Do want to know how to achieve your true fitness potential? The following are 10 steps that will take you from the person you want to change, to the person you always knew you could be.
Reflect on Why You Want to Be Fit
What’s your motivation? Take some time and think about why you want to embark on this new journey. Getting fit and staying fit is a lifelong commitment. Deciding to lose weight on a whim might get you through the first few weeks, but once motivation gets low, which it inevitably will, you are going to have to revisit the reasons for why you are doing this. Do some real self-reflection and discover the reasons for why you want to be fit.
Set Action Goals
You probably want to lose weight, and that’s fine, but that’s a results oriented goal. You need to set goals that are going to get you there. What are you going to do today, tomorrow, and next week to take action? Make a goal this week to add in just one healthy habit. Maybe that means drinking an extra 2 glasses of water a day, or maybe it means eating veggies at 2 of your meals. Whatever it is, make sure that goal is an action goal.
Our rational brains can get overwhelmed with information and keep our thoughts turning in circles. How do you do this? When do you do that? What happens if this happens? There’s always going to be a reason for why you can’t do something, but in order to make lasting change, you have to take action. Just start. You can tackle each problem as it comes up – if it comes up.
Change the Quality of Your Diet
Start your journey to fitness greatness by changing the quality of your nutrition. I don’t mean a complete overhaul, I mean small changes. Like I mentioned in the action goals, set 1-2 goals for this week and add those healthy habits into your diet. Keep working at them until they are new habits. At this time, focus on adding good habits into your diet instead of taking bad habits out.
Add in Physical Activity
Just like you did with your nutrition, you’ll want to slowly add in physical activity. Once you have a few good eating habits in place, it’s time to start getting active. Don’t go overboard at first. Take small steps until they are habit. Maybe this week you go for a walk a few times.
Once you do that for back to back weeks, you can add in another day or two. Eventually, you can set a goal to do a day of strength training or some other more intense physical activity. These will build on each other until you are consistently pushing yourself physically. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you enjoy it!
Push Through Your First Failures
Look, you’re going to fail. Some would even say it’s necessary to be successful. After a month or so of your new lifestyle, the chances are high that you’re going to slip up. That might mean you ate something you know you shouldn’t have, or maybe it means you skipped a workout. Whatever the case, write it off as a lesson, and learn from your mistake. Get right back on track. One bad meal or missed workout isn’t going to mess you up. The key is to bounce right back.
Build on Your Action Goals
When you see that you’re doing something right, it’s time to build on it. There’s no need to set a completely different goal. You can take what you’re doing well and add to it. If you’re doing well with adding water to your diet, keep building on that until 90% of your liquid intake is water. You’ll notice that as you keep adding in those good habits, the bad habits automatically get pushed out.
Analyze Your Progress
After about a month (maybe 2 weeks) you’ll want to stop and analyze how things are going. How do your clothes fit? Did you take before and after pictures? Have people been making compliments? Are you working out with more weight? Have you lost any weight? What new eating habits have you accomplished? Write these things down so that you can see the fruits of your labor. This step will serve to reignite that motivational flame that is starting to go out.
Broaden Your Time Horizon
As you keep pushing onward, you’re going to notice that your thought process is starting to change. Instead of viewing weight loss as a day-to-day task that always consumes your thoughts, certain days are going to pass where you don’t even think about it. You don’t think about it, but you still did all your healthy habits you formed.
This is laying the framework for helping you see the big picture. Being fit is a lifestyle. You just live healthy. It’s an afterthought, and you go about it while you do the other things that make you happy.
Push Beyond Your Self-Imposed Limitations
After months to a year of going at it, you’re going to want to make new goals. You’re going to want to find out just what you can really do. This is the time people start entering into their first 5k or marathons. Or maybe they try a sport they’ve always wanted to. Maybe they have a very specific physical activity goal they want to accomplish, such as doing 20 pullups, or squatting 200 pounds.
Whatever the goal, the point is that you’re pushing beyond your self-imposed limitations. You’re going beyond what you thought you’d never be able to do again. You’re rediscovering your body, and you’re realizing that what you thought you couldn’t do was just a state of mind. Keep pushing forward. Never stop growing both physically and mentally, and you too will achieve fitness greatness.