Here are some practical and easy tips to help you achieve your body goals. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym to try out these methods and they work for fitness beginners.
How to set fitness goals
My history teacher told me to always write a detailed plan before beginning an essay. After following his advice, my grades improved from B’s to A’s.
To have determination for anything, you have to really want it; and you have to know why. Writing down your aims helps you to visualise them as a reality, but rather than listing general goals: getting in shape for summer, losing weight for a wedding etc., think about specific intentions that will motivate you daily.
Maybe that’s eating a portion of fruit in the morning, or eating green vegetables at dinner. Realistic and straight-forward daily plans will break down your overall ambition, and encourage you to follow through. Consider SMART goal setting (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound).
Research health and nutrition
The internet has spoilt us with quick knowledge, making it easy to find healthy recipes and exercise routines. But unfortunately, not all the advice out there is credible. When researching particular diets to follow, ensure you do your homework and listen to trained experts. What I also love doing, is finding out the health benefits of what I’m eating. If you tell me a certain vegetable will improve my brain memory or help my digestion for instance, I’m motivated to add that veg to my meals.
Find a workout buddy
A workout buddy can improve your success and keep you on track with your fitness goals. Having someone in your life who’s also trying to eat healthier and be more active will support you to keep progressing.
If you don’t know anyone you could partner with, focus on sourcing people online. Ideally, people who are at the same level in their journey as you. Trying to keep up with a fitness addict who’s exercised 4 times a week for 5 years, is equivalent to a person doing the same tasks as a CEO at their new career position.
Achieve body goals by utilising technology
I’ve spoken before about the app Remente – great for ticking through to-do lists. There are plenty of other similar apps to try, such as My Fitness Pal and Nike Training Club.
Follow YouTube workouts
I love YouTube workouts. I can put them on whenever I’m the mood to exercise, and I always find numerous choices to not get bored. Some days I look for pilates and ballet-inspired workouts, while other days I want yoga and deep stretching. Check out my 5 Favourite YouTube Fitness Channels
Walk whenever possible
Walking can help reduce belly fat – not to mention a host of other benefits. It’s one of the easiest exercises and doesn’t cost a penny. Simple swaps: avoiding lifts, not driving to your local shops… will advance your mission to achieve your body goals. Stairs make for wonderful cardio and are probably quicker. The lifts at my local shopping centre take forever to reach me.
Recognise the smallest of improvements
We each have different temptations and struggles in our daily lives. It’s important to acknowledge every positive choice we choose, regardless of how minuscule someone else may perceive those choices. Constantly self-praise the dedication you make and note your tiny steps towards improvement. For instance: using half a teaspoon less of sugar in your coffee; deciding to share a fizzy drink can.
As a human, you’re bound to give in to temptation at some point, and that’s okay. Actually, a balanced diet is known to be the healthiest option. So praise your good choices, but don’t feel guilty when you fall off plan.
Make a small step each week
A huge issue with fitness goals: they usually incorporate significant lifestyle changes. And it’s easy to get caught up trying to swap and switch all sorts of things and then feel guilt if you somehow fail.
Baby steps stop you from becoming overwhelmed. To achieve your body goals, take the tortoise approach and not the hare. Focusing on small aims can give you a confidence boost faster due to quicker completion. Feeling that you’ve failed in some way won’t inspire you to keep going.
Look for other alternatives
When cutting down on my refined sugar, medjool dates became my best friend. Although dates still contain high sugar, the dried fruit has vitamins, minerals and high fibre.
Simply swapping regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, milk chocolate for dark, and carrots with hummus rather than bread, can make a significant impact. And if you don’t fancy swapping, consider opting for homemade.
Plan before leaving
As a plant-based eater, planning what I will eat when I’m out is a necessity. A random example: at my great uncle’s funeral, I knew all the food was non-vegan. So, I made the most delicious banana bread the night before and took a huge slice with me to snack on.
Be positive – get excited
“I hate exercise”
“I really don’t want to eat salad”
“I love chocolate too much”
“I might as well just eat this fast food”
“I don’t have the willpower”….
Our minds are powerful – they overrule our bodies and our decisions. When we tell our brain’s the above statements, our brains will look for reasons to back us up and agree.
Have you ever had a bad reaction when meeting a new person? Perhaps you think: they don’t seem nice.And then your brain goes: yeah, she gave you this funny glance. Her smile appeared a little false. And the way she talks is not how you talk – no, you wouldn’t get along.
That’s the scenario that happens when you complain. You can’t expect your mind to get excited about running, if you’re telling your mind how awful it is. There’s no point being upset over not eating what you want – you can. No one is forcing you to have fitness goals. You have to dig deep and say: I don’t want to have this because it’s not healthy. Or, I want to workout because I want to increase my strength.
Find solutions to all your excuses
An Instagram friend of mine, who is in incredible shape, let me use her photos to put together my post on tackling fitness excuses. Think about how you would answer the fitness problems you create. What solutions can you give yourself, that you can then apply?
What are your fitness goals and do you have any tips or advice to share? Do you prefer running, walking, gyms, dance classes or swimming?
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Post updated 18/04/2020.