It is important to know what your goals are. Setting realistic goals is very important. A realistic goal is specific to each person. A goal may be possible for one person when it is not for another. Let me clarify, that the goal may be possible but perhaps the time frame needs to be adjusted a bit. Having a goal set will help give you something to work for and to look forward to. It is important to set both short and long-term goals. You can set a goal for yourself daily or by each week. You can also have a monthly goal. An example of a daily goal could be to make sure you have stuck to your eating plan and you have worked out. Short term goals will help you get from day to day reminding you of the things that need to be done in order to help reach that long term goal. Keep in mind that your goals may change along the way, and that’s okay! As you continue on your journey you will learn and grow, so it is only natural that you may adjust your goals or add new ones.
2. Share Your Goals With Others:
You shouldn’t keep your goals a secret. It is a good thing to involve others in your plans. Let your family and friends know what it is that you want from this journey because they are the ones who are closest to you. They can help to keep you on track when you are having weak moments and remind you why you started this in the first place. There is also a sense of realness when you have shared your goals with others. This is the time when you make the change from a dream that is in your mind to the beginning of making it a reality.
Along with your weight training and cardio plans, make sure to find time for fun things that get you active. When you start out, you may not really enjoy lifting or doing cardio, so it is important to include fun things like swimming, bike riding, and hiking. These and other activities are good forms of exercise but feel like you are just having a good time. As you grow in your journey you will likely start to enjoy the lifting and cardio portion more. It is a funny relationship that starts out as mostly hateful but grows into a loving one. Exercise can provide so much more than just calorie burning. Exercise can be a great stress relief and personal reflection time.
4. Learn What Eating Healthy Actually Means:
One of the very common mistakes when trying to become healthy, is not knowing the real definition of what eating healthy actually means. Many people may have a skewed idea that what they are eating on a daily basis is healthy. There are many food companies that want to market to the public saying that their product is healthy. In reality many of these so-called, “healthy” products are in fact, not healthy and hold no nutritional value. The rule that I like to stick to when shopping in the grocery store, is to shop around the perimeter of the store. Things that will spoil within a week are good. When you go down the chip and snack isle, you see that many of the products are good for years. Think about the preservatives and artificial materials that are in those foods to keep them on the shelves for that long. Now think about what those same chemicals will do to the inside of your body. Do your research and don’t be afraid to look at the nutrition facts. Know what you are putting in your body and ask yourself, “How can this item benefit my health?”
5. Eat Healthy Foods That You Enjoy:
It’s important to eat foods that you like. If you are first starting out eating healthy foods, try different things and see what you like and what you don’t like. If you try to force yourself to eat something you cannot tolerate, then you have a higher chance of falling away from your plan. With that being said, give things a chance. A piece of broccoli will never taste like a slice of pizza, however as you continue to eat healthy you will find that foods like broccoli and other vegetables can actually be quite satisfying. You will begin to taste the good natural flavors in these healthy foods like never before.
With both our eating and our exercise, it is a good idea to switch things up from time to time. Our bodies are very smart and they start to get used to your routine meals and exercises. Make sure to add in different forms of exercises and food combinations to help keep your body engaged and responding properly. It is also just a great idea to see what else is out there. You will never know if you like something until you give it a try. I encourage everyone to do something that they haven’t done before, whether it is a new recipe or a new workout class. It is easy to get wrapped up in the same things from day to day. Spice things up by trying a new spin class or finally making those protein pancakes you have always wanted to try. Be creative and have fun with it. No one said that being healthy has to be boring. Enjoy the journey; after all, this is supposed to be a lifestyle change and not a diet.
7. Get Others Involved
Involve your friends and family in your healthy living. Pay special attention to the way you approach this. Health and fitness can be a touchy subject for many people and you never want anyone to think that your intentions are anything less that sweet and motivational. Often times, after being involved in a healthy lifestyle long enough to feel the large amounts of positive changes in your life, you will feel an overwhelming urge to share your success and routines with all those around you. This is the time to help motivate others with your passion and your love for what you have experienced. Invite friends and family members with you to your favorite class at the gym or ask them what they like to do for physical activity. Coming together to play a fun game of basketball is not only a fantastic time to spend with the ones you love but it is also a great way to exercise and have fun while doing so. If you find that you have a hard time getting to the gym find someone to be your accountability partner. This person will help motivate you to get to the gym and stay on track while you do the same for them. Share healthy recipes with one another and suggest new types of workouts. Getting fit is more fun when you can share it with others!
8. Keep Yourself Motivated:
Staying motivated can be a very hard thing sometimes. During difficult moments we sometimes tend to forget our reason for starting our journey. It is important to keep your mind strong and focused. You have started your journey for a reason, so make sure that you don’t forget it. You can strategically place friendly reminders in your daily life to help you reach your goals. If your goal is to compete in a fitness competition, then print out the show flyer and have it pasted in a place you can see it, like at your desk at work or near your night stand. You could also set little motivational reminders in your phone to pop up around times that you knew you struggle the most. Write down your thoughts, struggles and victories in a journal so you can refer back to it and see how far you have come. There are many ways to keep motivated but it is a very personal thing. What motivates one person may not work for another. Find what motivates you and never let that go.
9. Forget the past & Focus on the Future
Forget about how many times you have tried diets in the past or how many times you have said that this will be the year. Those thoughts just clutter your mind and weigh you down. Forget the past and focus on your future. Keep in mind that letting your past go is not to forget what you have learned from your past, but to simply forget your shortcomings and disappointments, because today they mean nothing. Remember only what you have learned from your experiences. With each attempt at something we become better, stronger and quicker. The same applies in this case. We learn what we like, dislike, what has derailed us and what motivates us best. Every step you have taken up to this point is just the beginning of your story and your journey to a healthy you. Believe in yourself and know that you CAN do it. No one can stop you from achieving your goals. Be strong, have faith and go reach your goals!