New year is round the corner and many of us take fitness related resolutions. Some of us are so enthusiastic that we buy year round gym memberships or invest in a costly cardio machine to workout at home. While the machines gather dust after a first few weeks, gym owners celebrate for clients who seldom show their faces for the rest of the year.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Let us focus on some aspects to get it done in 2015. This is not an article to read once, this is something you want to keep coming back to, whenever you digress from your fitness resolution. Here we go:
Play the Game You Know You Can Win
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar would not be Sachin “The God” Tendulkar if he played some other sport. This is where most people falter even before starting their planned resolution. So hold on, don’t just buy a gym membership out of sheer enthusiasm and don’t commit to any diet program after watching some body transformation video.
Instead try going to the gym for a few sessions. Most gym owners will give you at least 3 sessions for free as a trial, if bargained reasonably. Also, try some other things like bodyweight workouts, yoga, gymnastics, football etc and mix them up. You can find out which physical activities work on which type of fitness factors in these articles here and here. Similarly for diet, try some foods which you are going to be replacing your current food items with and see if you can stick to your schedule. Take the first 2-3 weeks to figure this out. It is important to find your interest. A half hearted, uninteresting attempt at anything will never help you champion anything.
Use The Most Powerful Exercise
No, it’s not the squat or the deadlift or pushups or running, the most powerful exercise is Habit. If you have ever wondered why some people, although not as knowledgeable as you, build an awesome physique while you read all the good stuff and still lag behind? It’s because they are consistent. They go in every single day to slog it out. And it’s the same for diets too. Read more research backed info on best diets in this article. Consistent hard work wins over inconsistent smart work. Period.
That said, with smart programming, you need not do as much volume of work as them. But the importance of habit cannot be undermined. If it takes crossing dates on a calendar for the days you work out, so be it. If you want to install an app which tracks your progress and posts it on social media, try it. Do what you got to do. Another way to be consistent is to ask/hire someone to whom you report your progress. That way, you stay accountable to another human being.
Habit formation is a widely researched field in psychology and many behavioral psychologists have found positive reinforcements (rewarding yourself for desirable behavior) to be effective and advised as first line of treatment (but please don’t eat a cookie after every workout, you cannot out-exercise your diet). As suggested in this interesting experimental study, the time taken to develop a new habit varies a lot, person to person. So don’t over-think about results and just get it going till that habit is set in stone.
What’s Your Goal
Is it measurable? Can it be quantified? Is it practical to fulfill in the given time frame? Do you have a step-by-step action plan to execute to achieve those goals? Too many people set unrealistic goals like slimming down to something like the pic below in 3 months and end up disappointed with the results.
This is where professional guidance comes into play. Once you get your habit going, you now already know what interests you. You are already devoting that much time towards your fitness goals. Now, all you need is learning the right techniques and programming your bigger goal into small, achievable steps.
At PSI Fitness, we practice what we preach. Although you may find we speak about many factors like strength, agility, flexibility, endurance etc in our articles but we usually start with 1-2 factors (which you like) to focus on and then slowly add things to it. We also do not promise losing X amount of Kg in Y amount of days. Instead, we quantify it in terms of running volume, weights lifted, reps done and track progress which becomes visible within first 1-2 weeks. For diet consultations, we always first track what foods you love and what you can replace and then slowly move forward.
So, break down your big dream into simplified steps and prioritize 1-2 steps at a time. Achieve them. Make it happen in 2015.
Want to know more, attend our free workshop “Shaping Up 2015″ @ Mulund West, Mumbai on 10th Jan 2015. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more.
In Lucem Scientiam