Do you have a goal to lose weight faster or to get leaner and chiseled? You might even feel it's long overdue to quit smoking, drink more water, and bring in other healthier lifestyle habits.
So, while you usually get off to a rocking start with these positive aims, you may want to consider a plan that makes sure you don't bounce off the path of your dreams after just a matter of days.
Start with pen in hand
Too many people fail to appreciate the immense power and hidden force of WILL contained in writing goals down on paper. When it comes to keeping fit, we tend to deceive ourselves that we enjoy exercising regularly. The truth is that exercise is like work – which, deep down most of us don't like to do anyway... Though we acknowledge we need it, it always requires motivation.
Defining and writing down the deeper needs you may have for getting in shape allows you to work around the things holding you back from exercising. You realize it's not just that you have to enjoy working out. But that your commitment to your goals is superior to any sense of enjoyment or lack thereof.
You do it because you are driven by what's really important: and actually, reach the other side and scaling the peaks of your ambition. Remember the old adage that goes something like – anything worth achieving is worth every drop of sweat required to get it.
Make it your time
The best time to exercise is the time that's best for you. You don't have to follow anyone else's preference, but definitely need to establish what works for you. Certain times of the day may be suitable because of convenience. But you may want to consider how you generally feel at those times.
Perhaps you take a while to get revved up in the morning, then obviously, you should choose a time when you know you'll have enough energy to complete your workouts. Always allow time for digestion if you feel like exercising after eating, at least two hours are necessary. This approach is also excellent for speeding up your metabolism so your body can use up more rather than store calories you've consumed.
Once you've settled on a time of day that you like and suits you, plant it firmly into your lifestyle. Let nothing and no one pull you away from the most precious part of your day.
Always have a Plan 'B'
The secret to bringing good habits alive lies in making them as easy as possible to practice. The way to do this is by asking yourself, what could possibly go wrong? Think of all the scenarios where something could prevent you from keeping to your schedule. Too often we blame ‘the plan’, and say it's not working when real life decides to rear its spontaneous head. It's simple: Just be as realistic as possible when putting your plan together.
Most importantly make it flexible enough that at least your core activities do get done. So even if you have to modify an exercise session to make room for some pressing engagement, it's fine. You don't need perfect workouts, what you do need... is consistency.
Don't Be hard on yourself
Sometimes you're too hard on yourself, especially if you fail to hit the mark or stick to a goal you've set yourself. Don't be! Take reassurance from the fact that very few people are able to stick to an exercise plan like glue. You're no robot. There's no harm in re-planning and starting over, as many times as you need to before you settle into a nice workable rhythm.
Approach every 24 hours focusing on a single training session at a time. You'll find the sweet spot of taking out bite-sized manageable chunks, while at the same time you'll be gaining ground and making steady progress.
Marc Dressen: Sports Scientist and Personal Trainer http://www.MarcDressen.com
Model: Marc Dressen
Photographer: Darren Brade
Make-up: Kelli Waldock
Published by Jordan Martin