Its the start of the new year which means a chance to start your fitness journey! However, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start, that was me, that was everyone at some point. We all started somewhere, we have all entered the gym for the first time, picked up our first weight. You have already made the first step by reading this blog. This blog will help you set the fundamentals to ensure your goals are exceeded.
Set small achievable goals. Begin by writing your goals down. Now begin to breakdown each large goal into smaller easily achievable goals. For example, wanting to loose weight is great, however its the steps between A to B to achieve this goal that counts. By breaking the overall goal down into daily goals you feel the benefits of daily progression. Start by creating some non-negotiables, these are daily tasks MUST be completed before the end of the day. Few examples, you must reach 10K steps a day, drink 2lts of water, read for 10 minutes, listen to a podcast or prep your meals. Non-negotiables are there to keep you consistent throughout the day and begin to build a routine. The easiest way, I found to ensure you complete all your non-negotiables by the end of the day is to do them early in the day, then any extra is an added bonus. I would park my car further from where I worked this then Allowed me to hit my Daily step goal. I even purchased a water bottle with the times on, I had to make sure that the water was drank before the time specified. Once you have set at least 5 non-negotiables you can then build upon these by adding extra achievable goals. For example, listen to a podcast on your daily walk or while you are doing cardio. By adding additional steps to your non-negotiables you are progressing closer towards the end goal without realising it. We often get caught up in the overall goal and not the steps and actions taken to reach them. It is the things you do every day that will reflect your outcome.
Creating a plan. Start one week at a time, and then build on each accomplishment week by week. This is how you will stay accountable in achieving your small goals. Writing it out on a calendar and spend some time each week to revisit your calendar will ensure you are on track and you will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the week when you see all the boxes ticked. Begin by creating a To-Do list everyday of thing fitness and non-fitness related that you must do that day. As you have written them down you will feel like you have to get all the tasks done, therefore keeping you focused throughout the day. Weekly To-Do list will allow you to remain focused on you goals for the entire week as you are only able to tick the box at the end of that week. For example, going the gym 5x per week or having 100% adherence to you meal plan. These weekly tasks create an incentive to be consistent.
Routine creates consistency. By being consistent with daily tasks you will create a routine that can only be improved everyday. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday (yes, even on weekends) goals aren’t achieved by only being consistent Monday to Friday. If your goal is to go for a walk everyday, attempt to do this at the same time everyday. By associating a time with a task you are creating stimulate in the brain which will prevent you from procrastinating. You also have no excuse not to complete that task as you have made time for it. Furthermore, I recommend completing tasks at the start of the day, when energy and motivation is high. By creating your daily To-Do list, you can carry out the most important tasks first, or getting your non-negotiables out of the way. You will then enjoy the benefits throughout the day. Routine is great for when you juggle fitness and a busy work life. I understand the struggle, during both my improvement season and prep, I had a very busy job while completing my degree, which meant I had to manage my time wisely. I done this by waking up a little early and getting my workout and cardio done first thing in the morning. This prevent my workout from effecting the time I would usually send on at work or studying.
Make yourself accountable. Accountability is the proven way to stay consistent. An accountability partner (coach / someone you trust) is crucial for successfully achieving your goals. Tell your partner your goals no matter how big they are. This way when you are hit with a barrier that makes you want to quit. Your partner can remind you of your goals, your destination, which you won't reach if you quit now. It forces you to keep moving in a positive direction as you never want to admit failure. I, myself have a coach (yes, coaches also have a coach) even now that I am in my off season, as I have the support in place, someone I can talk to when I am struggle with any barriers I may face. Coaches aren't only there to help you lose weight and adjust your plans; they help with your efficiency in the gym constantly correcting your form to improve.
Track your progress. Tracking your progress is a great way to see your progression and motivate you to remain adherent. This can be visual progress through weekly check-ins with you coach. By seeing visual improvements such as the scales going down or you finally fit into them jeans that you always said you would. These positive reinforcements keep you on the right track. Tracking is also a great way to see how far you have come. Say you lose 5kg in 2 months, then imagine how much better you will feel in 4 months, 8 months, a year. I found adding my weight into my Fitbit app which created a line graph, which was great to visually see the trend going down. Additionally, creating daily To-Do lists with tick boxes, allows you to track daily progress. As no one likes to see an unticked box at the end of the day.
The road may feel long and the overall goal may not be visible but it the journey that counts!
By working on the small fundamentals daily, weekly, monthly you will 100% reach your goal. Then set a new goal, never settle, become a better you!
YOU GOT THIS - all you have to do is start!