Who else will ensure your success if you don't?
When you start any journey, going in blindly is not typically the fastest way to success. Rather, a little research and planning can help ensure that you start off on the right foot.
Having said that, this also applies to something like deciding to "get healthy". Many people who fail at new goals of getting healthy can probably attribute it to not being prepared, or really knowing what they were doing or perhaps getting bored or frustrated. This is where a little planning can help ensure your success. Since we're here in January where many people have made the decision to get healthy, I thought I'd address some of this planning to help ensure your success.
1. What workout will you do? How much time do you REALLY have to devote to exercise each day? Choose workouts that FIT into your schedule. You're more likely to continue if it's not a constant struggle to fit it in. And then SCHEDULE those workouts with yourself. Literally put them on a calendar and make them non-negotialbe. This is your time for YOU.
2. What kind of physical activity do you enjoy? Getting bored with your workout is a VERY quick way to stop working out. Most people don't mind daily walks, or jogs. But after some time, you may get bored. Cue the eventual quitting. A workout program with different daily workouts and altering styles can really keep you more engaged. The more engaged you are the more like you are to keep it up. Look for something fun, with good music, easy to catch on to, and with a set schedule so you're never guessing what you should do next.
3. What workouts are proven effective? Look for reviews or studies that show success. Wasting your time with a less-effective workout is not ideal. The faster you see results, the more your motivation will increase and the more likely you are to continue.
4. Do you know what 'healthy' food is? Honestly, do you? When someone talks about a "low carb" diet? Do you know if that is actually healthy and sustainable? Do you know if you'd like it? A good rule of thumb is to adapt your diet to something that you enjoy. If you do not, you will not stick with it. And relapses can equal giving up. Instead, choose whole, clean foods, and include of the treats you cannot live without - in moderation of course. And know what your daily caloric intake should be. And EAT more than 3 times a day!
5. How will you plan your new menus? Are you going to print out a recipe for each day of the week? Maybe sign up for a meal planning service? Be prepared so you don't give up before you even start and end up stopping at a drive through on your way home because you over-estimated how much planning you were able to dedicate.
6. Have you tried 'diets' in the past that were not satisfying? Steer clear of those. In fact, steer clear of diets. Instead, focus on making better choices and making this a new lifestyle instead of a 'diet'. Do what's right for your body, and you can figure that out by listening to what it's telling you.
7. How much time and planning do you have to dedicate to cooking/preparing a new menu? Be prepared. If you truly only have 30 minutes each night to cook, you may consider the simplest of recipes, and you may want to repeat them each week. This way you have less to think about - keep the ingredients always in the cupboard and you'll always be set. If you're time-restricted, consider using a meal planning service that includes recipes, shopping list, and is customizable. Print it out once a week, go to the store for all those ingredients at once. And it's even easier if you choose menu items that use the same ingredients over and over.
There are other things you may consider, but this is a great starting point. If you set yourself up for success, you CAN succeed. Now, don't spend a month planning. Give it a weekend. Just get it done and then START. Give yourself a start date and then check your progress every 30 days. The biggest step is that first one, but once you get that one over with, it's all about results!
Now, the most important part, have fun finding the NEW YOU!
* Amy Romero is a fitness coach and has been helping others find their perfect workouts and providing motivation for people on their fitness journey since 2004. She is married and has a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She enjoys fitness, spending time with friends and family, hiking, blogging, and watching entirely too many movies.
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