How to: Start/Restart your Fitness Journey
It can be so easy to fall into a slump. Quite frankly, it happens to all of us; we fall off the wagon and need something to kickstart our health. Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation. Maybe you want to get in shape for a vacation or the summer. Maybe you feel sluggish and want to change your energy levels. Maybe you are looking for a life change. Whether it be from a lack of motivation, poor food choices, or just simply not working out, we all fall into these periods of life. But how do we jump back in to things? Restarting can be hard, so I've outlined my top tips to restart (or start) your health journey.
This is a critical part in beginning your journey back to health. Decluttering you mind, your body, your space, your life. Clutter can creep up and prevent you from being able to focus on your goals. For me, I've noticed that I am significantly better able to focus on my goals when I have a clean space with limited interruptions. I can be such an organizer. When I try to workout at home and I see my room is a mess, I get distracted. I feel that other things take priority and shift my thinking from working out to cleaning. This is NOT GOOD when you're trying to get back on track. Do yourself a favor and take the time to clean up and remove the things (and foods) that are hindering your health journey. Clear out your pantry. Throw away or give away the items that do not benefit your body. This removes a temptation and allows you to choose food that fuels your body instead. Clear out your closet, your room, your kitchen. Let your house be one of motivation and cleanliness so you won't be distracted by clutter.
Write things down. I don't know about you, but when I try to commit to something, I need accountability and reasoning. Journaling has become my safety net for keeping my goals and actions in alignment. I write down my goals for each week, I journal my meals from Monday through Friday, and I start a to-do list. This helps me focus on what I need and want to accomplish, and allows me to check things off when I do so. Journaling has helped me visually see progress and find areas where I need to work on my journey. Writing my goals down and supporting them with reasons to back them up enables me to achieve more than I originally thought I could. My goals become "set in stone" and ones I don't want to break. Journaling is like making a promise to myself, and if I want to have self-love, I then desire to accomplish my goals. Each little step aids me further down my journey to continually love myself and grow as a person.
Find a program that works for you–and commit to it. I love choosing workout or nutrition programs that have each day already mapped out. When I have a written program, I complete it. I have realized that when I try to make up workouts by myself while I'm at the gym, I cheat myself. I stop before I really give out. I end without pushing myself harder. Preset programs make you feel accomplished when you complete each day, and they push you a little harder to complete each rep. When choosing a program, look for one that encourages you to grow. Find one that you would be excited to take on. For me, I love changing up my daily routine at the gym. This week alone my workouts included spin class, interval runs, stairmaster, toning, weights, HIIT, and hot yoga. My motivation was at an all-time high because I had a variety of sweating sessions that made me excited to complete each one. Maybe you love lifting, find a program that allows you to lift frequently. Maybe your choice of sweating is a HIIT session, take on a program that has a majority of this type of workout. Choosing the right program for YOU is important to restart your journey.
Set goals that each day no matter how little or insignificant they may seem. Goals help you grow. When I set goals, similar to journaling, I feel a need to achieve them. My tip is to set goals daily, small ones that you can complete. Each accomplishment will push you farther along your journey and encourage you to see you CAN reach your goals. Setting long-term and short-term goals is crucial. Your overall goal could be to lose 10 pounds in 30 days. Great goals, girl! But then you need to set goals that will enable you to reach your long-term ones. In this case, I love to make mini challenges for myself like "add extra 30 minutes of cardio each day this week," "no sugar-added for the next 5 days," or even "no fried or processed foods for two weeks." These small goals help you achieve your main goal. They keep you on track and accountable with shorter time-frame.
How do you find inspiration? Where do you derive motivation to keep pushing? For me, I get inspired by a bunch of things. I get inspired by motivational quotes or verses I find. I get motivated by listening to others' success stories. I love finding new workouts from girls I follow on instagram. Maybe you listen to podcasts, or watch youtube videos. Maybe you find inspiration in the nature around you. Maybe you get encouraged by watching other's accomplish their goals. Whatever it is–and it's different for everyone–find inspiration and look for it daily. When you need a little encouragement to hit the gym, read an article on women's heath, or watch a Instagram story of a girl with words of empowerment. Seek for inspiration, and find what works for you.
This is my favorite tip. Accountability is my number one for so many reasons. Finding a friend to help you stay on track makes you less likely to skip a workout. Tell them your workout schedule on Sunday and make sure they keep you to it. Share your goals with them. Do you like telling your BF that you missed your workout today? Yeah, me either. Knowing I have to tell others gives me a little extra motivation to get moving. Accountability can also be incredibly fun, too! I love working out with my accountability partners. They push me harder and make sweating a whole lot more interesting. Set a scheduled to workout with your girls, take a trip to a healthy smoothie bar, or even go on a hike. Instagram can be another form of accountability. Start a fitness account to post your workouts and meals. Sharing these with others (even if they're strangers) can help you want to eat better and sweat more. You can follow my fitness journey on instagram too.
Those are my 6 tips to restarting your fitness journey. I hope you find them helpful and encouraging. Remember, we all fail, or miss workouts, or eat poorly at some point, but how we react afterwards is going to make all the difference. Get back up, set goals and crush them. We're all in this together.