Having a hard time sticking to it?
Don't worry, you are not the only one! We all fall short of goals time to time. Chances are you have tried and tried, hey! Good job. Some don't even start. So you are ahead if the game. Now just practice sticking to it since you are good at starting. Always compliment the positive as well. We are quick to point out the bad or negative. We are always the first to sabatoge self-efficacy. Don't worry keep it up and don't quit! Here are some pointers to help you stay on track!
A lot of people try to start out way too fast. Everyone has a level of fitness and baseline that we need to assess. For example, if you are a middle-aged male and you haven’t been active since high school or even college, then chances are you will try come out of the gates swinging. But, that’s not the most effective way to go about it. Kudos to getting started but you need to know where you are and where you came from in order to get where you want to be with your goals. The most overlooked attribute when starting a program (no matter what type of program) is looking at - what I call - a movement analysis. Find a licensed professional and get some tests done, for example: body fat comp, overhead squat assessment, or a cardio base test. This is very important baseline data to collect so that you can better understand why things may feel they way they do when working out. Most importantly, this baseline data reveals where and what you need to improve.
Find a program/trainer that can prescribe you a workout that is doable yet challenging, keeping in mind any limitations you might have. It has likely taken you a while to arrive to your level of fitness, so be patient with the process of achieving better fitness. In other words, if you did not become ‘out of shape’ overnight, do not expect to become ‘in shape’ overnight. The human body is a very sophisticated organism. When it notices you are working out or changing habits - like eating and sleeping - it will try and go into re-program mode. Trust the process. Let it work. Our goal is to help you achieve longevity and permanent change. So take it slow.
This is paramount when starting. You need to be consistent when it comes to working out. Perhaps a good place to start with with 2 or 3 classes per week; gradually increase as you are able. Set a goal, tell yourself you will hit the gym 3 times this week. Don’t psych yourself out by saying ‘I want to hit the gym everyday so I can lose 25 pounds immediately.’ When you make more short-term goals, it is easier to discern progress, remain motivated, and stick with it. For example, tell yourself you will hit the gym three times this week no matter what - and if you miss a workout, you will walk or run for 20 minutes. You will not win the war overnight; you win it with short battles here and there and sticking to the fight consistently.
Yes, we know they cost money but you need to understand they have invested in themselves to help people. If you wouldn’t ask a random neighbor to perform ankle surgery because you would rather be evaluated by a professional, then I hope you are also looking for a trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals. When in doubt, refer out. Look for a trainer. Most of them will offer advice for little to no money. It is beneficial to have an honest assessment of your baseline fitness and routine so that you can see what might be most beneficial to help you reach your goals.
Last, and most importantly, you need to eat right. Now, here’s the deal: we all know that no one is perfect. NO ONE! Unfortunately, we worry about the 20% of the time we don’t do it right rather than focus on the 80% of the time we are doing it right. Give yourself some credit. But you will not get anywhere if you do not eat correctly. You need to fuel your body like a superhero if you want to look like one. Make little goals like: drink more 64+ ounces of water and eat 2-3 servings of fruits and veggies every day. Set yourself up for success. This is where I would start. Lay the right foundation and everything else will fall into place. Be patient. Trust the program.