Probably the one thing that makes or breaks fitness goals is consistency. It’s also probably the one area where people struggle the most. We all know of that person who’s always on some new diet or workout regimen or cleanse and never quite sticks to anyone of them, coming back months later to tell us of their new kick.
Anyone who is knowledgeable about health and fitness will tell you that it’s never a quick-fix but rather a combination of daily and consistent habits. It is like having a good financial life or developing a relationship, it can’t be done in a day or half-heartedly. It has to be done over and over again or it won’t hold up. Now that we’ve explored the importance of consistency, here are a few tips to stay on track with your fitness goals:
- Make them bite-sized: With diet and exercise, drastic changes are hardly ever healthy and hardly ever work long-term. Rather than cutting out all sugar overnight or running a marathon on a whim, make small changes to your lifestyle and slowly make them a part of daily life. Swap sugary drinks for water a little at a time and soon you won’t notice the change. Take a short 10-minute walk outside in the evenings and slowly increase it to 20 then 30 and soon move on to more intense exercise.
- Write down realistic plans: Don’t expect to lose 50 pounds in 5 days or be able to do 200 sit-ups when you’ve never done one. Instead, make your short-term goals more do-able. As said in point 1 above, make your goals small and consistently increase your expectations.
The Buddy system: Having a partner to share in your fitness journey is invaluable to your success. Like everything else, having support makes you more likely to stay on track. This could mean a running partner, a weight-watcher friend or simply an acquaintance to remind you of your goals.
- Motivation: You know how some people listen to motivational talks right before big exams, interviews or meetings? Well, do the same. Watch motivational videos that are fitness-themed or simply repeat some fitness quotes to yourself to keep your spirits high.
- Remember why you started: Did your parents suffer from an ailment you’re trying to avoid? Are you trying to look like a goddess on your wedding day? Is there a tiny bikini that’s wasting away in your closet that you want to wear next summer? Every day, tell yourself why you’re doing this.