For years, people of all ages have fought a battle with getting fit. Many times, it’s themselves they’re fighting. They deal with issues such as a lack of willpower, consistency, and knowledge
There are many reasons why people choose to get fit. The first is health. You may be hoping to prevent or reverse a specific issues, like diabetes, for example. Your health is directly impacted by your level of fitness.
Another reason people choose to work on their fitness is to have more energy. It’s tiring feeling out of shape. You trudge through each day, tired from the minute you wake up. Your body isn’t acclimated to the level of energy output you need, so you always feel lethargic and exhausted.
You might want to get fit so you look better! There’s no shame in using your appearance to motivate you into getting fit. You might do it for yourself, for your relationship or for confidence in the dating world.
Any and all of these reasons are good for creating and pursing a fitness plan. The key is to find something that you’ll enjoy and that will work for you in the long term. You want a program that’s easy to implement – one that you’ll be consistent with.
You don’t want to choose one where you’ll dread it so much that you begin avoiding it, and eventually abandoning it. That’s what happens to most people because they choose a fad fitness and diet program that doesn’t appeal to them genuinely.
Fitness in general isn’t about being overweight, per se. You can weigh in at a normal amount, yet still be unfit. So you have to look at more than just what the scale reads. You want to look at how your fitness (or lack thereof) impacts your quality of life.
You have to think in terms of both long and short-term goals. In the short term, you may be able to achieve mini milestones, and begin to feel better in your body. It will be different than what you’re used to, so initially, you might have to get used to the new schedule and use of your muscles.
Over time, you’ll be able to track the significant progress you make and look back on how far you’ve come. This is where you gain a lot of inspiration to keep going – to set and achieve new, higher goals with your fitness.
So whether you just want to look and feel better, or you’re in it at a competitive level, with a drive unlike any other, working on your fitness goals to improve your efforts will help you enjoy success.
Become Committed and Consistent
The first thing you need to do to maximize your chance of success with any fitness program is to learn how to be committed to your goal and be consistent with the action steps you’re going to implement to achieve that goal.
You can’t simply decide to be on a program one day and hope it all works out. Not having the proper mindset is a guaranteed way to fail repeatedly. You need to look at what has happened in the past to sabotage your efforts.
If you weren’t committed to your weight loss goal, then you probably gained more weight overtime or became less fit in general. What was it that stood between you and your fitness goals?
Consistency is very important when it comes to achieving any goal, but especially with your fitness. If you make a plan to adhere to a fitness regimen, and then only periodically work towards that goal, you won’t see the results you had hoped to achieve.
The first thing you want to do is stop procrastinating. There are many people who hope to someday achieve fitness, but they keep putting it off until later. Every time you do this, your fitness gets more out of reach.
Procrastination can occur for many reasons. You’ll always have something to blame it on. You might say you’re too tired, or have too much work to do. Those are all just excuses that are preventing you from achieving your goals.
Stop looking for the perfect timing to succeed with this fitness goal. Many people put off their fitness until what they consider to be the perfect date. That may be the following Monday, New Year’s Day, or their birthday, for example.
You really don’t need some special day to get started. You don’t even need a specific hour, such as first thing in the morning. You can start right this second and work toward the goals that you want to achieve.
Stop looking for the perfect timing to occur, because what will happen is you’ll have a minor slip up and claim you need to reset the clock and wait until later. Another thing you want to do is stop giving up on your goals.
You might give up when you become frustrated or don’t see results. Then, you lose your commitment and consistency and hope to regain it at a later date. The problem with this is, you develop a pattern of quitting.
You don’t want that to be your standard of effort. You want to give it your all, each and every time. Make a decision that if anything happens, you’re not going to restart, but simply pick up where you left off.
You don’t want to have to re-convince yourself and start over from scratch each and every time. Stop being indecisive about what you need to do to achieve your fitness goal.
Some people use this as an excuse to continually delay their efforts. It’s like seeing a shiny new object whenever they see a new fitness fad come along. They commit to one program, only to be introduced to another, and another, and another.
Each and every time something new comes along, they convince themselves that this is the better path. If you do this, you will never see the results that you had hoped for. If you keep running into problems, and feel like you are unable to follow through on a program, analyze why this continues to happen to you.
Is it that you aren’t carefully selecting the right fitness program that will work for you? Have you not found the right tools to help you follow through on it? Is it some sort of lifestyle change that you can make, which is interfering with your goals?
This might be something like not getting enough sleep so that you feel capable of carrying out your plans. You may need to get to bed earlier or work on the other sleep hygiene issues in order to have the energy you need to get fit.
Is there someone in your life who is sabotaging your efforts? Sometimes, you’ll be very committed to achieving a goal, but others in your life will intentionally tempt you to go off plan.
If this is happening to you, regardless of who it is, you need to put boundaries in place that prevent them from getting between you and your goal. This might mean reclaiming your time or standing up for yourself and emphasizing what you need and want from the other person.
Make sure before you work on any other goal, that you get your mindset right first. You need to commit to these efforts for as long as it takes, if not forever. And you need to know that you have it in you to be consistent in working toward them and doing whatever it takes to achieve them.
Push Yourself – Don’t Be Afraid of What Your Body Can Achieve
You might be one of hundreds of people who want to get fit. So you follow the suggested guidelines. You switch out the unhealthy stuff you’ve been eating and start concentrating on eating foods that are unprocessed or natural.
Because you want to get fit, you let go of habits that you know are holding you back. You give up stopping at the fast food restaurant on the way home. You avoid all the junk everyone brings in to the office where you work.
Instead of sitting on the sofa chilling with the TV and some snacks, you get up and work out. You’re feeling good except you’re in the same place with your fitness that you were in the beginning.
Maybe not physically, but mentally, you’re still holding onto the same mindset. This mindset tells you what you can do and no more. So you do what you can do and don’t try to reach new heights.
When you see other people doing amazing things, you automatically disqualify yourself from doing the same thing. Because you have a “this is it” mindset, you’re limiting the heights that you can climb with your fitness efforts.
By doing this, what you’re causing is known as self-limiting beliefs. Translated into fitness, it’s physically limiting beliefs. You might not be pushing yourself because you’re afraid of what you can do.
You’re afraid of what your body can achieve. Probably because it’s the unknown. You don’t know how pushing yourself is going to change your body and how it’s going to change your life.
You don’t know that you can trust these changes or that you can trust yourself to handle them. You’re also afraid that you might push yourself, thinking you can do what you set out to do, but you have a setback so now you’re afraid to go that route again.
The root cause of not pushing yourself, that causes you to get trapped in that mindset is either fear of success or fear of failure. Both can cause you to stay stuck in stagnation and prevent you from reaching the heights that you were meant to reach.
Sometimes fear of pushing yourself causes you to develop avoidance issues. You don’t try to lift weights because you’re afraid you’ll bulk up so you ignore what could help take your fitness up a notch.
You fear that pushing yourself will expose the truth behind your fear. For example, you might have wanted to lose weight because you were unhappy and you stall reaching for the final milestones you set for yourself because you’ve realized that you’re not happy at the moment.
There’s usually evidence in the lives of people who don’t push themselves in their fitness goals. They don’t try harder. They accept where they are and stick with their current exercise routine, their current way of eating, their current weight or current shape of their body.
Sometimes people who’ve had success when they pushed themselves stall because they fear they can’t duplicate the success they had in the past. What you have to realize is that what you truly fear are the results of change.
You’re afraid of how far you can push yourself and the changes it’ll make in your body as well as in your life. You’re afraid of the consequences that go along with change. For example, some people push themselves and it makes friends, family or romantic partner upset so they become afraid to push their body out of fear of having to deal with even more friction.
But it’s time to set aside the fears and push through the limits. And the reason for that is because you were made to achieve far greater heights than you could ever imagine. Your body was not meant to accept mediocrity when it’s capable of far more.
You have to decide that you’re not going to let anything hold you back from going as far as you can physically. Determine that there are no excuses and no person powerful enough to prevent you from physically being your absolute best.
Then go for it. Push yourself. If you’ve always wanted to build muscle, then do that. Set those goals and get started. Push your body during your workouts. You want to make sure that you’re consistently increasing your load.
That means you have to decide the number of reps that it’s going to take for you to see a difference in your body. When you know that, you hit those reps every time you’re working out to build muscle.
You don’t quit. You will start to build muscle and as you do, you can’t stay there. Even adding reps, your body will start to adjust, and you’ll reach the point where you’re seeing your body look stronger and your muscles more developed than before.
But now is the time to push again. Pick muscle building routines that are even harder so that you don’t slack off. You’ll know when it’s time to push yourself if you’re not struggling to get through your reps.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re building muscle by using strength workouts. Don’t dip below at least three muscle building workouts every week. Stay the course and you will reach your goal in this area.
The shape of your body will change. You’ll have a sleek, toned appearance and you’ll end up amazed at what you see all because you pushed yourself to do more. When you push yourself, it allows you to blow past your preconceived ideas of what you were capable of handling.
Right now, you might think that there’s absolutely no way you could ever run a marathon. Yet ordinary people do it all the time and you can to. You just apply the same mental strength to running a marathon as you do to your workouts.
You simply push yourself without allowing yourself to quit. Maybe your push challenge is small like running up a hill near where you live. Or bigger – like climbing a mountain. Whatever it is that you want, if you push, you can accomplish it.
If you want to do something like run a marathon, run every week, but don’t just run the same number of miles. Just like with reps on the gym for other exercises, you have to always add more.
So the distance that you run must always increase. And for effectiveness you have to push yourself to run five out of seven days. If you’re not at that point yet, you can start by adding to the distance that you run every day.
Don’t do short burst runs because the longer ones help you go the distance during a marathon. When you push your body, you can do anything. Besides running a marathon, you could take part in an Ironman competition.
While it might seem like overwhelm when you look at it as a whole, you can push yourself and do one. That’s the key to competing in an Ironman, which is to just push yourself in the weeks leading up to the event.
The more you train, the easier the event will be for you. You’ll have to create a strategy that you follow to determine what activity you’re going to do on which day as well as the duration of that exercise.
Since the Ironman covers cycling, running and swimming, you’ll want to push yourself in each of those areas. It takes a big commitment to not just exercising to get ready but eating right as well.
To have the kind of follow through you need for an Ironman, you’ll need to train for between 12 to 16 weeks prior to the event. During those weeks, you’ll be working out between 10-13 hours per week.
Each of the exercises that you focus on, the running, swimming and cycling gradually build over the weeks until you’ve pushed your body into doing more than you’ve ever done.
For example, you might start out by cycling for an hour but by the time the Ironman is on the horizon, you’ve built up to easily cycling at least 25 miles. When you set out to push yourself, don’t go from something like swimming for half an hour to suddenly swimming for four hours.
You’ll be too sore to move the next day. The key to the pushing yourself is to take every big thing you’re doing and break it down. For example, if you know you’re going to run twenty miles that day and it’s something you’ve been working toward but never accomplished, don’t let your mind focus on the twenty miles.
Instead, focus on each five miles that you run. It’s easier to maintain motivation and keep on going when you do that. Set your focus when you push yourself on the results rather than the time.
For example, instead of looking at how long the Ironman is going to take you to do, focus only on making each portion’s time limit. Finally, push yourself but don’t injure yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up derailing your goals.
Set Reasonable Short and Long-Term Measurable Goals You Can Track
Setting goals gives you something to strive for as well as helps you to measure the success you’ve reached along your fitness journey. These goals offer a sort of check-in. You can look at your goals to make sure that you’re still doing what you need to.
This way, if you veer off course, looking at them can show you how to be back on track.
When you set goals, it lets you see progress even if you don’t necessarily notice it yet. For example, if your goal is to lose weight as you get fit, you may lose inches before you’ll ever see a drop on the scale.
Having goals can also help you to stay motivated. They can also break down a long goal into more manageable steps. You can set goals in any area regarding fitness. You might want to set cardiovascular goals.
The main reason for having a goal like this is to that you gain better heart health. By striving for this goal, you can lower your blood pressure as well as stave off heart disease.
One popular cardiovascular goal is to push the distance that you go. If you normally do a certain number of reps during a cardio workout, you’d push the distance by adding more reps.
Or, if you were running, you’d set your goal to increase the miles that you cover. You might start out running a mile, but gradually, you would have a goal that would put you up to 2 miles, then on to 3 and so forth.
Eventually, by setting these short term goals, you’d reach your long term goal of being able to run longer distances. When it comes to distances, you can also use time-based goals.
If you run 2 miles in about twenty minutes, aim to shave some time off your record. You can set goals to get your heart rate to have a faster recovery time. When you’ve been exercising, your heart rate speeds up like it’s supposed to.
But being able to judge what kind of shape your heart is in is found in how quickly that rate lowers and what your normal resting heart rate is. Your cardiovascular goals can be to lower the risk factors that can damage your heart.
This would be something such as switching your diet from an unhealthy one to a healthy one. It would be to stop bad habits that impact your heart health and that can also get in the way of your fitness.
This would be something like smoking or being obese. If you have high cholesterol, then one of your cardiovascular fitness goals would be to bring that number down. Another fitness goal that you’re going to want to set for your fitness is in the area of mobility.
Mobility goals can help you make sure that the exercise you’re doing and continually improving allow your body to correctly handle the task. This helps to make sure that you avoid getting injured as well as get your body to the physical point where it can handle the duration of your workouts, building stronger muscles and increasing your speed.
What mobility enables your body to do is it gives you more range of motion. It also helps to strengthen the muscles that give you balance. While it does boost your flexibility, the main thing that mobility does it gives your body the power to push yourself.
Without mobility, your body’s muscles can easily be damaged. Doing something as simple as reaching for an item can pull your shoulder muscle or you can quickly jam it up when exercising.
You can throw out your back just picking up a bag of groceries. Your mobility goals should be both short and long term in order for you to be able to build muscle. Some of the more common mobility exercises that you can set as part of your goal include squats and lunges.
Also on that list are neck circles, arm swings, wrist circles and hamstring stretches. Mobility goals are about keeping yourself from getting hurt, improving your workout duration and speed and being able to handle any workout that you undertake.
Another goal you’ll want to set for yourself includes improving your body’s range of motion. You can set this goal for various areas of your body, or you can target a specific area that you want to improve.
Range of motion, also known as ROM, figures how easily your ligaments and muscles around a certain joint can perform. Poor range of motion can affect how easily you move, how quickly you can walk, your speed and even the stability of your stride.
There are specific exercises that are great for helping to improve your range of motion. One of these is squatting. To improve your range, you would squat lower than you normally do and each time you exercise, you would go just a little lower.
Another is to do isometric exercises. An isometric exercise makes your muscles contract in an area depending on the exercise that you’re doing. While the muscle is contracting, though, you won’t be moving the joint near the muscle.
Any exercise that requires you to hold a position can help improve your range of motion. This can be something such as various yoga poses, holding your body aloft during a push-up, or performing a plank such as a forearm or high one.
You can also lift a 10 pound weight over your head and hold it. With any type of isometric exercise that you do, your goal should be to extend the time that you’re able perform it.
Weight loss is another goal you might want to set. If that’s the case, then you’ll first set your overall goal. After that, you’ll create your short term goal which are steps that you’ll take to reach the long term goal.
If you have fifty pounds to lose, that would be your long term goal. But your weekly goal might be to lose a pound or two while your monthly goal might be to lose about five pounds.
Or you might take it slower than that. You might also set a weight loss goal of losing 10% of your body weight. You can also set goals that are centered around your health statistics that fitness can change.
One of these is high blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who aren’t fit have a tendency to have higher blood pressure readings. This is a problem because high blood pressure impacts the health of your heart.
It can lead to heart attacks. There are several fitness goals you can set to improve your blood pressure. You have to set goals for consistency. Hit or miss won’t give you the long term changes to your blood pressure that you need.
Even if all you can manage is to walk three or four times a week, it can make a difference. Another fitness goal would be to lower the amount of salt that you eat since salt raises your blood pressure.
You also set a goal to let go of bad habits that are known to raise blood pressure. This might be giving up cigarette smoking or drinking alcohol. Alcohol immediately raises blood pressure but consistent drinking can lead to long term blood pressure issues.
Another health statistic you can alter with fitness is your cholesterol level. You’ll want to create goals that lower your cholesterol which can contribute to heart disease. This means you would change the way that you eat if you eat foods that are high in saturated fat.
If you’re a junk food junkie, you might want to set goals to limit the amount of junk food that you allow yourself to eat. You don’t have to strive for perfection. Even if you only eat healthy 80% of the time, that’s better than not paying attention to what you’re eating.
Set short and long term goals for your diabetes numbers. Some short term goals would be something like making sure you’re physically active or exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. Fifteen is better but 10 beats being sedentary.
Make it a goal to drink more water. Diabetes can cause dehydration plus, drinking plenty of water can lower high glucose readings. A short term goal could be to make sure you don’t mindlessly eat. Keep a food journal to track your carbs.
Some long term fitness goals when you have diabetes might be to lower your BMI. It might also be to lose fat and tighten up your body by gaining muscle through strength straining.
Another long term goal might be to lower your A1c. When creating your goals, you don’t want to be generic. Don’t write down that you want to lose weight. Determine exactly how much you want to lose and when you want to lose it by.
Then break down the steps that you’re going to take to get there. Do this with each of your goals. For example, don’t just have a goal of eating healthier. Write down exactly what it’s going to take to accomplish this.