It’s almost the new year!!!
As we look forward at 2017 and think about all the things we want to achieve in the coming months I’m sure that for quite a few of us there are some health and fitness goals on the list..
Cue all the ‘fit tea’ pluggers and super toned instagrammers with butt and breast implants selling their fitness plans and laxatives along with the dream of how incredible you can look in only 4 weeks if you buy their products..
While I do believe that the beginning of a fresh year is a great chance to re-evaluate, set new goals and make the decision to do better we have got to be honest with ourselves and accept that making a plan for a whole year is just kinda unrealistic and will probably be broken by January 16th.
Been there.. done it.. it makes you feel like a failure and then back you go to all your old habits plus a few new ones you picked up along the way.
For someone like me (who was more likely to be found in the pub garden rolling a fag while already smoking one or buying 3 bottles of wine for a tenna in Brixton Sainsbury’s than anywhere near a gym) to have stuck with running, working out at home and in the park even through extreme rain and snow then you better believe there is more to this fitness malarky than sipping on a tea, taking some kind of diet pill or ‘sparkling’ rather than sweating.
(pass me the frickin sick bucket)
Here are a few of the top hacks I have learned over the last few years to staying on the actual fitness wagon.
MAKE THE DECISION
This might not sound like the life changing advice you thought you were about to get and it seems all kinds of obvious but it really starts here.
Decide that you are going to do it – and stick to it. Don’t leave it to fate to sort out. Plan it in. Don’t let anything get in the way and just do it. Exercise is so important not only for your general health but it makes you feel good too.
There really is no reason you can’t fit in at least 3 x 20mins a week.
You got this!
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW YOU ‘FEEL’
I’m going to be really honest with you, if I only worked out when I ‘felt like it’ then I’d probably work out 5 times a year. It really isn’t about being bothered, it’s about keeping that appointment with yourself that you decided to make and knowing that even if you hate it all the way through, afterwards you are going to feel like an absolute legend. Do yourself a favour and ignore the part of you that wants to just sit down and have a cuppa, do the work, hit those goals, feel great about yourself!
My next point will really help with this too…
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
When you get dressed in the morning, put on your workout gear.
If you get ready for bed and still have that ish on then you literally just wore lycra all day for no reason and will probably feel a bit shit.
Wearing your exercise clothes sets your purpose and saves you that crucial decision making of whether you can be bothered or not now. You are already ready.
Without a goal you have nothing to focus on and will never really know if you are making the progress you want to see. Having goals gives you a purpose for getting up and sweating even when you don’t really want to. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to hit that target, the feeling you get when you smash a new goal is incredible!!
The goals you set don’t have to be big.
Sometimes my goal is just to get to the end of the road before stopping!
I have a few ways of setting my goals.. Here’s an example..
THIS YEARS GOAL – RUN A MARATHON
THIS MONTHS GOAL – GET A FEW LONGER RUNS IN
THIS WEEKS GOAL – RUN 3 TIMES
TODAYS GOAL – RUN AT LEAST 5KM
GOAL RIGHT NOW – GET TO THE END OF THE ROAD WITHOUT STOPPING
If I wanted to run a marathon tomorrow, that’s unrealistic and if I tried then I’d probably end up quite disappointed and, for pride’s sake, would probably never attempt it again. Don’t set unrealistic goals to start with but plan your steps to getting there. There is nothing you can’t achieve if you are willing to put in the work!
FOLLOW REAL PEOPLE
If you are on social media then you know how easy it is to get caught up looking at somebody’s ‘beautiful’ life and wishing you had it as easy as them.
It’s not all real and it’s not helpful to anyone who already feels like they can’t do this.
I was so disappointed to find out recently that 2 accounts I follow of women who look as though they have worked really hard on their bodies had actually both had bum and breast implants.
I don’t need unrealistic bodies telling me how to squat and lose the fat under my arms if they haven’t even done that work themselves.
I love following real people on their real every day journeys and using them as my motivation. These people will almost always be the ones who talk about what they find hard as well as having the occasional cheat meal and not trying to sell you any kind of magic potions to lose weight. It’s about the journey..
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
You may not be where you want to be body-wise right now. I’m definitely not. I reeaaally let myself go over Christmas and my training hasn’t been as consistent as I would like it to be over the last few months but hear this.. Every time you get off your butt and do something you should feel pride in what you are doing. You aren’t taking the easy route and opting out. You have made decisions that not everyone makes. You have set goals and are willing to fight for the results you want to achieve.
You are a badass.
Don’t get mad at yourself for not being where you want to be yet, you are on the right path so just keep going. Don’t compare your progress to someone elses. You aren’t them and your life is probably completely different. Allow yourself to feel good after a workout rather than thinking about how far you have to go. You will get there.
You are already amazing anyway.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
What you put into your body has such a massive effect on what your body does.
You have probably heard the phrases:
‘It’s 80% diet and 20% workout’
‘You can’t out-exercise a bad diet’
and it’s kinda true.
If you are putting in the workouts but eating crap you won’t see the results you were hoping for. Also, it is so much harder to get motivated when you haven’t fuelled your body properly. Processed foods and refined sugars will make you lazy and won’t sustain your energy levels. Food is meant to make you feel energised and help your body work to it’s best rather than make you feel tired and unbothered.
Have a look into ‘eating clean’ and how a plant based diet can really help you get the best out of your body. Thank me later.
Being a parent isn’t an excuse for why we can’t work out. Use your kids as weights, get them involved and ultimately use them as your motivation for being the healthiest mama/papa you can be. Kids love jumping about and climbing on you. Tell them why it’s good for you to do it and give them an awesome kickstart into living an active lifestyle. It will benefit you all.. and tire them out! Getting them doing some hiit workouts and watch them drop like flies all ready for an early night.. Mwuhaha!!
Ask a friend or partner to help keep you on track by asking how your training is going every so often and (lovingly) encouraging you.
Or post a pic on FB or insta saying you are going to get your workout in today. Can’t let your followers down now!!
SAFETY IN NUMBERS:
Join a crew or bootcamp or just get some friends together. Motivate eachother and make it part of your social life.
Exercise doesn’t have to cost a darn penny.
You don’t need a fancy gym membership or a load or complicated equipment.
If you can move your body then you are good to go. Youtube has loads of great videos you can do for free, running costs nada (although I would suggest a good pair of trainers) and anything from skipping to using a chair in your living room to do dips on is going to make a difference.
So now that we have no excuses left.. who’s getting (and staying) fit with me this 2017??