Is 2021 your year to shine? If it is—if it's your year to step up to the plate and finally get that fitness program into action—we have some of the best tips to help you succeed.
When motivation strikes high each New Year, thousands begin their journey to reach that elusive "fit bod." Not all succeed, but with proper planning and the right strategies, you can be one of those who welcome summer with the beach-ready body of their dreams.
2021 brings an interesting challenge into the mix with the pandemic still in full swing, so for some, hitting the local gym just isn't an option. Home workouts have become more popular than ever, and if you embrace the benefits of what home training brings to the table, you'll find it easier than ever to achieve your goals.
Here are eight great tips to help get you started:
Tip 1: Create a Fit Agenda
If there's one thing you absolutely must do to have success with this journey, it's getting a set plan down on paper. Those who attempt to just wing it or think they don't need to schedule it in because they're motivated enough will be the ones who'll be found glued to the couch with a bag of Doritos come February.
Find yourself a fun agenda or journal in which you can write down all things related to fitness. While you can use an app on your phone, many find greater success if they actually write it down.
Things you will record:
- The days and times you plan to do your workouts
- The days and times you plan to do your meal prep
- The day and time you plan to shop for groceries
- The times of day you will eat your meals (allow for a little flexibility here if you have an irregular schedule)
- Your food intake and workout programs
You will need to take 10 minutes every day to write down the workout and diet details. You'll also need some time each week to look over your journal and reflect on how things went and what you might do differently the following week.
Each of these elements is critical to your success, so don't leave anything out. Having an agenda where you can track your progress and schedule all your fitness related to-do's is vital.
Tip 2: Demand More From Yourself
If you want to succeed in making this your very best year yet, you need to demand more from yourself each and every day.
What does that mean?
"We are what we practice," says MuscleTech-sponsored athlete Alli Smeltzer. "Don't be happy with just enough." According to Smeltzer, you need to condition your mind to be determined, resilient, and disciplined. "The gym is such a great place to practice this. Finish your workout harder than you started and make sure you push your limits so you're better than you were the day before," she says.
The good news is that once you adopt this frame of mind, you'll start to see it carry over to all areas of your life—and you will begin to excel in those, as well.
Tip 3: Stretch Before Bed
If you're looking for an actual action goal you can accomplish relatively easily that will help make 2021 your fittest year yet, try stretching before you sleep.
"Make it a habit," says MuscleTech-sponsored fitness athlete Brogan Morris. "Not only will it relax your body before bed, but it's an important step in your workout routine that you most likely skipped after you finished your session."
Stretching often gets overlooked, but that's a mistake, considering the range of benefits. Stretching alone may not make you thinner, stronger, or more muscular, but it will indirectly help your workout performance, help keep injuries at bay, and reduce post-workout soreness, which can kick in 24-48 hours after your last rep. All of this collectively will help you push harder in the gym, and that will help you achieve a greater fitness level.
Tip 4: Plan the Steps Needed to Achieve Your Goals
Goal setting is a critical part of success in anything you do. It's a driving force that will keep you motivated even during those times when willpower is at a low ebb.
Still, it's not enough to simply declare a goal; getting from point A to point B requires a plan of action.
"Don't just sit around and hope your goals come to fruition," says Smeltzer. "Make the decision to make things happen. The hardest part is getting started, and success won't happen overnight."
If you're struggling to take action, it may be because you lack this roadmap. One great way to get your roadmap is to sign up for BodyFit and find the program that most closely matches your goals.
Tip 5: Drink Water Before You Eat
"Drink 8 ounces of water before and after each meal," recommends Morris. "Not only will this help keep you full, but it's also a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day."
If you get bored of plain water, add a slice of lemon or lime or even some mixed berries. Just a slight hint of flavor can make it easier to drink a lot of water.
Tip 6: Get Out of Your "Fitness Box"
We all have exercises and a routine we gravitate toward because we are comfortable with them. I'm going to encourage you to force yourself out of your comfort zone. I'm not saying you can't do your favorite exercises or workouts anymore, but I am saying it would be beneficial for you to try new things.
Challenging your body in new ways can help maximize your progress. By challenge, I don't mean just new exercises, either. Try entirely new ways of working out. For example, instead of doing the elliptical, take a boot camp class. Instead of hitting the gym for weights, try rock climbing for a change.
Tip 7: Experiment with Pre-Workout Supplements
Speaking of changing it up, if you've never gotten into pre-workout supplements, this could be the year to start. Finding the right pre-workout, one that works well for you, is like finding a small piece of magic. It can transform any regular workout into one that leaves you feeling exhilarated and accomplished.
All pre-workout supplements are created a little differently, so learn the ingredients and try a few to figure out what's best for your body and needs.
While you certainly don't need a supplement to see success, when you find the right one, it can make a big difference.
Tip 8: Go at Your Own Pace
The last tip to make 2021 a year that you'll excel in is: Remember to go at your own pace. This is your journey, not someone else's. No one else has your exact situation going on, so it's impossible to compare yourself to anyone else.
When we get the comparison game going, that's when we usually end up feeling worse about ourselves, and often this feeling can lead us to giving up entirely.
If you know in your heart you're doing the very best you can given what you're working with, that's all you need to know.
Keep these points in mind and take on 2021 with renewed energy, a better vision, and clarity that it will be your year.