Set Both Long Term and Short Term Goals
Envision what you want to achieve and write your goals down or make it into something visible and tangible so you will be reminded of your goals each day. Whether it's a reminder you'll read each morning or a note that you'll come across throughout the day, keep the goal fresh in your mind and work towards achieving it each day. Additionally, remember to set smaller, short term goals to help you stay accountable and continue progressing.
Rome wasn't built in a day. And most likely, you didn't gain the weight overnight so don't expect to lose it overnight either. While 7 day fasts and 14 diets are all the rave, they do more harm than good. Fast and rapid weight loss oftens leads to primarily water and muscle loss, which will do more harm to your metabolic capacity in the long run. And typically, once you return to your old habits, you'll regain the weight and then some. Any diet which you cannot sustain in the long run is not worth starting in the first place. Successful weight loss is about making lifestyle changes, both physically and nutritionally, as well as psychologically so that you can lose the weight and keep it off. These changes need to be adjustments that you can adhere to today, tomorrow, next week, and next year. Losing weight is one step, but weight loss maintenance over the long term is a true accomplishment.
Focus on the Process, Not Just the Goals
While it's easy to talk about what we want to achieve, we must take action. Aim to take steps each and every day to help get you closer to your goals. Whether it's substituting one soda per day with a glass of water, or committing to exercising 3x per week for 30 minutes, every step counts. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. We don't have to be perfect and we shouldn't expect the process to be easy. But strive to do your best each day because consistency is the true key of success.
Let your friends and family know what you're trying to accomplish and how they can assist you on your journey. They can help keep you accountable and stay on track. Also having a workout buddy to motivate you and expect to meet you at the gym certain times during the week can be a great tool, especially on days that your mind is tempting you with excuses to skip the workout. Staying motivated is vital for success and while extrinsic motivational factors may be the primary fuel source at the beginning, they can become intrinsic motivational factors over time. See my previous post regarding exercise and motivation here.
Be Patient and Proud of Yourself
The best things in life take time, hard work, and consistent effort to achieve so be patient and believe in yourself. Anything is possible! It will require commitment, dedication, time, will power, and sacrifices. There will be temptations and times when you fall down. But failure isn't falling down. Failure comes from refusing to get back up. You can make it happen if you set your mind to it and I promise you that the results will be well worth it. Each day, wake up with determination and a goal. If you achieve it, you'll go to bed with satisfaction at night.
Get a Plan and Stay Accountable
Even if you have the proper mindset, you still need the game plan for success. And while there's no substitute for hard work, it's also important to strive to work smarter as well. There are millions of diets and fitness plans out there, but for it to be truly successful, it must be customized for the individual. Everyone is different so a "cookie-cutter" diet plan will never be optimal. A customized program should be based on many factors, including one's body composition, lifestyle habits, current and previous diets, likes/dislikes, workout equipment, preferences, and goals. Along with the proper plan, motivation and accountability is vital. Will power can fade so having the support and guidance to pick you up when you fall and keep you progressing along the path is essential. And when the right plan is combined with consistent progression, then resolutions and goals will indeed come true.
If you're ready to take the first step towards your goals today with a customized online personal training plan, click here.
- Joe Zucchi