New Year 2014 - 28/12/13
It was my first day back in the gym today, and after a week away from everything fitness related… it felt hard! Everything felt a lot heavier than normal and I felt myself getting out of breath really quickly.
I took a week from training over Christmas, to relax and spend time with my family. And when I got back into it today, it probably felt twice as difficult as it did before... after only a week! Not fair!
If you don't use it you lose it, really quickly. I already know this, but it got me thinking...
'If a week off can do that to me, an all year round gym goer and keen Personal Trainer. How hard must it be for someone that's just starting up? Who isn't really interested in being in the gym and is only really there because they feel they need to be, to lose weight and get healthy.’
Let me just say this:
I love fitness, training and staying in shape! It's my job, my hobby and one of my great passions. So for me to stick to a plan of exercise is easy. I know what I'm doing and I enjoy it, it’s a lifestyle.
But for someone that doesn't feel the same way; going into things in the New Year without a clear of idea of what needs to be done, adequate motivation and the correct mind-set must be an almost impossible task.
So many people head into the New Year with weight loss goals as they’re main resolution. They plan out exactly what it is that they're going to do, and whilst this is all good on paper... Sometimes it seems a little over ambitious, or the effort to output ratio is off - due to the training and food ideas not being as effective as they could be.
Things don’t change as quickly as they’d like; they get frustrated, and then quit.
One thing to make clear:
The most important thing, by far when it comes to getting into shape is consistency. And without it, things are going to come grinding to a halt rather quickly.
So with that said, the New Year would be much better off started with a ‘fitness plan’ that’s maintainable, 100% of the time… right up to December and then back round again. Rather than a full throttle, ‘do it for as long as you can’ approach, which is probably going to lose momentum, come February or March.
To try and help you out a bit, I’ve decided to put together a few points. Things that I think are worth considering when planning your fitness goals for 2014:
1. Make it achievable - Don't set yourself unrealistic 5 day exercise schedules, or unachievable (and unhealthy) heavily calorie restricted diets to follow. You're going to get sick of them and go back to your old ways double quickly. Instead set yourself targets that you can see yourself achieving all year round. Your weight loss goals must be carried out in a sustainable fashion.
2. Do things that you enjoy - You're always going to stick to a plan of exercise for a lot longer, if it’s fun.
Results are always a priority, I know, but try to enjoy the journey. Enjoy the exercises that you are doing, think of them as a challenge. Get excited about training! Think about how good it makes you feel afterwards. Get out of the mind set of dragging yourself to the gym or exercise class, and try genuinely looking forward to it.
3. Don't quit (an obvious one I guess) – But taking on any new venture is always going to be difficult to begin with, stick with it. Things will get easier!
I’ve said it to people so many times; 'breaking old habits is hard. Maintaining new ones is easy'. Once what you're doing becomes the norm', you'll operate like clockwork. You won't think about what it is that needs to be done, you just will. It will become VERY easy!
4. Think of your set ‘gym days’ as an extension to the working day – Particularly when you’re starting out. No putting training days off, no negotiating. Naturally there will be days when you’re more ‘up for it’ than others. But on those days when you’re not, I guarantee that you’ll feel even more achieved once the workouts done!
If days HAVE to be missed, if life gets in the way; make up for it ASAP or do it at home. Don’t let it become just another ‘missed session’. They’re not allowed.
5. Keep your goals in mind at all time - Constantly remind yourself of what it is you want to achieve. Right it down; stick pictures up around the house of people with the physiques that you would like to have. Whatever works! I’m a firm believer in you being able to do whatever you want to do, if you want it bad enough. If someone else can do it, you can do it, Period.
6. Make yourself accountable - Tell all of your friends, family and co-workers what it is that you’re going to achieve. Be specific. Remember there is only ever going be 2 outcomes, an excuse or a result.
There can be a million and one reasons why things didn’t work out with your fitness goals in 2014, they’re all going to fall under the same category. If you stick with what you’re doing and achieve exactly what you set out to do, you won’t have to think of any.
Like it or not, if you want to get, and stay in shape, it needs to be on-going. It has to become part of your life. And whilst that doesn't mean it has to dominate your life or be a big part of it every day, it does mean that you need to be constantly aware of it. Healthy eating and regular exercise is something that has to be done from here on out. It shouldn't be thought of as a quick fix or fast solution. Instead; holistic and sustainable good health and all the great benefits that comes with it. One of the firm favourites I'm sure; being a lean, sculpted and toned body, with low levels of body fat.
You’ll notice in January that the gyms etc. are rammed. In February… not so much. Don’t be one of the people that drop off before the months out, because things aren’t going the way they planned.
I wish you every success with all of health, fitness and weight loss goals in 2014! Remember I’m always just a phone call away.