A date. A number. A red marking in your calendar. Or maybe a day, emblazoned in your head, as bright and captivating as the fireworks that mark the start of the new year!
For January 1st brings about the possibility of change. Not of yourself per se, but of your choices. A fresh start, poised and ready for you to take hold and propel yourself forward on your new fitness journey! And that’s the key after all. Not viewing this date as the end all of who you used to be, but using it as the starting point for your new lifestyle. Because it’s the very word-- ‘lifestyle’-- that promotes the idea of consistency. It’s not a promise for a quick change; there is no easy way out, or short cuts to take on this journey. There’s commitment and the knowledge that time will reap results!
But, how do you ensure that you’ll stay on track? Well, it’s within human nature to be imperfect. And that means that sometimes our path will be curved and jumbled, twisted and impeded by the obstructions and distractions of everyday life. But that’s okay… because it’s keeping with it in the long run that’s important. And here are my tips for how to do just that!
- Balance in your everyday diet: Too often we are bombarded with the idea that “eating clean”, or “cutting out sugar”, or “limiting ourselves to one treat a week” are the keys to a healthy diet. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! For those ‘tips’ aren’t endurable in the long run. So, instead, strive for balance. Have your veggies and your cookies too! Eat your oats in the morning and then go out for froyo with friends at night! Keep in mind that flexibility is key-because food is meant to be enjoyed, and if you remind yourself of this, you’ll be sure to keep up with your new ‘diet’ as the year unfolds.
- Finding something you love: The truth is, not all of us are long distance runners or yoga enthusiasts or find joy in hitting a new squat PR in the gym. And that’s okay! Because we are all our own unique individuals, we all have our own likes and dislikes. So, instead of forcing yourself to a soul cycle class because your friend hasn’t stopped raving about it, strike out on your own path and find something you actually enjoy doing! Look into swimming, cross fit, boxing…try any number of things! Find classes to take in your area, put together your own routines, workout with a friend! Find something that works for you, and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll want to stick to your new routine!
- Don’t compare your progress with everyone else’s: It’s unfortunate that so often we feel compelled to contrast ourselves with others; to pit our achievements against theirs, to feel down if someone appears to be excelling faster than we are. Comparison can truly be the thief of joy. But the thing is, a fitness journey is all about you! It’s not about how many pull-ups your friend can do in a row, or what your sister’s mile time is compared to yours. It’s about how you’re choosing to better yourself each and every day. It’s about the progress you’re making and how you’re enjoying it along the way!
- Remember to rest: Oftentimes, a lifestyle change can engrain the idea in our minds that we have to go, go, go and never stop! But part of making this a lasting change is recognizing when we need to rest. So, make sure that you’re taking the time off that you need! That if you’re sick or simply don’t feel like going to the gym that day, that it’s okay. Because it’s putting your mental and physical health first that’s crucial! Listen to your body, to your mind, and know that the gym will always be waiting for you when you’re ready to go back!