How often have you tried to get into fitness only to get disheartened after a few weeks with little or no major changes or if you already train regularly, do you ever find yourself losing your mojo, take a break and find it hard to get it back again? The following tips can be useful to both beginners and experienced exercisers to get on track and get the results you want.
1. Know your A, B and C
You probably already know that you need to set clear goals so you know what, specifically, you want, why these goals are important to you, when you want to achieve them and how you will know when you’ve achieved them. You’ve probably already got your main goal in mind so its worth setting a few more that will lead you to it. You can set several goals but I recommend setting three. The first one, your ‘A’ goal, is the one you’re already likely to know as it will have been in your mind for a while and is the very reason you’re getting into exercise. The second one, your ‘B’ goal, is something that is realistic and would make you really happy. The third one, your ‘C’ goal, is something that would be a sign to you that what you’re doing is working. A dress/jeans/trouser size smaller? Getting up a flight of stairs or the end of the road without being out of breath? Being able to get up in the morning without feeling like an 80-year-old? It can be whatever you want it to be but it should be something that’s easily achievable and enough to keep you motivated.
2. Become More Active Everyday
It can be overwhelming deciding whether to join a gym, hire a Personal Trainer, go to a fitness class or boot camp, buy an exercise dvd or sign up for an online workout when you’re starting out. It actually doesn’t matter what you do, becoming more active everyday is a great place to start and progress from there. When I work with clients who haven’t exercised before, or not done for a long time, I recommend to get out walking regularly and do the mobility exercises in the video below to help loosen all the joints up before we start doing anything else.
When choosing a type of exercise to do (gym, PT, class, workout etc), choose something that appeals to you most and is easy for you to get into. If it’s too complex or never feels like it’s getting any easier, you might find it harder to maintain. It’s not the workout alone that will make the difference, it’s what you do in addition to it that does. The 20, 30 or 60min workout is unlikely to make much of a difference if you sit down all day around it. The workout should be part of your daily routine and make sure to mix it up so you’re not doing the same things everyday.
3. Be Consistent
Following on from the previous one, consistency is THE biggest thing to master in order to get results. This applies to everything you do from diet to quality of sleep as well as exercise. While you can get workouts that fit in your routine, you might want to think about adjusting your routine to help make things easier. Think about when you are going to exercise so this can be getting up earlier in the morning, taking your exercise gear with you so you can do something at lunchtime or straight after work before you sit down, get comfy and end up putting it off. Think about planning your meals and when you’re going to prepare them. If you’re going to get up earlier, you might need to go to bed earlier so think about switching off tv/the internet at a certain time so you can get a good night’s sleep.
The most effective way I’ve found that has been the easiest for my clients to follow is to make one change, do it consistently for a whole week then make another change and repeat. By the end of the week, the thing you’ve changed is now feeling easy to do and you’re more likely to be ready to make another change. If you try to make too many changes at one time, they can often become unsustainable and this is where people often ‘fall off the wagon’ after a wheel and feel like they’re starting back at square one again.
4. Help Others
It can be empowering when we help others too. This can be to exercise with a buddy or offer support and encouragement to someone who’s at the same stage as you or someone who inspired you to start exercising but are struggling themselves for whatever reason. Saying hello to a stranger while out walking or running and they’re doing the same, could be the best thing to happen to them that day, even if they don’t say hello in return. We all lack confidence when we start exercising but the feeling that we could be making the difference to someone else can often be the best thing to happen to us.
5. Be Persistent And Reward Yourself
If you feel like you resemble a burst couch, it’s unlikely you’re going to resemble a fitness model in 6 weeks like a fitness magazine might suggest and so look at exercise as a journey and not a means to an end. Think about your A, B and C goals above and once you start achieving them, create new ones and repeat the process again and again. Success happens when you discover that your exercise routine becomes part of who you are and you learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would.
It is also important to reward yourself along the way. It’s always good to have an incentive and so create rewards for yourself that you can only get once you’ve achieved any of your goals. Exercise would be fun and not a chore.
For those who have been exercising and have lost their mojo, it could be that you’ve already achieved the goals you set when you started out, set goals that were too ambitious and have become frustrated or the goals you set didn’t have a strong enough emotional attachment to go after. Try repeating the steps above, set new goals or try a different type of exercise to get you there.
What are your goals and where are you at with them? If you’re finding it hard-going, what are you struggling with?