When we first begin our fitness journey, our mind begins to fill with images of endless cardio, grueling weight routines, supplements and food preparation. While each of those topics certainly plays a role in transforming our health, we need to address underlying issues to make our goals become part of our reality.
Fitness is a lifelong journey that requires discipline and a proper mindset to fully experience what it means to be an active and healthy individual. If you have been struggling to get the results you desire, here are the things you need to know to make 2020 your best year yet!
1. Be Specific With Your Goals
Have you ever heard the saying that goes “what gets measured gets done”? While this quote applies to most areas of our lives, it plays a vital role in how we can engage with our goals and make sure they get accomplished in the weeks and months to come.
If you’re anything like the average person, you’ve used the new year as a launching point to change your weight, musculature, health and wellbeing. Now that we’re approaching the middle part of the new year, our goals and aspirations may have fallen to the wayside.
- Have your gym sessions become sporadic and short?
- Does your diet only apply to moments when you have the mental fortitude to cook a lean protein source instead of reaching for a sugary snack?
- Does your cardio regimen consist of sitting on the couch while watching your favorite show on Netflix?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone.
This problem stems from the ambiguity that we’ve assigned to our goals and aspirations at the start of the year. Instead of setting specific weight-loss metrics that we can measure over days and weeks, we create lavish, what-if scenarios. Be honest for a moment, does your fitness goal sound like this, “I want to lose belly fat around my waist, improve my strength and increase the size of my biceps.”?
Although this goal is something we deem worthy of striving toward, it leaves a level of uncertainty and elusiveness as time moves forward. How are you going to gauge if you’ve lost undesired belly fat? What kind of strength are you able to output currently? What are the exact measurements of your biceps before training them directly? This specificity is needed to make goals become an inevitable part of your future.
As an easy homework assignment, begin with getting specific about your goals and ambitions. Write down the total weight you want to lose, the amount of weight you want to move inside the gym and your body’s dimensions. Even though this may seem like a side effect of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it makes it easier to gauge your progress. While Canada may be going through a daunting obesity epidemic, you will find solace in making linear progression both in and out of the gym.
2. Fail Fast and Regain Traction
If you have ever found yourself weeks into a routine, eating healthy and using the proper supplements, you’ve come across a moment where temptation gets the best of you. Instead of cooking a healthy piece of chicken or putting together a fresh salad, you’ve opted for fast food. Don’t panic, we’ve all been there!
–> Tip: Download our free healthy recipes to help you stay on track.
The problem becomes when one cheat meal turns into two, two turns into an entire day of eating and that day turns into a week. This is the root of the problem — compounding behavior. Much in the same way compound interest can build impressive wealth, compound behavior can either make or break our progress. The philosophy is simple: The actions we repeatedly take are often to be repeated in the future.
The way that we counteract days and weeks of cheat meals and gym failures is by failing fast and quick. If you find yourself in a moment where you skip a session or grab an unhealthy alternative, don’t live in regret. Instead, use this moment of weakness as a lesson that can be studied and applied moving forward. Just because you may have eaten something unhealthy does not mean you need to keep repeating the process.
We must address the mindset of living in the past and regularly reflecting on our failures. Don’t do this. Make your slip-ups quick and opt to store them in your memory as learning experiences that will mold your actions in the following days and weeks.
Remember that you cannot achieve success without faltering along the way. Small failures are a necessary evil in terms of changing your habits and building your new self. The greatest athletes, fitness gurus and health enthusiasts stumbled their way to the finish line and lived to tell the tale.
3. Reward Your Wins
Many of us follow the belief system that when we make a mistake, we must punish ourselves in direct proportion with the error we made. If we skip a meal or gym session for no valid reason, we must crush this habit by enforcing discomfort.
In 1938, an American psychologist named B.F. Skinner introduced a new way of thinking when he discovered operant conditioning. In simple terms, operant conditioning is the belief that when we reward ourselves for following through with our plans, regardless of mental obstacles or distress, we make the behavior habitual.
The only stipulation with this method of behavior is that the reward must be in direct proportion to the action that we performed. If we go for a light, 20-minute jog around the neighborhood, we should not reward ourselves with a week off from the gym or a bowl of ice cream.
Instead, we could enforce this action by purchasing a small item related to our goals, have a hot bath or a glass of wine before bed. The reward system that Skinner proposed may seem like an overly-simplistic view of human behavior, but it’s responsible for keeping millions of people on track with their goals.
Located below are a few ideas that you can begin implementing today as a small reward for your positive actions:
- If you follow your diet for a week, you can have a small cheat meal on the weekend.
- If you go to the gym even when you don’t feel like it, reward yourself with a few episodes of your favorite show.
- After completing a few weeks worth of gym sessions, buy an outfit that you can wear as a consolation prize.
- Buy clothing a size too small so that you can use it as a reward once you can fit into the item.
- If you’ve been at your goal for over a year, take a vacation where you can show off your new physique.
4. Find People That Hold You Accountable
Whether you want to believe it or not, success is an easier road traveled when you have people surrounding you. Not just any people, mind you, but people that encourage you, hold you to your convictions and deal you an honest hand when you need guidance. These people will not always tell you what you want to hear, but they will also give you the information you need to grow.
Do you have friends around you that are on the journey towards a healthier life? Are colleagues in the office talking about how they want to get into shape in 2020? Do you have distant relatives that could benefit from a healthier diet or gym routine? Reach out to these individuals and form a partnership where you push each other’s boundaries and celebrate achievements.
According to the Mayo Clinic, not only is social accountability a viable way of losing weight and getting into great shape, it’s vital! According to their data, individuals that have a support group in times of distress and achievement are more likely to reach their goals than their peers.
If you don’t have access to a support group, or you simply can’t find people to get on board with your goals, we’ve got you covered. IsaAxcess is a Canadian-based independent associate that aims to help the Candian population attain their fitness goals.
Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, feel energized or dive deep into the fitness lifestyle, we have a solution. Hundreds of clients and health-minded individuals are using the products that IsaAxcess offers to push their bodies further than they thought imaginable. Their products assist with, but are not limited, the following:
- Improved mood
- Rapid fat loss
- Detoxing the system
- Building lean muscle
- Increased energy
- Unwavering focus
- Reduced recovery times
- Holistic body improvement
- Boundless motivation
If you or someone you know is struggling with their health and wants to get in shape, why not turn to us? We have an extensive track record of helping clients attain their goals and improving their lifestyle. Don’t wait, reach out today and see how we can make your visions become a reality!