Year by year, without fail, many of us set health and fitness goals for the New Year but fail to continue this resolution beyond the first month, let alone the whole year.
Below are 15 tips for unlocking your true potential. This guide will help you create a more athletic, healthier and happier version of your current self!
The first stage of improving your current level of health and fitness is to set yourself fitness-related goals. Make sure these are realistic; if need be, speak to your GP and/or a fitness professional to aid you. Ensure that your established goals push you but are also realistic. This will help you gain the best possible results.
Once you have set your goals, it’s time to get motivated. A great way to do this is to create a mood board of motivational pictures and quotes. Place this mood board somewhere where you will see it on a daily basis (i.e., the fridge or wardrobe doors). Also, set a background picture on your mobile phone, PC and/or Tablet to a motivational image or a fitness-related quote. Every time you use these devices this will act as a reminder of your fitness goals and you will automatically be more motivated towards reaching them.
It isn’t the first week or two that is the hardest to stay motivated, but the time thereafter. Don’t let your new fitness routine be a phase; think of it as a new mindset and improved way of life. If motivation starts to drop, ensure you stick to your exercise routine whether you feel like it or not, and soon enough it will become a habit. At this point, you will become a self-motivated day in, day out.
Take a moment every week to look back at what you have achieved. Set yourself a new goal to work towards building on what you have already achieved. No matter how big or small, the slightest improvement will significantly help you reach your main goals when you overcome a new obstacle.
Keep a record of your workouts:
This will help you discover which methods work best for you, as everyone is different. Keeping track of your workouts is also a good way to help establish new goals. For example, you may want to consider increasing your workout time or gradually adding more weights to your set.
Get a ‘gym buddy’:
A great way to not only stay motivated but also make your workouts more enjoyable is to pair up with a friend. When you’re around other motivated people you’re more likely to stick to good habits, and you’ll keep each other on-track to reach your goals faster.
Use social media to your advantage:
Post on your profiles when you are partaking in fitness-related activities as well as posting about your progress and improvements.
“Why bother doing this?” you may ask.
Nobody likes to fail in the eyes of their friends, so by regularly keeping your friends and social network up-to-date with your progress, you can remain motivated. If you feel like you are succeeding, you are a lot less likely to quit!
Workout around your commitments:
Due to various commitments, some of us find it hard to squeeze in time to attend the gym during regular opening hours. Due to the new phenomenon of low-cost gyms that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, members are able to work out at times that suit them best.
If you are struggling with workouts or you have tried various different techniques and methods but are still not seeing the desired results, it may be time to consult a personal trainer for advice on areas that you could change or improve to help reach your goals.
A good level of health and fitness is not just down to regular exercise but also down to the food you fuel your body with. Not only should junk food be avoided at all costs, but you should aim to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Keeping hydrated is extremely important. Many people mistake dehydration for hunger and boredom. If you want to achieve optimal hydration, aim for at least 3-4L of water daily. Drink 1 liter of lemon water just upon waking up, and then 1 liter 20 minutes before each meal (this will prevent over-eating).
Always give 100% during your workouts – if you don’t, you are only cheating yourself in the long run.
Get enough sleep:
With more physical activity comes more time to refuel. It is recommended that the average person should have between 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Reward yourself along the way:
If you reach a goal, reward yourself! A good way to reward yourself is to have a ‘Slip up Sunday’ once a month. On ‘Slip up Sunday’ you are able to forget all about your fitness goals and any diets you may have set. Getting fit and healthy doesn’t have to be all work and no play!
This doesn’t mean you should binge on junk food, but if you follow a high-raw plant-based diet, creating a gourmet meal for dinner which may be higher in fat content than what you are normally used to, will give you something to look forward to!
Go back to the drawing board:
If all the methods and workouts you have tried aren’t working, don’t quit, but learn from the experience. Now you know what doesn’t work, try something else and see if you get better results. Keep going!
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