that wagon keeps moving. If you sit too long in the dirt, there may not be another wagon for a while. Missing the gym for a week doesn’t undo all the good that you already achieved. No excuses!
#4. Write down your goals
Write everything down; from your major long-term fitness goals down to the month by month plan, down to the week by week plan. Plan for each day if necessary but ideally you will want to schedule fitness into your weekly or monthly itinerary.
#5. Be highly flexible
Accept that things don’t always work out the way you thought or planned. See a major glitch in the plan as an opportunity of some kind. Take on excuses as a challenge and turn them right around to advantage. This is a hard task to achieve but almost always possible with some creative thinking. Think OUTSIDE the box.
“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” Jerry West
#6. Improve your self-confidence
A tough one! Make sure you reward yourself regularly, preferably not with food! Buy clothes that fit you better as your old clothes will have your old shape in them, and will be ill fitting as you tone up. If you continue to wear your existing wardrobe – you will not see the improvements. Get shopping!
#7. Be resilient
Don’t’ take ANYTHING personally. ANYTHING anyone else says is always about them, even when they are giving advice – “Well, if I were you, what I would do is…” Sound familiar? Well, they are NOT you. Only you know what is best for you. And you know you are worthwhile and good, so the “Oh Elaine, you look terrific” or “Yes, it seems to be taking a while” scenario is more about them than you.
#8. Be clear about why you want to achieve your goals
If these goals were not set for yourself, then you will not succeed long term. If you are loosing weight or trimming up for somebody else, then it is not a body or fitness issue at all. Ask yourself why it is so important to do this for the other person.
#9. Control your mindset
Watch the clutter in your mind – the second voice – the social voice that tells you there is no point, you are no good, you will not succeed, everyone is laughing at you. Watch your language – if you are saying to yourself “I don’t want to be unfit”, start using language such as “I will be fit” and “I will get to my target weight”. These messages get imprinted on our brain and our unconscious mind will do everything in it’s power to make it happen. We do have control over our thoughts, and our thoughts provoke action.
#10. Be willing to do whatever it takes
I mean within reason here. If you want something bad enough, you will do the necessary things to get there. If you find exercising boring – find something as equally as active that you enjoy – do whatever it takes to make your journey a smoother ride.
And don’t worry about the roadblocks – they get cleared eventually!
Can Coaching help with your goals for a fitter or healthier self? Well, of course! Just like these pointers, Coaching will help guide and keep relevant what is important in the journey. Most importantly, Coaching helps to maintain focus and keeps you accountable for your progress, thus speeding up the success process.
I am self-coaching during my path to better fitness, and find it hugely beneficial, and am right on target too!
Happy Days, you can have them too! If you would like any further information, e-mail me here