One of the best parts of the New Year is the enthusiasm that people have towards setting goals and starting new healthy habits. The down side is that this doesn’t tend to last long and the motivation you had a start of the year quickly starts to dwindle and you find yourself back in the same place the next year. To combat this I’ve come up with my top 10 fitness tips that will help keep you motivated all year round
10: Set Goals
Goal setting is an important part of your fitness journey, it is the desired result you hope to achieve and it will act as your biggest source of motivation. 2 key things to remember when setting your goals are to make them specific and realistic.
Specific: For example a goal to lose weight is quite vague, ask yourself why you want to lose the weight? What are you hoping to achieve from this weight loss? The answer could be that you feel unhappy and lethargic and so instead of setting a goal to lose weight set one which involves you feeling happier within yourself as well as having more energy
Realistic: There is no doubt that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to but it is important that your goal also be realistic, don’t aim to lose 10kg in a week instead opt for more manageable and healthy weight loss of 0.5kg – 1kg a week
9: Aim for Balance
You’ll want to hit the ground running, but you must remember to have balance in your life. When I first got involved in fitness I promised myself that I would train 6x a week and never eat anything unhealthy again. This lasted for 8 weeks and then I fell off the wagon and felt completely unmotivated. Not to mention I always turned down requests which involved social occasions so that I wouldn’t be tempted by certain foods.
This was certainly not a healthy way to lead life, not to mention I was completely miserable.
Instead what you should aim for is balance. You will need to do things that that will get you closer to your goal but at the same time you need moments when you can relax and enjoy yourself, that way you are less likely to fall off the wagon as I did in the past and become unmotivated. Exactly what type of balance to aim for will vary for every person, so I suggest you experiment until you find the right balance for you.
8: Do things you enjoy (have fun)
There is definitely right and wrong when it comes to training and nutrition. However, the fitness industry is extremely diverse and there are many different training styles and variety of approaches to take when it comes to nutrition. So which one is best? The answer is simple, the one that best suits you and your lifestyle and that one that you enjoy most. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to do something that you don’t like. For example you may find that you enjoy an entire session apart from one exercise which may be extremely beneficial, but since it is just the one, you can summon up the strength and just get on with it. If however, you don’t enjoy your entire session or your training plan then you will find it harder to get yourself motivated enough to do it, let alone stick to it.
7: Aim for progress, not perfection
Quite a simple point, but one that many people (myself included) tend to forget. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the achieving of results that we forget to focus on the progress that we make. We forget that our bodies take time to respond to what we do to them. Instead if you focus on being better each day both with training and nutrition you are unlikely to become unmotivated and disappointed, which will result in you becoming less likely to give up on your ultimate goals.
6: Don’t underestimate the importance of rest days
Rest days are just as important for your body as your training days. These are days that your body takes to grow and repair muscles, recover and to give you the energy and strength needed on the days that you do train. If you are just starting out on your fitness journey it is really easy to want to train everyday, but this is counterproductive as what you’ll most likely end up doing is burning yourself out in the long run. Instead aim for at least two rest days a week.
Rest days don’t mean that you have to be completely inactive. Instead of going for your usual workout you may want to go for a walk, a swim, or maybe even try some thing new like a gentle yoga class.
5: Make sure you are adequately hydrated
Never underestimate the importance of drinking water when it comes to achieving your fitness goals.
Water has many benefits which include:
- Fuelling your muscles during training session by preventing fatigue
- It helps you concentrate
- It can help aid weight-loss
- It can help improve your mood
All this for 0Kcal
4: If you don’t know or aren’t sure just ask
When I first started out exercising I used to waste a lot of time in the gym. I didn’t really know what equipment to use most of the time or how to use it. I spent a lot of time feeling too embarrassed to ask someone for help. If you are unfamiliar with what to do there is absolutely no shame in asking. It may be helpful to invest in a few personal training sessions until you feel confident enough to workout on your own.
3:Don’t compare yourself to others
Having a role model can be a huge source of motivation, however, be careful to not get trapped into comparing yourself to your role model or anyone else for that matter. Comparing yourself to someone else for the sake of making yourself feel good is always going to be a losing battle, because you will never reach the point of being better than others in the way that you want to be. Moreover it in no way contributes to helping you achieve your goals. You should instead re-direct your focus on yourself and strive everyday to be better than your were the day before.
2:A healthy mindset is key
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and a good balance of both is crucial element in attaining a healthy lifestyle. Having a positive mindset has several benefits, including:
- Keeping you motivated
- Helping you smash out workouts
- Helping you move past setbacks and plateau’s
1: Be consistent
The best fitness advice I’ve ever gotten was simply to be consistent. There will be bad days. There will be days where you don’t train or you don’t eat as well as you should, but if you remain consistent on most days those moments won’t stop you from achieving your goals. You are only human, be kind to yourself, be patient and most importantly enjoy the journey.