So many people try to transform. And yet, so few succeed.
This unhappy phenomenon is most apparent during the rush of fitness-related New Year's resolutions. A 2012 online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Bodybuilding.com found that 66 percent of Americans make resolutions aimed at getting fit. While it might seem great that more than half of Americans want to better their lives through health and fitness, 73 percent of them give up before achieving their goals!
The vast majority of those sparkly, this-is-my-year good intentions get heaped in a corner along with discarded gym clothes and unused membership cards, while their defeated owner sits on the sofa wondering what might have been.
Sadly, this story rings true for many. This year, instead of becoming another depressing statistic, do something different. Read and apply these nine tips to your plan of action and win your own resolutionary war!
Recognize Your Drive
What's fueling your fire? You may be driven by medical reasons, emotional reasons, or a need to make a fresh start in life.
Write them down on sticky notes and put them around the house, in your car, and on your monitor at work. Every time you see visual reminders, you'll be prompted to the remember your "why."
Once you've done that, your clear sense of purpose should lead to great results. Fitness will not only make you look great on the outside but also help you develop patience, discipline, and organization.
Don't Punk Out—Stay Disciplined
Your ability to make a schedule and stick to it is a matter of self-discipline—which is the hardest part for many people.
Great quote: "Self-discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it." Anything worthwhile in life takes backbone, sacrifice, and vigilance on your part. Fitness is no different.
The 2012 online survey found that nearly half of resolution hopefuls quit within six weeks or less. But if you participated in sports in high school or college, you have an advantage—you've had to develop self-discipline before. You will make time for what's important to you. You already do it all the time.
How often have you rushed to run errands and get everything done in the day so you can be at a meeting or date? It's time to put those 45 minutes of physical activity on the same level as a high-priority appointment!
Stalk Your Own Fit Progress
It's time to get nosy about your own "bidness." It's important to see where you started, how you have improved, and where you want to be. When I see progress in my physique, I get fired up! I always remind myself that it didn't happen overnight, but the results did come. It's only a matter of time.
Do weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to see how your body is tracking and if you're noticing plateaus. I don't base my progress off the scale because muscle weighs more than fat. Pictures and measurements are the way to go. How your clothes fit is one of the easiest ways to track your progress.
Organize, Prepare, And Succeed
Coming to the gym without a game plan is a bit like going to grocery store without a list. You mill around, you have a foggy recollection of why you were there and end up winging it and forgetting half of what you really needed when you walked in. And if you don't curb your appetite with clean food and snacks, you'll end up splurging on a candy bar at the checkout line or swinging past the drive-thru.
Plan your workout before you get to the gym and set aside a specific time to get in and out with a good workout. It's really that simple. Be an efficient machine. Organization is synonymous with efficiency.
Additionally, prepping your meals is a key. Having 5-7 small meals ready in advance will keep you from cheating when you're on the go. Some people make all their meals for the week in one day; others prefer making their food the night before. I make meals for three days at a time.
Do It On A Deadline
A deadline is simply a budgeting of your time. I give myself a deadline to keep me from falling off track. It also lends me a solid foundation of accountability. Going through the motions without an action plan almost guarantees failure.
Your deadline can be a 12-week challenge or an upcoming special event in your life. This will empower you to work harder, avoid cutting corners, and keep yourself on track. Extra incentive is often required to find a renewed sense of stick-to-it-ive-ness and deadlines are a great way to do it.
Figure out how you tick and what works for you and make your goals and agenda from there.
Partner Up, Pal
Surround yourself with company who support the goals you have set. Like-minded people will not only encourage you, but also push you when you need that extra motivation.
Gym or training buddies are the best. You don't always have to be in a gym to enjoy the benefits of fitness. Get outside! There are often many events and groups in your community that will allow you to keep involved in a healthy lifestyle: health fairs, running and biking clubs, rock-climbing gyms, etc.
Don't know anyone who is fit? Go online and network. Social media and message boards are great ways to connect with likeminded people who can be the difference between you pursuing your goals full bore rather than half-heartedly.
Visualize You, Only Fitter
Visual reminders such as inspirational quotes, images of physiques you admire, and workouts you'd like to try are fabulous ways to keep yourself motivated. The advent of the vision board has empowered many people to take action in their lives.
Scouring the Internet for things that make your flame flicker can help keep you motivated. Piece together a vision board and hang it somewhere in your home.
Motivational pages and athletes on social media are also great assets to use for emotional and mental check-ins, for accountability's sake.
Make Each Setback A Glitch, Not A Ditch
Be warned: You're going to screw up sometimes. It happens to everyone. Don't beat yourself up if you cheat on your diet or miss a workout. Just because you have one bad meal doesn't mean the whole day or next day needs to go to waste. Get back on track on the next day.
Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. The key is to recognize the problem, acknowledge it, and keep moving. Torturing yourself with guilt accomplishes nothing.
Cheer Yourself On!
Your biggest motivator should be you. Your attitude, self-talk, and mindset are everything! You have so much more control in your life than you even realize. How much you move your body, the food you put in it for fuel, the amount of water you drink, the quality of the supplements you take, the amount of sleep you get—all are in your own power. You are not a victim. You never have been. If you don't believe in yourself and your goals, neither will anyone else.
Want to be successful? Keep your goals in focus. Allow both your setbacks and successes to help you grow. At the end of the day, did you work harder than you did yesterday? If the answer is yes, good! Now work even harder tomorrow. If the answer is no, what's holding you back? Only you!