7 Ways to focus on fitness in the new year
Many people struggle with health issues that can be related to poor diet choices or not getting enough exercise. We all have similar struggles, especially if you are a busy mom. Living with all the stresses of raising children, getting fit and staying fit can be an ongoing challenge. As a mother of three, I have played the weight loss game many times and have had to continually work hard to keep the extra weight off and stay healthy.
Since the new year is here, now is a good time to outline for yourself your fitness goals. Here are seven things to keep in mind that will help you focus on your fitness goals this year.
1. Be kind to yourself
In all the years that I have struggled with weight loss and been able to succeed, one of the most important things I have found helpful is to practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. If you are overweight and/or out of shape, don’t put yourself down. Listen to your own thoughts. Be understanding about the reasons why your health is not perfect. If you know the reason why you have gained weight, such as pregnancy, there is no need to be judgmental or degrade yourself because of it. Simply decide that now is the time to do something about it.
2. Invite a friend
Anything can be easier when you have a friend by your side who understands you and shares your activities. Not only should you be your own best friend, but you need to find a friend or two who can share your fitness journey. One of the greatest fitness motivators can be joining a club or group of people who do outside activities, such as bike riding or running. Doing a sport with other people will help you stay focused on reaching your fitness goals and having some fun along the way.
3. Track your progress
One of the best ways to achieve something is to write down your goals at the very beginning. How much weight do you want to lose? How far do you want to be able to run? How much weight do you want to be able to lift? It’s up to you to decide what you want, and there are trainers who can help you decide on how to go about it. If you keep a written record of your goals, as well as your daily progress, you will be amazed at how much fun it can be to see your progress and celebrate it. Keep a notebook with all your records and write everything down. I have always taken all my measurements at the beginning of a workout program, and then tracked how much I lost in inches, as well as pounds.
4. Believe you can do it
Whether you are starting a training program that will lead you to a major goal, such as a triathlon or marathon, or if you are just looking to lose weight and improve your stamina, working out takes dedication. You have to believe that you can do it and decide that you are going to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. Self confidence is one of the greatest benefits of any workout program. As you shed those extra pounds or build those additional muscles, you will find very quickly that you feel better and look better.
5. Don’t give up
Everything in life takes effort, so if you want to accomplish something, you have to remember that it takes a great deal of effort to get where you want to go. This may not be easy and it will probably take longer than you expect, but it will definitely be worth the effort. If you are going to try something new, give it your best effort and tell yourself from the very beginning that you will stick with it — your workout routine, running goals or other goals — and not give up. You might try putting up some inspirational quotes or posters on your wall to help you stay motivated.
6. Reward yourself
Even the highest of goals can be made of smaller goals that are easier to reach. Have fun with this part of your fitness regimen. Divide your larger goal into smaller pieces. If you want to lose 50 pounds, celebrate when you reach 10 or 20, and then keep going! If you plan to prepare for a 20-mile run, for instance, you could reward yourself when you are able to run five miles in a certain amount of time. I used to think of my trip to the hot tub or spa as my reward for working out at the health club. Find some way to pamper yourself. This can be anything, as long as it is something you enjoy. Think of some reward you can give yourself when you reach the small goals so you will have the motivation to go on.
7. Do it every day
Consistency is probably one of the most, if not the most important part of getting fit or achieving any fitness goal. You have to make your workout routine something you do every single day, without fail. If you stop for a day, or a few days, you may lose your momentum. Practice hard, and don’t let yourself make excuses to not do what you have set out to do. You will need to be mentally tough to overcome whatever obstacles you face. This is majorly important to your end result. Be dedicated and you will most likely reach the goals you have set for yourself.
In summary, be kind to yourself, invite a friend, track your progress, believe you can do it, don’t give up, reward yourself and do it every day. Follow these seven simple rules, and I am sure you can succeed at your weight loss and/or fitness goals, whatever they might be.