How to Conquer Your Health & Fitness Goals for 2018
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year that you were going to improve your health and fitness? Perhaps you even made it a step further and joined a gym. Did you declare that you were going to start a new diet? Maybe you decided to try eating “clean” or going keto. You’re ready, this year it’s different. But let’s be honest it’s more of the same. According to Statistic Brain, 32.4% of people make weight-related New Year’s resolutions. Yet only 9.2% of people actually succeed at accomplishing their New Year’s resolution. A whopping 48.4% of people find infrequent success with sticking to and achieving their resolution. Whereas 42.4% of people fail at successfully achieving their resolution every single year.
Ok, so my intention isn’t to discourage you. I don’t want you to think that you don’t have a shot at achieving your goal. What I want for you is to be part of that 9.2%. I want you to take 2018 by the horns and crush every single goal. That is why I am offering you some practical tips that you can utilize to create a positive mindset. I want to teach you how to create easy to implement habits and routines. I want to reveal to you the importance of developing flexible, balanced nutrition. Allow me to show you how to become a part of the 9.2% this year.
Get Your Mind Right
What’s Your Why?
The first and most important step is to decide what you want to accomplish with this particular goal and why. Having a strong why will keep you going when you’re tempted to give up and abandon your goals. Perhaps you’re wanting to lower your cholesterol or increase your strength. Maybe you want to avoid developing a chronic disease or excess weight gain. Whatever your reason is for creating your health & fitness goal you should know and want to actually work on accomplishing that goal. Get as specific as you can and develop solid reasons to pursue a health-focused lifestyle. Write down your reasons, create a vision board, find an accountability partner. Develop a mindset that focuses on making success the only option.
Defeat Obstacles in Advance
Do you have a busy schedule that could prevent you from working out as often as you like? Perhaps when it comes to cooking and creating nutritious meals you’re clueless. These are things that could get in the way of you achieving your goals. Fix them before they do. Be honest with yourself about your likes and dislikes regarding health and fitness. Do you like working out at the gym? If so find a gym in your area that you would like to join. Is working out from home something that appeals to you more? There are tons of apps, dvd’s, and online fitness coaches that can guide and instruct you. Find what you like and what fits your personality and stick to it.
Set yourself up for success and not for failure. Try to avoid setting goals that focus only on weight loss. Yes, it is important to find a weight that you are comfortable with and that you can easily maintain. It is also important to not allow this to be your primary focus because what happens when you lose the weight? What next? If you haven’t learned or developed sustainable lifestyle habits that don’t revolve around restrictive dieting you’re going to rebound and gain the weight back. Building your weight loss goals around learning how to develop nutritious eating habits. Teaching yourself how to make fitness a part of your daily lifestyle. Celebrating small wins and victories along the way that don’t have to do with the scale. Being okay with the fact that sustainable weight loss is a journey and not something that yields instant gratification.
Have solid realistic goals from the get-go, and create actionable steps each day to achieve them. Make sure you’re adopting a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Treat health and fitness like a journey instead of a destination and realize it’s not about “dieting down” to achieve an ideal body type but creating a maintainable lifestyle that increases enjoyment and wellness.
Develop Solid Habits
Routines & Schedules Are Your Friends
Creating solid routines and schedules to support your health & fitness goals helps to develop discipline and keep you on track. Having a set schedule for how often you workout, what days you decide to go exercise and what time of the day you choose to schedule your sweat sessions, will prevent you from skipping the gym altogether. Setting aside time for planning meals, going grocery shopping and prepping out your meals will help you develop healthy nutrition habits and will also help you decrease the temptation of going out to eat. Pre-made meals are a convenient way to prevent worrying about what to cook when you get home or to think about what you’re going to eat since you’ve already prepared for it in advance. If you’re just not into cooking, using a meal prep service that provides quality nutrient-dense meals that you can have delivered to your doorstep is beneficial.
Get Help If You Need It
Trading an unhealthy lifestyle for a healthy lifestyle can be lonely no lie, this is why it’s important to make sure you surround yourself with people that support you and your lifestyle goals. Having friends or joining groups that have similar interests can help to keep you motivated and headed in the right direction. Workout partners ensure that you’re making it to the gym and staying committed to your workout program. Hiring a Fitness Coach or a Wellness Coach can also help to relieve the added stress of figuring out nutrition and what exercises or workouts you should be doing to move you towards your goals. Having one or all of these people in your life will definitely help you to become more successful in achieving your goals.
Work on Your Relationship with Food
Make Small Manageable Changes to Nutrition
There are dozens of diets and meal plans that promise all types of things. A quick Google search will reveal many different types of diets. I’m not here to bash diets, but I have found that utilizing a restrictive approach when it comes to food versus developing a lifestyle approach towards health & fitness, following a super restrictive diet doesn’t work. What works is learning what nutrition looks like and what it means for you. Maintaining an eating lifestyle that focuses on consuming whole nutrient dense foods that are minimally processed is key. This ensures you receive all of your essential vitamins and minerals. These types of foods should make up the majority of what you eat. Restrictive diets aren’t the way to create lasting changes in your health & fitness. They fail to teach you how to revert back to a healthy and manageable way of eating once the diet phase is over.
You have to truly be open to the process of discovery and learning what your body likes by eating a variety of foods. Consume nutrient dense and calorie dense foods. Keep a record of how your body reacts and how you feel when consuming various foods and dishes. Seeing how certain foods and dishes affect your body is great. Making tweaks to your nutrition and swapping out certain foods that don’t agree with your goals is also helpful. Implementing these techniques will ensure that you’re above else being realistic with yourself and also teaches you a lot more about nutrition and what health and wellness look like for you because at the end of the day nutrition is personal.
Don’t Calorie Count or Macro Count
I’m in no way saying that calorie counting or macro counting is bad. This is a useful tactic that can be used to break through weight loss plateaus, and can also be used to help monitor nutrition. Keep in mind that you are just starting out on your health and fitness journey and trying to learn more advanced techniques can be a bit overwhelming. Developing solid habits takes time and you want to make sure that you’ve got the basics covered. It’s normal to need time to adjust and become comfortable and consistent with your routine before you start to add more advanced tactics. Sticking with small easy to manage changes is key.
Focus instead on learning how to create more nutritious dishes and meals. Ditch the idea that there are “good” foods and “bad” foods. Develop a more flexible and open mindset when it comes to what you eat. Increase your knowledge about how the foods that you eat impact your body on a nutritional and physiological level so you can make better-informed choices regarding what you’re consuming. Once you are solid with your nutrition you can then begin adding tactics like food journaling and/or calorie/macro tracking if your goal is weight loss.
Become a Mindful Eater
Learning to enjoy your meals and savor what you eat helps to increase your satisfaction and enjoyment of your meals. Eating slowly and thoroughly chewing your food aids in proper digestion. This also keeps you in tune with your body’s satiety and fullness cues. These subtle cues tell you when you’re satisfied versus when you are hungry. Taking the time to truly enjoy what you are eating can help prevent overindulging or overeating.
It’s All About Balance
As cliché as that statement is and the never-ending quest to achieve “balance” within our lives, it still rings true. Learning how to remain consistent with your health and fitness habits during the ups and downs of life. Knowing when to spice things up when you find yourself bored and ready for a change in your workout routine. Discovering habits and tactics that keep you committed to remaining healthy and fit. It’s ok to allow yourself to be human and not let being “healthy” overtake your life. It is also important to maintain a healthy social life. Enjoying a meal or having a couple of drinks with friends is a great way to do that.