With the new year comes lots of fitness first timers. I know many people scoff at how over crowded gyms become with newbies and they can’t wait for March when they can have some space again. Well, I disagree. I sincerely hope we are ALL still packed in that gym together come March, and for the rest of the whole year! (Except of course, when I’m working out in my basement all by my lonesome…please don’t show up there.) Fitness is a passion for me, and sharing my space and heart with a newbie to the fitness world is not a hassle…it’s a pleasure! So, welcome 2016 resolvers…let’s make it a habit. Here are my tips for those that are in this for the long haul:
1) Give Yourself Grace
You may be a grown ass human. You may have been an all star athlete in high school. You may be an fantastic musician. But what you also are right now is a BEGINNER. Give yourself that grace. Instead of focusing on all that you cannot achieve, challenge yourself with something small and be SO PROUD of what you CAN achieve. If you know in your mind that you have a snowball’s chance in hell of running an entire mile without throwing up or running straight into traffic to end it all, aim for a quarter mile, a half mile…work up to it. Don’t expect to be a competition level athlete on day one. When you set scaled, challenging-yet-achievable goals, you will avoid wallowing in a pit of despair when you can’t reach them, and heck…you might even be proud of what you CAN do.
I abso-friggin-lutely love this example of a woman who gave herself the grace to be a beginner and shared her journey to becoming an ALL STAR with us. This can be you, it can be me…it can be all of us if we are patient with ourselves. Go!
2) Run Your Own Race
In this world of social media, it is super easy to be constantly comparing your progress to someone else’s. Just don’t. Comparison is the thief of joy. You are on your own path, doing things YOUR way. It is healthy to be encouraged & inspired by others, to borrow their tactics, to learn. Using others as motivation is fantastic, but keep it as motivation and don’t measure up your fitness, your happiness, or your life. Celebrate your awesomeness and improve where you need to.
3) Make SMART Goals
I’m sure you have all heard of SMART goals before, but just in case you haven’t…listen up. Setting a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based) goal is the surest path to success. It keeps you on track, gives you a basis to measure from, and holds you accountable to achieving your goal. Example of a DUMB (ie NOT smart) goal: “I want to lose weight in 2016.” Oh, okay…EVERYONE. This sounds more like a wish than a goal. A SMART goal says: “I want to lose weight in 2016. I will lose 10 lbs by the end of March by going to the gym 4 times a week and cooking dinner at home at least 5 nights a week.” Boom. Try hiding from that one.
4) Be Accountable
Hand in hand with SMART goals is being accountable for your goals. Teaming up with family, friends, or co-workers with common goals is a great way to have someone to answer to other than yourself. Most of us are ok with disappointing ourselves, but we wouldn’t dare let someone else down. Humans are funny.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a support system in family, friends or co-workers, you are gonna have to dig deep and be accountable to YOURSELF. Is this harder? Yes, of course. Is it impossible? Of course not! I answer to myself every dang day by writing my workout up on my calendar. This pushes me to work out because I don’t want a gaping hole on the calendar taunting me the whole month.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE (I mean it, LOVE) this Goal Tracker idea from EliseJoy.com & I am implementing it myself as a way to remember to drink a glass of water first thing each morning. Print it out, put it in your face, and get it done…one day at a time.
If you don’t trust yourself and want a partner in fitness….I’m here for you! Send me an email or link up with me on Facebook and let’s make this happen together. I’ve found tactics that keep me motivated and ignoring my own excuses & I’m more than happy to share!
5) Support and Be Supported
As we find our way in the fitness world, you will eventually find your way and figure out what works for you. What makes it not feel like a workout, and instead is something you actually enjoy. You do some research, you find your space. It is natural and healthy become an advocate for a fitness or nutrition plan that makes your heart sing. I love to share the things that I love that I think others will like. But that’s the KEY. Be considerate about what you are sharing and make sure your audience is in a space to appreciate it. Offer guidance if you have it, but always, always support health. Don’t become a snobby expert that scoffs at any workout that isn’t yours. I’m sure you all know someone that is an all star in their version of fitness but is kind of rude about other types. Maybe runners think CrossFit is for reckless crazies, maybe CrossFitters think Zumba is for weenies, maybe Zumba goers think spinning on a bike is ridiculous. It’s awesome to love what you love, and its also ok to not like things….just don’t be a dick about it. I have met many wonderful people in the fitness community, make sure you are adding to it!
Ok friends, go off and take a bite out of this new year! Here’s to US!