Anytime you want to be successful (with fitness) you have to take steps to get there, and generally one will have a vision of “the bigger picture.” But many people, myself included struggle along those steps… either struggling to figure out what those steps are, or they get lost along the way. So I’ve been contemplating this for a few days now. I spent the weekend at O’dell lake here in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon and it was gorgeous of course, especially during the changing season. Lots of time to reflect and relax. Not something I’m generally accustomed to! However it did give me the opportunity to begin this process of “envision, plan, execute” so here is how I see myself (and generally others) succeeding in the trenches of a fit life:
>>> Decide what inspires you. What makes you want to keep going, to start, or to change?
Life experience has taught me that if you have a better understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing then the likelihood of finding success is higher… and more importantly I’ve found that the reasoning behind it all should be deeper than a puddle. Personally, I just want to be a kind-hearted, giving, happy woman who can share positive vibes with others, it just so happens I want to be physically lighter when I do that (i laugh jokingly, but it’s true). I want to be an example to others, being healthy on the outside, the inside and having a healthy mind as well.
>>> Decide what goals are attainable
Nothing will put a kibosh on your plans like setting yourself up for failure right? I’ve done this a million times… change this, change that, do more, do less, more goals means quicker progress right? If you’ve been waking up every day at 7:30am and have tried to wake up at 5am to get in a workout before work, only to find yourself beating your snooze button to death time and time again, chances are you aren’t going from 0 to 100 real quick (thanks Drake). Chances are, taking it slow will get you where you want faster than throwing all your major goals into one massive heap and expecting a miracle. Change is hard. I’ve found that if I take baby steps I have more opportunities to feel good about what I’m doing. Often times I use “sub” goals, a goal within a goal. Let me explain, say I want to start working out in the morning, well I know myself too well so rather than saying I’ll wake up every morning at 5am for a workout, instead I’ll plan to wake up 3 days per week, 30 minutes earlier for a short routine or yoga sequence. Once I attain that goal, I can move on to more days, earlier times and more difficult sessions- with the ultimate goal of being able to wake up every day at 5am for a killer workout. Boom!
>>> Plan, Plan, Plan.
Write it down. What your meals will be, what your snacks will be, what your workouts will be, what you will wear. Go grocery shopping, meal prep, pack your gym bag. Leave as little holes as possible to fail in the preparation area and you’ll find it a zillion times easier to stay on track. I have really enjoyed using both the FitBook and Tone It Up 8 Week Journal to log and track my progress. You can do all of the tracking listed above as well as track measurements and more.
>>> Just do it.
Work out when you say you will, go half speed if you have to, cut out 10 minutes if you have to, change from an aggressive workout session to something more low-key, but just keep moving, even on “rest days.” I believe in this idea of active rest days, the more you can train your body to enjoy being active, the less time you’ll want to spend on the couch with your cat watching Netflix (so they say). Settling for less than planned can be expected, but giving up entirely should be infrequent. Having said that, don’t beat yourself up if you’re drained. Your body knowns when you’ve pushed it too far, that’s why man made foam rollers and aerial yoga!
>>> On the other hand… Just don’t do it
Warren Buffet says “the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people SAY NO to almost everything.” Sometimes you’re going to have to say no- no to happy hour, no to that delicious cheeseburger, no to the catered lunch at work, cupcakes again you say? Ya, No. It’s gonna piss some people off, and someone might get offended. So what. Don’t let everyone else’s agendas muddy your vision, even your best friend, spouse or parent. You don’t want to be the yes man or woman all the time. Your goals will thank you later. (This is one of my favorite pieces of advice)
Enjoy the ride
Yup. It’s been said before. But living in the moment is essential. It’ll be that much sweeter when looking back and you can sigh with contentment at what you’ve accomplished along the way. It’s a never ending journey after all so why not enjoy it!?
I’ll be following up soon with more details on my current plan/cleanse, but it’s a very busy week at work trying to tie up loose ends before my last day of “work.”
-Cheers! (with protein of course)