By Sarah Lindsey
While many people desire to be physically fit, it can be hard to start—and continue—taking the steps of making dietary changes and exercising on a regular basis. The reasons behind the difficulty in working towards fitness can vary for each person whether it be lack of time, energy or motivation. Here are simple some ideas to get moving towards your fitness goals.
Realize that fitness is not achieved overnight; it requires time and effort. This may actually be the hardest part because even though you have to give up something in the present moment, you won’t receive any immediate gratification from it. For example, even though you will feel the sting of missing out on watching a movie with your family in order to exercise, you are not going to shed pounds immediately to remind you that it’s worth it. Thus, it is necessary to be realistic and remind yourself that the small sacrifices you make now will eventually pay off.
Determine Your Real Obstacles.
You have probably heard or even said, “I love food, it’s just too hard for me to stick to a diet,” or “My schedule is too hectic…there’s just no time for exercise.” While these are common excuses for not sticking to a healthy diet or exercise plan, there is often a deeper reason for coming up with these excuses. Until you find out what the real reasons are, it will be difficult to find a way to make it work. So, in order to determine what your real obstacles are, be honest with yourself and try to figure out the true barriers you have that might get in the way of your fitness goals.
Instead of initially aiming too high, it is a good idea to create a plan that allows you to work slowly and steadily towards your fitness goals. Make the plan do-able, so that you do not become frustrated or overwhelmed. Be as specific as possible, so that you always know exactly what actions to take. For example, instead of trying to immediately reduce your calories from 3,000 calories to 1,500 calories per day, you could begin working towards that goal one step at a time by just cutting sodas out of your diet. After successfully doing that for a month, then go ahead and try cutting back on something else, too. Apply the same concept to exercising by committing to small, achievable actions. Before you know it, you will be doing things that you never thought you were capable of doing.
Find an accountability buddy to help you stay motivated. It is ideal if you can partner with someone who is working toward similar goals. With a friend, you can check in, share your plan for the day or week (however often you choose to confer with this accountability partner), and then let them know how many of your goals you met during the appointed time.
Remember that fitness is always a work in progress and you must be patient in your initial endeavors to attain it. Try to remain positive, and keep moving forward. By taking a slow and steady approach, you will start forming healthy habits that lead to a fit and healthy life.