Last time I promised we’d talk about how to get you started on your own adventure, whatever it may be. Now, don’t expect that I am going to drop some crazy pearl of wisdom upon you that you’ve never heard. Unfortunately, like so many other things in life there is no “easy” button or magic pill – but I do believe there is a way for everyone to get where they’re going.
Do you dream? You don’t necessarily need to know the how of what you want to do, but do you really know what you want out of this new adventure? As a long time obsess-er of my body, I know that my beginning dreams were about abs, skinny legs, and the absence of back fat. But, what I learned was that my body was capable of so much more than being what I didn’t want it to be. Confused yet? Don’t limit your dreams only to the things that you think you can achieve. Go big. Be bold. But be honest. And write them all down! You can use an app on your phone, your laptop, or a good old legal pad – I love to make lists, and even hand write them. It doesn’t matter how big or small you’re thinking, write them down. It’s accountability and validation that your dreams matter.
As a trainer, I ask my clients what three health or fitness goals they have and I prefer them not to be related to a number of pounds. Why? Because what does five pounds mean? Do your skinny jeans know you look better in them after those five pounds are gone, or does it mean that you can’t be dead sexy in a bikini with those five pounds? Hardly.
Now that you’ve written them down it’s important to try and decide where you want to focus. This is still a struggle for me. Personally, I’m a “yes” person and try to accomplish way more than is really physically/mentally possible at one particular time. Do you want to become active 5 days week? Great. Focus on building lean muscle while losing fat? Awesome. Lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks for a class reunion? Nope. Even though that goal is technically specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (-ish), and time bound (ever heard of SMART goals?) it doesn’t carry any positive or uplifting meaning. Check out DUMB goals explained by Brandon Burchard here. I love his outlook!
So, you’ve picked one, or a few, goals to work on. Here’s the biggie with actually putting a plan in motion. It won’t work, unless you do. I know time is always a factor. I am a mom of two very busy fellas, a wife, I have a full time job, and a small business that I swear will never really get off the ground, BUT, if it’s important to you, you’ll make the time. You have to decide what you’re willing to do to accomplish your goals – your commitment will in part determine how quickly (or not) that you get there. Here’s the good news, if you’re goals are fitness related you DO NOT have to workout 2 hours a day to get where you’re going. Now that being said, of course the more time you’re able to devote to a healthy amount of activity, the better. But we’ve all seen weight loss contests that result in the idea that you have to eat celery sticks and walk on the dreadmill (aka treadmill) for hours on end, and that’s not healthy nor is it sustainable in most real-life scenarios.
Decide what works best for you – can you give up your morning Facebook for 15-20 minutes of some HIIT (high intensity interval training)? Do you always walk the dog in the evenings? If you schedule more of your daily tasks, does that free up 45 minutes in the evening? Whatever you decide you can commit, schedule it! Put it in your phone, in your planner, on your dry erase calendar, or the refrigerator, where you’ll see it everyday, all day. If you set a schedule, you’ll be less likely to dip out. The more consistent you become in your schedule, the more likely it is to become a new habit.
Are you hanging in there? We’re getting there, I promise!
So, you’ve got your dreams and goals written down, you’ve picked a few to focus on, and you’ve scheduled the time. Then what? Do it. There are endless resources for fitness. Grab a few health/fitness magazines next time you’re in the grocery store. Use internet resources like Pinterest (there are a bazillion and one pre-made workouts there), YouTube for workout videos, or an app like BodySpace that has workout programs, built by experts in the field with the capability to track each day and network with others. If you’re really feeling the need to have more accountability or personal instruction, talk to a personal trainer. Of course, I’m available (wink, wink) but there are many others out there and you need to be sure it’s someone you can relate to and feel comfortable sharing your journey with.
These are a few of my must haves when setting some new fitness goals (actually, who am I kidding they’re my lifeline on the daily for any goals): My laptop and cell are never too far from my fingertips. As I mentioned, I am a list person and still love writing things out – it makes me feel good to cross them off! As a certified personal trainer through the NASM, I get their monthly magazine which has given me fantastic ideas for myself and my clients. With making lists comes using a planner – I will admit to using my phone calendar as well, but only because I don’t always have my planner with me. Use what you know and what works for you – nothing is a one size fits all!
Through all of my (mis)adventures, I have found that just getting started is usually the largest part of the struggle. Remember, go big! Be bold! “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepard
Next on the blog, why I’ll never give up pizza and beer and how my body is perfectly okay with it!
Love, Erica.Tags: arrow fit, arrow fit erica, erica, fitness, get fit, get started, guest, guest blogger, health, healthy, motivation, personal trainer, smart goals, working out