I was at the gym just prior to the New Year and overheard a discussion about how crowded the gym will soon be because of New Years Resolutions. “Yeah, but it will be back to normal by Valentines Day” was the reply.
We all know one of the most popular Resolutions is to lose weight or get in shape. And we all know those seem to die out as quickly as it took to write them down on paper. But it doesn’t have to be that way and here are five helpful hints to help you reach those goals.
You Don’t Need The Gym
If you are like so many of us, you are 100% into your new goals and hit the gym hard for a month or so and then you stop. Understand that joining a gym should not be the number one priority if your goal is to lose weight. Almost 80% of weight loss will be your eating. Notice I did not say “diet” but rather, “eating”. Just making a few small adjustments such as staying away from sugars and breads can make enough of a difference that you will lose weight and not have to work out. I do suggest some type of workouts to help burn more fat and just keep you healthier but if only 20% of fat loss is attributed to exercise, focus on some fun, healthy meals.
Do What Fit People Do!
By this I mean to do the little things others do and your subconscious mind begins to work in your favor. I read an article a while back about a gentleman who was terrible with money. He didn’t know how to save, how to invest, etc. Consequently, no matter how much he made, he was broke. A friend of his mentioned what he did when he wanted to make changes in his life and that was by acting as if he was already where he was aiming. He suggested the man start reading the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine and some money blogs (because that’s what people who are good with their money do!). The man started doing this daily and noticed after a while he was slowly picking up some habits that helped him get on track.
So if your goal is to lose weight, read fitness magazines or foodie blogs (I suggest low carb) as often as you can. Try and get as much knowledge as possible on the subjects that interest you and incorporate them into your daily routines. There’s a saying that knowledge is power which is not necessarily true. It’s the application of knowledge that is powerful so be sure to do what you read. And seeing pictures of fit people or reading success stories can be a very motivational tool.
Don’t Weigh Yourself So Much
It seemed the more I weighed myself when I first started on my goals, the more I had disappointing days. I would work hard and eat right, only to show no improvement some weeks. But there are a number of factors that can be causing the scale to jump a little such as water retention, when you are weighing yourself and muscle gain.
I suggest weighing yourself the same day at the same time every couple weeks. So select a day and time (I do every other Monday morning before breakfast) and stick to it. This will give you a much better representation of your actual progress. And know that over the course of a year, you are going to have great weigh ins and you will have disappointing weigh ins. But you will definitely lose weight.
It’s OK to Change Goals
A lot of people set goals that may be unattainable long term such as going to the gym every day, losing ten pounds the first month or running a certain number of days a week. And often times, due to a number of reasons and to no fault of their own, they can’t keep the pace up and often times feel like they failed and so they give up.
Rather than quitting, why not just change your goals? If three days a week is too much to run, lower the goal to one or two days. Or perhaps running one day and walking another. Just as long as you keep at it! Running a mile a week adds up to fifty two miles a year which is fifty two miles more than not running at all. Not to mention, the habit of running is now part of your life and you can up the miles at any time.
You Won’t Have A Six Pack In A Month
Do not fall for the “Have a Killer Body in 30 Days” headline you’ll see in just about every fitness or Lifestyle magazine. Your goal should be for the year, not the month. This means you will have some ups and some downs but by allowing yourself to only lose a few pounds in 30 days (or more!) you won’t be discouraged by not reaching a yearly goal in thirty days. And besides, most people who follow these 30 day plans end up putting the weight back on shortly after.
Understand that this is a journey so treat it as such. Enjoy the process and celebrate the small victories and don’t beat yourself up if you have a slip up day or week. Just get back on it and keep moving forward. As I mentioned in an earlier post, change how you approach the results you are looking for, dig in and go for it! And you will have those results you want in just 360 days
So take a few moments at the end of the month, evaluate how you did and if any changes need to be made and either keep doing what you’re doing or make some adjustments and enjoy your successes!