Year end and year out, millions of Americans set New Year resolutions. Rarely do those who set these goals accomplish them or even maintain them for more than one month. Health and fitness requires both dedication and progress, not perfection.
Why do so many of us strive to be perfect?
Is it the fear of failure or the fear of the unknown that causes us to give up?
In 2015 Team Irving Fitness is excited, to assist, engage, and inspire individuals to see their health and fitness goals with these five obtainable steps.
1.Set Realistic, Short-term Goals
Many of us are gluttons during the holidays, with the promise of better health and fitness in the New Year. During the last quarter of the year we are conditioning our bodies to long for carbohydrates and refined sugars. We somehow believe we can stop these cravings instantly starting January 1st without a sound plan of action. We must learn to set realistic goals! Our bodies are not engineered to lose weight like we see on popular weight loss television shows. Few of us have access to nutritionists or chefs, but we can all make a conscious effort to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Short-term goals keep you on pace for your long-term break through. Short-term goals are as simple as consistently drinking water (64-100oz daily) or going to your gym 4-5 times a week. It’s all in the details when it comes to assuring your long-term success. If you want to lose 20 lbs, understand that your goal will take healthy weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week for 10-20 weeks. If you want to cut out all carbohydrates you need to understand that there is a gradual progression from white to wheat to multigrain, from white or fried rice to brown rice to quinoa. It’s all about baby steps when it comes to health and fitness, because nothing happens over night. If you don’t put in the hours in the kitchen and the sweat in the gym you will always come up short. It’s important to avoid setting goals that are so lofty, they become discouraging. We must also learn to celebrate our small successes along the way. We must win the war of our minds before we can conquer our goals for our bodies.
2. Build Accountability
At many of my speaking engagements accountability frequently becomes a part of the conversation. Are you strong in finances, business, sales, parenting, etc? Identify your strength and apply those same skills to your fitness journey. Everyone needs a fitness partner or group that holds each individual accountable for what they say they’re going to accomplish. Accountability holds your feet to the fire. Accountability doesn’t allow you to slip through the cracks. You must build some type of accountability system if you desire long-term success. It is too easy to not to go to the gym when you are tired from a hectic day of work. It is also too easy to continue to make the same excuses that got you into this predicament. Be your own advocate for change, start with being accountable.
3.Fitness is 80/20
Can you commit to giving all you have 80 percent of the time? This includes proper training and diet. The remaining 20 percent is for the occasional indulgence. Maintaining this balance is essential to fitness! No one can be engaged 100 percent of the time, but we can all fully commit to 80 percent. In the fitness industry there has always been mantras: GO HARD or GO HOME, GIVE 110 PERCENT, or LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD. These sayings are awesome on t-shirts or from our favorite athlete, but this thinking can be discouraging if you aren’t mentally tough. Push yourself each day to be better than the next. Give your all in every task from the kitchen to the gym. Team Irving Fitness teaches our 80/20 principle to every individual because we cannot be afraid to come up short nor punish ourselves when we do. 80 percent can always be managed and maintained! At Team Irving Fitness we understand that we all have bad days whether it is evident in our daily training performance, our nutrition, or on our jobs. We must stay the course, and this philosophy allows us to stay encouraged.
If you’re a numbers person this is where the battle ensues and the war is won! The majority of my clients want to see the numbers on the scale decrease, the same as most Americans. If you follow the steps listed above, this step is easy. Weigh yourself weekly! First, pick a time of day, preferably the morning, and then a consistent day of the week. This is very important because your weigh-in needs to be consistent or your numbers will vary drastically. Second, weigh yourself. Be honest and keep track weekly by writing down the number, this allows you to track your progress. If you don’t want to visibly see your weight (many of my clients are this way) have your accountability partner notate the number for you. Weekly weigh-ins keep us in check and assure that we are on pace to hit our short-term goals.
5.Workout – High Intensity Training, minimum 5 days/week for at least 30 minutes
Like I stated in the intro, fitness is a testament to progress and dedication, not perfection. You must be committed or you’re just setting yourself up for failure. In order to see significant changes in your body you must train for a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. I know this may sound like a daunting task, but it is not as hard as it sounds. If you select a type of exercise you enjoy (zumba, yoga, running, lifting, etc.), it will make training exciting and competitive. Thirty minutes is not a lot of time, so the intensity of your efforts must be maximized during the training event. It has been proven and documented that high intensity training is more beneficial than low and moderate intensity exercises. If you’re able to communicate in complete sentences during exercise your intensity is not high enough. If you’re sweating, crank it up a notch. If you are working tirelessly I promise you will see results.
At Team Irving Fitness we believe that anything is possible if you surround yourself with positive energy. Stop losing the battle and regain control of your health and fitness. These 5 attainable steps will help you envision the path to success. It’s always easier to maintain your health, than it is to continue starting over.