We get it. Fitness goals are hard. When it comes to setting out on some new endeavor to better your physical (and mental) health, it can be exciting. Then it can be daunting. Then overwhelming to the point where you’re unsure if anything you’re doing is even working and…what’s the point? We’ve done the research and leg work for you and condensed it down to the 7 top tips you need to implement to help yourself achieve your fitness goals.
Make an appointment with yourself
The first thing you need to do to achieve your fitness goals is find a time that works in your daily life. If you’re an early bird, knock exercise out first thing in the morning. If you’re a night owl, set it for nighttime. If you freelance and take long breaks, save it for midday. The point is to keep it simple and schedule it at a time you know you will be most likely to stick to. If you’re a night owl and try to force yourself up at 5am, it probably won’t work. Once you figure out what works best for you, make that appointment with yourself and keep it. If you can’t show up for yourself, how can you show up for anyone else?
Consistency is key
As with anything in life, consistency is key. It’s not enough to work out for 2 days, 2 weeks or even 2 months. It has to become a part of your lifestyle. It has to become a habit that you intend to keep and maintain over the long haul. It’s not so much about slipping up or taking days off, but rather, knowing that you will always get back to it. A few days off or a vacation here and there won’t ruin your progress.
This one may seem simple but hydration is easily overlooked. Being sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water not only works to keep you healthy, it helps the body to promote fat loss. When you’re cutting calories, drinking a glass of water can be a great way to curb hunger as well. Hunger is often thirst in disguise.
Everything in moderation
Rather than going cold-turkey on your favorite indulgences, learn how to have the things you love in moderation. If you cut things that you love (sweets, carbs) altogether, the risk of you eventually binging on it will be very high. Learn to adopt the 80/20 rule that implores you to eat healthy 80% of the time and enjoy treats 20% of the time. Without restriction, you can learn to meet your fitness goals while still indulging from time to time.
No Fad diets
Avoid fad diets at all costs. Whether it’s Atkins, Keto, Paleo, or anything in-between, do not adopt a dietary restriction unless it makes sense for you. If you discover you have food allergies and intolerances and that it makes sense for you to follow a new diet plan, that’s great! If you’re doing it because it’s the latest trend with celebrities, skip it. If it’s not something you’re going to be able to continue in the long run don’t even bother.
Take progress pics
Listen, stepping on the scale can be anxiety-inducing. Seeing those numbers jump up and down can push you back further mentally than anything else. If you’re scale-averese, it doesn’t mean having to sacrifice your fitness goals and progress tracking. Take pictures when you’re first starting out and take new ones either every week or two weeks. You will see more in pictures than you ever will be numbers on a scale. When you reach your goal, trust me, you’ll want to look back at where you started to see just how far you’ve come.
Exercise in a way you enjoy
Same advice as with the fad diets, don’t do something because it’s a trend. You need to pick an exercise that you enjoy, because you’ll be more likely to do it on days when you don’t feel like it. If you hate running, then try swimming or strength training. If you love to cycle, take some classes and switch it up with yoga to stretch. There are plenty of exercises out there. It’s all about finding the one(s) you love to achieve your fitness goals.