So many of us have hit that point when we know we need to make a change. We wake up one morning feeling like crap, take a look in the mirror and see a reflection that we are no longer comfortable with. We are over weight, out of shape and feeling busted. But one failed attempt after another leads to frustrations and fleeting hopes. We start accepting that this is the best we can do and start purchasing what I call fat man clothes. It took me years to get on the right track and start working towards a body that I could be confident with. Here are 5 tips that helped me get started and keep it going.
1. Get in the right mindset to workout
When I was young my dad would talk about professional athletes that were head cases. These are they guys that have tons of potential and talent, but always come up short. They don’t reach the level of success that they have inside them. When he talked about this I thought I understood what he was talking about and would agree. It took me years to really understand this and after all that time I found out I was a “head case”. I hadn’t reached my potential as a mentally or physically. In fact I was 50 lbs. over weight and in a downward spiral with no sign of making a change.
If this resonates with you then the first thing you’ll need to work on in your head. You’ll need to tweak your thoughts to align them with the changes you need to make. Without making this first change you’ll never meet your goals of loosing weight or getting in the shape you want too. What you think about is what you get, so to get what you want you’ll need to think about it in a positive way until you achieve it.
The first step in changing your mindset is to write down your goals both short and long term on what type of shape you would like to get into. Then post these where you can read everyday. These goals will push you to keep going and take the first steps on the road to achieving your potential.
Next stop focusing on the past and any negative thoughts you have about working out or attempts you have made to get in shape. It’s easy to tell yourself I’m fine the way I am and I can’t do it because it’s to hard. If getting in shape were easy then you wouldn’t be reading this article. You need to tell yourself that you know this is going to be difficult and it’s going to take time. Nothing good happens overnight. But if you continue to put in the work you will make progress and start seeing changes.
Finally start reprogramming your thoughts by adding a few daily motivational quotes or affirmations. After reading your goals read a few affirmations on getting into shape. Hear are a few to get you started:
- I’m excited to start working out! After a work out I feel great!
- I have the ability to get into the shape. I have the ability to make big changes!
- Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health when I workout.
- Everyday is a new day to do something good for my mind, body and soul.
- My body can achieve any challenge to put before it.
You can look up more online or write your own.
2. Start small, just get started!
Once you have your head right it’s time to get started. You’ll need to start by setting aside a time during the day when you can start working out. This could be first thing in the morning, which I would recommend. But you could set aside time in the afternoon or evening it all depends on your schedule. By having a consistent scheduled time will let your mind know when it’s time to workout and you can schedule your day around the time you exercise instead of exercising when you have time. You can always find something else you can do and tell yourself it’s more important then working out.
Just start with 5 minutes every other day and the designated time. You could just get out at lunchtime and take a walk around the block to get going. 5 minutes isn’t going to lead to huge changes but it will get your body moving. After a few weeks you can up it to 10 minutes and little by little you will start to make progress. With your designated time you can start to do others things like go for a short jog or hit the gym.
You’ll be surprises at how fast momentum will build and how these small step will lead to much bigger gains.
3. Add a little digital motivation
Once you have built up some momentum, take it to the next level by adding some digital motivation. You could start off by using a free smart phone app and then look into a fitness wearable. Both of these will gamify your workout habit. These act like a digital coach and give you that extra kick to get going and keep going. It will motivate you to take more steps during the day or try new workouts that will amplify routine.
This had a huge effect on me, after about six months in the “getting started phase” I added a fitness wearable, which upped my game. I started running longer, taking a walk in the afternoon and then started hitting the gym. After a few more months I was able to fit into clothes I hadn’t been able to wear in year.
Hear are 5 great products that help you get started and keep you going!
Workout Apps: 7-minute workout app, Six Pack Abs and Stronglifts
Fitness trackers: Fit Bit and Basis band
4. Find a workout partner
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to do it yourself or you hit a plateau and need someone to be there with you. As you start to make improvements people will notice so let them know what you are doing. See if anyone else is taking steps to make changes. In todays world it seems like everyone is trying to stay in shape or loose a few additional pounds. Start asking around to see if anyone would be interested in being your workout accountability partner. This could be someone you workout with or a friend that you meet up on a weekly basis to let them know you staying on track. If you can’t find anyone then look online and get into a community that will lead you to the right person.
This partner could be someone that doesn’t believe in you. You could use their negative feedback as motivation to keep you going. A lot of people are going to kick you down and tell you how hard it’s going to be to get in shape and poke fun at what you are trying to do. If you mind is strong enough these people will not have any effect on you. All you need to do is use them to motivate you to keep going so you can show them once you start seeing results
A quickest way to find a partner is to pay someone with experience. You could do this by signing up for a class or finding a personal trainer. These will be more expensive but will also lead to bigger results faster. Teachers and trainers will set you up on the right path and give you the guidance needed to achieve your goals.
5. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day
This step leads back to the first. It’s all in your head. If you are just getting started or have been working out for a while, then you might miss a day. We all do and we all have bad days, but don’t let this get you down. Don’t let this kill your motivation. Remember; if you miss this one-day it’s not the end of the world because another one is about to start vary soon. Just get back up the next day and start again. Read goals and affirmations and get into the right mindset and start again.
Each time you start again will be a little easier and it will help you to become stronger. It will inform your habit on when the bad days might come up. A variety of things could lead you to miss a day. When it does happen just think through the events so you can prepare yourself for the next challenge and hurdle to overcome.
Bonus tip: Just Keep Doing Something! Don’t Quit
I struggle just like everyone else. I’ll be on a run or at the gym and it’s still hard, in fact everyday is hard. In the back of my head I think I could go for a shorter run or quicker workout and no one will know. But as you get started your body will remember and push you mind to keep going. Let your body take over; these are the days you should to push yourself harder and workout a few extra minutes. These are the days you will need your affirmations or motivational quotes to get you going and keep you going.