Fitness is a lifestyle choice that benefits your mind, body, and overall happiness. But setting goals and achieving them can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure where to start or how to follow through. Fortunately, with a clear plan and persistence, you can achieve your fitness goals in no time. I’m going to share ten easy steps to kickstart your fitness journey and make a lasting impact on your life.
Define Your Fitness Goals
The first step towards achieving your fitness goals is defining what they are. Are you looking to lose weight, build muscle or increase your endurance? Whatever your fitness goal may be, write it down and make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).
Create a workout plan
Depending on your fitness goals, create a workout plan tailored to your needs. Incorporate a mix of strength, cardio, and flexibility exercises. Consider hiring a personal trainer if you’re unsure of where to start and need some guidance. Feed Your Soul Fitness in Denver, offers a 7 day trial period for $25 where you can meet with a trainer one on one to improve form and comfortability or join a group session from one of their many fitness classes.
Consistency is key to achieving any fitness goal. Make exercise a part of your routine, commit to your workout plan and stick to it. Even if it’s just ten minutes a day, every little bit counts and adds up over time. I promise the more consistent you become the easier it will get. It will become so ingrained in your daily routine that you will actually start to crave it more and more and look forward to the next workout. A major part of consistency is also finding what you love to do and enjoy. Maybe you really like lifting weights, or maybe you felt incredible after that Zumba class you took once upon a time. Perhaps you played basketball in high school and it’s never really left your mind. Really the possibilities are endless.
Track your progress
To stay motivated and accountable, track your progress throughout your fitness journey. Use a fitness app or journal to record your workouts, weight, and measurements. Take advantage of multiple body measurement tools such as tape measurements, progress photos, or fat and muscle percentages. Celebrate your successes and identify areas where you want to improve.
Adjust your diet
A healthy diet is crucial to any fitness goal. Minimize processed and highly palatable foods (fried, sugary foods), and add more balance to your diet with whole foods, vegetables, fruit, fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats. Consider consulting a dietitian for personalized meal planning, plus macronutrient and energy goals.
Get enough rest
Recovery is just as important as exercise. Sleep is critical for burning fat as well as putting on muscle (hello, body recompositioning). Make sure to get enough rest and allow your body time to recharge. Aim for 7-10 hours of high-quality sleep per night.
Aside from sleep, balance is absolutely key to sustainability and success. Without it, burnout and lack of motivation is inevitable. Remember to schedule at least 1-2 days off from working out so that your body can recover and because, again balance.
Drinking enough water is essential to maintaining good health and aiding in weight loss. Hydration is even all the more vital with working out. Aim for about half your body weight in ounces. Outdoor temperature, sauna/steam room use, activity level, and altitude are all things to consider when quantifying daily water consumption, as they may increase your needs.
Adding minerals to your water is also essential to staying hydrated. I like to add a pinch of sea salt plus a squeeze of citrus juice to my water or if I have the time I will muddle one peeled cucumber and add it along with water into the biggest pitcher I can get my hands on. If you aren’t so into kitchen medicine, you can also buy an electrolyte/mineral powder. Nuun, Trace Minerals, LMNT are some brands to name a few that make mineral/electrolyte powders and liquids.
Sounds easy enough right? The truth is motivation can wane over time, and while that is completely normal it is essential to find ways to stay inspired. Some motivators I like to use are first and foremost, switching up my workout routine. Some days I want to dance or do yoga and other days I want to go full-on beast mode and lift as heavy as humanly possible. Listening to your body while challenging yourself is a sure way to stay engaged with your fitness lifestyle.
A second form of motivation that helps me, is watching my favorite fitness influencer on social media or YouTube – watching her work out, motivates me almost instantly. These suggestions are a tad personal to me, so finding what works best for you is always the best option, maybe try writing them down or circling back to your “why”, as in, your biggest reasons for why you started working out in the first place.
Other motivators may be joining a fitness class, finding a workout buddy, or listening to motivational music.
Don’t give up
Remember that achieving your fitness goals takes time and effort. You will encounter challenges along the way, and it is very much a part of it but don’t give up. Keep pushing yourself and remain persistent. It may take some time but eventually you will get to the point where working out is as much a part of your day as brushing your teeth. You just have to stick with it. You got this, I believe in you!
Celebrate your successes and reward yourself along the way. Treat yourself to a massage, new workout gear, or a day off. These small rewards will help keep you motivated and on track. Plus you deserve to be celebrated every step of the way, you are making incredible life-changing steps every time you walk into that gym or dance your way into that Samba class or cross fit session. You are putting yourself and your health first and should feel so proud.
Achieving your fitness goals doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By following these ten steps, you can make progress toward your goals while enjoying the journey. Remember to define your goals, create a workout plan, stay consistent, track your progress, adjust your diet, get enough rest (balance), stay hydrated, stay motivated, don’t give up, and last but not least reward yourself. By incorporating these steps into your lifestyle, you’ll be on your way to achieving your fitness goals in no time!