Right, it’s not the first time we’ve found ourselves here; new year and an old resolution – get in shape, preferably before summer! Yet, come Christmas, you’ve long since stopped working out and not achieved your goal. So here are some tips and advice to make it easier, and to ensure, that you’ll make good on your resolution this year.
Get a planner/calendar
Crossing out boxes on your calendar is extremely motivating. When you’ve set a goal of going to the gym each day this week, come Thursday, you’re going to be running low on enthusiasm; seeing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday already crossed off will be exactly what you need to get those gym shoes on. On top of the added motivation, it’ll keep you from lying to yourself. Feel like you’ve been doing a good job lately, take a look at the calendar – looks like you haven’t actually gone in a week! A week turns into 2, then a month, then it’s summer and your New Year’s resolution has long since died.
Not only will you have a calendar on the wall, you’re also going to have a pocket planner that you take to the gym. Log all of your workouts – How far did you run? How long did it take? Calories burned? How many reps at how much weight? The reason for tracking all this data is that it will, like the calendar, help to keep you motivated by seeing your progress, and two it’ll show you when you’ve hit a plateau, meaning it’s time to change up your work out.
Get a buddy
Get your significant other, or friend to agree to do it with you. Then, get on each other’s cases when you don’t show or don’t put in your full effort. You must answer to each other and you can’t let each other off the hook. It’s a lot easier to hold someone else accountable than to do so to yourself, so pair up!
If working out is completely new to you, taking classes might be the best bet. Most gyms will run them, and usually they’re included in your gym membership. Classes bring a couple benefits to the table; like having a workout partner, you’ll get to know the people in the class which will help get you to the gym on those cold nights. For the novice gym goer, it’ll also removes all the unknowns; you won’t need to worry about which kind of weights to do, how many reps, or how to get a good cardio workout.
This pairs well with your calendar. You need to set SMART goals, that means specific and measurable (not just, “get in better shape” but “weigh X amount, be able to lift Y kilos, run Z distance in A time” we want numbers here!), Actionable and realistic (don’t pick, beat the record for 100 meter dash unless you’re already an olympic sprinter. you’re only setting yourself up for failure, and failure will kill your motivation. Where as reaching a goal will get you pumped for your next work out), and finally time constrained (you need to pick a date, if you don’t you’ll keep putting it off. Don’t pick a date too far in advance, like the end of the year. Pick something that is 2 or 3 months off, then set new goals)
Don’t give up
Look, you’re gonna fall down (we all do), you’re going to get to Sunday night and realize you haven’t worked out all week, you’re going to pig out on a whole pizza the day after you ate a whole cake. That’s fine, we all need a break from time to time, don’t let a whole blank week on the calendar freak you out (and turn into a blank month). Instead, use it to motivate yourself and get back on that proverbial horse.
Just do it
Take the first step. Go buy a planner right now, literally right now. When you get back, look for gyms in your area. Just get up, and do it! Watch Shia LaBeouf below if you need a little more motivation.