Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming party or event, or have some sort of set goal (lose 20 pounds, run 5k without stopping, et cetera), one of the most important aspects of reaching your milestones is ensuring that you stay on the right path.
Far too often in this get rich quick instant results world we find ourselves expecting to wake up and see a complete new me staring back in the mirror that is suddenly two inches taller, 10 pounds lighter, and a cup size fuller. But as we all know, the fitness gods have decreed that that just isn’t happening.
So today I thought it would be helpful to pass along some of my favorite tips on staying patient and sticking to your diet and exercise plan that I’ve picked up on my own fitness journey.
Stay Patient, Eat Right, Get Fit
Make short-term realistic goals: Have a significant amount of weight to lose? Starting from a sedentary lifestyle and want to join your school’s cross country team? These are great goals but they absolutely will take time, and there are no shortcuts along the way. By setting milestones along the way on your journey to your goal, you’ll be getting constant, frequent reminders that you’re that much closer to your goal.
For example, if you’re just getting into running in your first week you might set a goal to make it halfway around your nearest running track without stopping. Just adjust to your goal and beginning fitness level.
Chart Your Progress
Running? Overcoming your anxieties and starting weight lighting? Shedding 20 pounds for summer?
Each and every one of these goals will have their chance of success significantly improved by keeping a log book and taking progress pictures.
Following every workout, write down some notes about how much you lifted, how far you ran, and your mood or anything else that could be affecting your results. When you hit a stall point somewhere (and trust me, you will) looking back on your notes and seeing all the progress you’ve made will be a big boost to your motivation level and remind just how far you’ve already came.
“New personal record on bench press!”
“Made it all the way around the track without stopping!”
“7 straight days of clean eating!”
For your workout progress pictures, the most important thing is consistency. Try to do it in a setting and at a time where you can most control the variables in your life. For me, a Sunday morning before I’ve eaten anything is best but tailor your photos to what works for you – just keep things the same week to week as much as possible. As with log books, looking back a few weeks or months to the past, less healthy you can be a great pick-me-up when you’re feeling a little discouraged with your progress.
Best of all (and if you only take one thing from this post today, this should be it), your progress pictures will remind you to quit obsessing over the scale. We all know the crazy amount of factors that can cause our weight to swing up and down throughout the day, so forgetting about the scale for a while can be a huge positive factor in reaching your fitness goals. Because after all, when you open up your phone and look at those progress pics and see how fit and sexy you look compared to 2 or 3 months ago, who gives a DAMN what the scale says?!
Here’s an amazing example of a health and fitness log book:
Too Long; Didn’t Read
Fitness doesn’t happen overnight. Keep the progress you’ve made at the forefront of your mind by keeping a frequently updated log book and taking regular progress pictures.