Fitness is hard, especially during the dreary winter months. For me, I feel as though this winter has hit me especially hard; I haven’t been to the gym in weeks, I am missing my bike, and I can’t seem to get my butt off the couch!
This needs to end. And I am dedicated to ending it now!
I am a HUGE over-thinker, so if you’re like me, you can’t just jump into a workout routine and have it be effective for you. I need goals, planning and research to fully commit myself, and feel good about the commitment I am making.
Through my thought process of deciding on a workout plan, I actually came up with three steps for anyone interested in getting back into the gym and actually having it work. It’s important to note that this is the before step of the motivation which happens in advance of committing to something that is unsustainable or doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. There are tons of tips out there on sticking with a program once you’ve decided on one, but not too much on how to choose one.
So here you are my friends – my 3 steps to fitness success:
1. Make goals
Fitness is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, toning your body and even building muscle. To choose a plan that works for you, you need to decide on your end goals. What do you want your fitness plan to do for you and when do you want to achieve this goal? How many times per week are you committed to going to the gym?
Remember: Goals must be realistic and achievable based on your starting point and commitment level! Don’t tell yourself you will go 5 times a week if 3 times is what fits with your schedule.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you plan to get there?
2. Do some research
I actually only started going to the gym around 3 years ago. Before that, all my fitness happened in a dance studio. I had no idea what I was first doing or what any of the exercises were meant to do.
Research is so important for finding a plan that works for you. There are so many websites out there that have both meal and workout plans available, based on the goals you just set (i.e. intentions and times per week you can commit to). My favourite is BodyBuilding.com, especially Jamie Eason’s LiveFit plan.
This step is so important. It is what will stand between you and your success. Take the plan you just found and work it into your schedule. Commit to a certain number of days that you can go in the morning, after work, on the weekends, and put it into your calendar. Choose the day that you will do all your meal prep for the week and schedule your grocery shopping around that day.
By planning using specific days of the week, you are committing to success. If you don’t schedule the days, you will go to bed thinking, “Oh, I didn’t go today, I will go tomorrow.” It doesn’t work like that. Go on the days you commit to going and enjoy your relaxing time on the days you’ve committed to not going, guilt-free.
Yes, I said it. If you know in advance that you aren’t going to the gym, you can go to bed happy that you stuck with your plan and not have to get stressed that you missed another day. For this reason alone, planning is one of the most important steps.Remember: Some programs come with set dates for your workout. If you can’t go 4 days in a row and have 3 days off, figure out which combination works for you, giving yourself enough time to rest up while still getting the most out of your workouts.
Fitness shouldn’t be scary, and I believe that if you have a dedicated plan and achievable goals, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Everything is hard before it’s easy. – Goethe