It's that time of year, well I suppose almost that time of year, when people start planning out a fitness plan for the new year.
Whatever your goals are, losing weight, or building muscle, it's not as hard as you think it might be. Just like everything else, tracking progress is key.
Why not just jump in?
When you approach fitness aimlessly your training will be a waste of time and you'll end up like 85% of the country dropping off into oblivion.
You need to have a plan in order to track and celebrate your progress.
You probably already know how you want to look, or how much you want to lift. That said, maybe you don't know how to get there. So you need a road map.
You don't have to feel overwhelmed, it's easier than you think. You already know what you want to do, have an idea of how you're going about it, and what experience or progress you've already made. Keep all of that in mind and celebrate it. Even if you're not where you want to be yet, you will be.
How can we simplify fitness? Just remember three steps -
Visualize. Plan. Track.
Write out your goals. Make a plan of how you're going to achieve them. Write down your progress so you can review it.
1. Define your goal and write it down. What is it that you want to achieve?
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." Shakespeare
Everything including your workouts are prompted by the future state we've dreamt up. You're not doing anything just for the hell of it. There's something you want something you want to be or do so. Figure that out and write it down. Be specific and put timelines around it.
From there, break it down and create several sub goals. Let's say you'd like to gain 20 pounds by the end of the year. Sounds daunting right? Well, that's less than 2 pounds a month. A tad easier right?
That said, just make sure your mini goals are as solid as your main goal.
2. Plan out the how
The plan you build should simply outline how you're going to achieve what you want. The only challenge here is that you might not be sure how to go about getting where you want to be. That's okay. Instead of getting mired in all of that, simply set a daily, weekly goal. How many times a week will you go to the gym? How much water will you drink? How often will you eat?
You can always talk to a professional, or you can check out some of our workouts.
Now that you have a plan, work the plan. Check in often, what's your progress, how do you feel?
If you have a challenge with motivation, try to build in some celebrations along the way.
3. Track and monitor often
All in, more than 85% of people will fail. In fact, if you've set a "resolution" you have a 3% chance of following through with it. It's important that you maintain a journal to track your progress and understand what's working and what's not. This will give you the motivation to continue and the intelligence to make informed choices as the year progresses.
It doesn't matter whether you use a notebook, computer or tablet. The point isn't the method, it's the action of doing.
Your journal will serve as an important source of information that you will use in the present and in the future as you prepare to set new goals. What worked, what didn't? How did a certain food or activity make you feel?
Realistically, change won't come all at once. It will be slowly, over time. Keeping and referring to that journal will help you see those changes over time. And that, my friend, can be a fantastic motivator.
That's it: Visualize, Plan, Track.
Recognize that failures are inevitable. It's going to happen. When they do, take a moment to learn from it. What happened, what can you do differently. How can you use that failure to grow. In the same vein, success is inevitable. Small wins will stack upon each other to become big wins. Track the hell out of those. Enjoy the win and learn from it. What happened, what can you do more of to capitalize off that win?
Change you resolutions to goals. Visualize who you want to be, Plan the course you need to take to get there and finally, track your progress. If you do this, I am sure you'll meet with great success in no time at all.