First things first, well done on you for simply getting to this place. You’ve most likely just come to the realisation that you need to make some changes and want to adapt your lifestyle to a heathier version. This is a fantastic first step towards some small changes which will make a BIG difference.
I won’t delve into all of the benefits as I’m sure you’ve heard them countless times. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here! However, that doesn’t always mean that you have the motivation to begin. The idea of changing your entire lifestyle can seem overwhelming which puts a lot of people off despite knowing it’s for the better. That’s exactly why I’ve come up with 5 things you can do right now to help you make that first small step.
Understand the Importance of Any Victory
Only setting your sights on the end goal can make things feel daunting. This person that you want to become is so different to who you are now, how could you possibly ever get there?
This is why you need to understand that moderate results are what create big changes. There’s going to be an initial period where your body and mind need to adapt to the new exercises and training regime. We aren’t born in the gym – we have to learn, and that takes time.
In fact, starting slow can help you get into the groove of tracking, one of the best skills you can develop for success in fitness. That feeling of jotting down how much weight you’ve added onto the bar or miles you’ve run on the track will motivate you to push further.
Your results aren’t going to happen overnight, so set some smaller goals to keep you motivated throughout your journey.
Set Realistic Expectations
The second thing is to make sure that you’ve set yourself realistic expectations in the first place. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a model’s body or a bodybuilder’s strength.
The end goal that your chasing needs to be realistic and achievable. This refers to your exercise, nutrition, and overall lifestyle goals. Be honest with yourself. You’re not going to be able to completely change your diet straight away and if you do, the chances are that you won’t be able to keep it up.
The changes you implement need to be small and manageable, realistic for you as a person. If you do have a big goal, then make sure you can achieve it in the time you’ve set yourself. Ask yourself – do I need to achieve this goal exactly at this time? Why? How long will it realistically take me to achieve this goal? Is it practical for my lifestyle?
Get the Support and Motivation You Need
The biggest reason why people end up leaving the gym after the first month or sometimes even just the first couple of weeks is because of a lack of motivation and support. Think about all of the fans professional athletes have cheering them on. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get the same base of support, but your friends and family can do a pretty good job.
This is also why people invest money in personal trainers.
Personal trainers take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to your diet and exercise so you don’t have to rely on yourself.
They provide motivation and support to spur you forward and reach places you otherwise wouldn’t
At the end of the day, we’re social creatures. We all need a little nudge from someone else to keep us going. If you struggle to motivate yourself, then why not find a training partner? That snooze button on your alarm is far less appealing when you know someone else is relying on you.
Find the Best Exercises for You – and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you discover and exercise that you really enjoy, then why not make it the main focus of your training?
If you enjoy something, then you’re far more likely to fully commit yourself to progressing. All exercises involve a bit of hard work and grind, but that’s what makes your body adapt and change. If you’ve found something that you actually like, then do it. There’s no set way to exercise as long as it makes sense for your goal and your lifestyle.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, then why not join a sports team to keep you active throughout the week? If you were always a good swimmer when you were a kid, why not get back in the pool? Exercise needs to be hard, but it doesn’t need to be horrible.
Equally, there’s a lot to be said for trying something out of your comfort zone to see whether you like it and what you can learn from it. Always keep your mind open for new opportunities as you never know what they might bring
Last but not least is a piece of advice that can apply to a variety of things other than fitness. Rewarding yourself is a key component of succeeding with any goal.
This is also an important reason behind setting small goals on your way towards a big one. By rewarding yourself frequently, you’re more likely to continue with your goals. This doesn’t mean eating an entire cheesecake because you’ve done a full week at the gym, but it does mean hitting a new PR and treating yourself to a movie night or cooking a healthy meal you know you’ll really look forward to.
You never want to cut everything that you love, but just strategically implement the less optimal things so that they become more special.
You can look and feel exactly how you’ve been dreaming; all you need to do is start!
Author: Alex Reader MSc.