Whether you are trying to lose weight, get stronger, or just feel better, a good fitness routine is a staple. But sticking to one can be a challenge. How many times have you committed to a program, full of great intentions, only to find yourself going back to your old habits? Fortunately, there are some easy-to-implement methods to keep yourself on track towards your health and fitness goals.
Clean your head
The first step towards achieving your goals is to fix your mindset. It is not enough to just want something; You have to focus your mental energies on success. Some people mistakenly believe that this type of mental cruelty can only be attained by people with natural discipline and willpower. Luckily, you can train yourself to be mentally strong by practicing some major behaviors daily. Consistency is the key; Mental toughness is a trait you need to develop, not demand.
write it down
Another effective tool to achieve your health and fitness goals is to put them in writing. Set smart goals for yourself; In other words, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals for yourself. Often used in business, this type of goal is equally helpful in achieving personal success. For example, instead of saying, “I want to start running,” you can define your goal as, “Within six months, I’ll be able to run 5K.” Write it down, and include the milestones you must complete on the road to achieve your goal.
call a friend
To hold yourself accountable for the goals you set, recruit a colleague. Tell this person what you are aiming for and why it is important to you. When you are feeling unconfirmed, call them and ask them to remind you why you started this path. Regularly check in with your accountability partner and be honest about your progress. When you fall short, let them be cheerleaders for all your achievements and encouraging coaches. If the person you share your home with can work towards all the same health goals, then it will be better, as it will improve your chances of success for both of you.
make it fun
Being fit and healthy should not feel like a punishment. Find out the activities and foods that you really enjoy, not that they seem to be good for you. If you hate kel, don’t force yourself to eat it because everyone says you should. Find alternatives like spinach or collard greens, stay away from guilt and enjoy. The same goes for exercise. If you despise the treadmill, turn it off and do something more enjoyable like dancing or cycling.
Along the same line, be gentle on yourself when you fall short. Don’t buy into the “all or nothing” perversion of thinking. If you miss a workout or eat an extra cookie or twelve, it does not mean that all is lost. Accept what happened, take responsibility for it, and plan to get back on track.
Keep a log
The best motivator for achieving your health goals is monitoring your progress over time. When you can feel overwhelmed by your larger goal, recording the daily steps you take provides reassurance that you can achieve it. Whether you are working towards losing weight, getting stronger or lowering your cholesterol, develop a system to record each incremental change along the way. You can simply add notes to a paper calendar or download one of the many fitness tracking apps. No matter which method you choose, the key is to record data continuously. On those days when you are feeling hopeless, you can look back at your log and congratulate yourself on how far you have come. On any given day you will have fallen short, but constant efforts over time will pay off with a clear arc toward improvement.
Taking responsibility for your own physical fitness is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Set goals that are right for you, hold yourself accountable to achieve them and celebrate every small victory on the road to success.
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