It was a beautiful day in Santa Monica, California, a friend and I were walking along the 3rd street Promenade, people watching and doing a little shopping. However, there was this uncomfortable feeling that kept me from truly enjoying the day. I was out of breath, sweating, and feeling as though I just ran a marathon. I shouted to my friend who was a few steps in front me to “slow down, you’re walking too fast.”
That’s when it hit me. I was too embarrassed to admit that I was overweight and out of shape. Just walking down the street left me breathless. I hated feeling like this but like most people, it takes commitment to make a change I apparently wasn’t ready.
When I finally was ready after my LA County Fair ordeal, I knew it was time to make a change. Now, I know that it’s not easy, but with every challenge that I conquer it gives me faith to conquer the next obstacle. My journey has been hard but seeing the results is making it well worth it. To stay focused I have to remind myself daily of what my goals are and the big picture, which for me is to live a healthy life. Here are 6 tips that keep me focused.
6 Tips to stay focused on your fitness journey:
1. Find what makes you happy and Be consistent – You have to find that thing that works for you. I love the Body Pump class offered at my gym, there is something about the combination of strength training and cardio that works for me. And because I love the class, I go consistently. I physically get upset if something keeps me going or if I’m lazy and decided not to go, then I spend the rest of the evening kicking myself. It’s that thing that makes me happy and guess what…I see results because I love it and I’m consistent. So, find that class, workout routine or training session that just makes you enjoy working out.
2. Set up a SMART goal – SMART goals are wonderful way to keep you on target for your goals.
- SPECIFIC – Make your goal specific. Don’t say “I want to lose weight” instead say “I want to lose 10 pounds by December.” This gives you something to strive for and not be so vague. Vague goals give you vague results.
- MEASURABLE – Establish concrete criteria for measuring your goal. For example, if you goal is weight loss, perhaps weekly, you weigh yourself and keep record of the weight loss. Keeping in mind your SPECIFIC goal of losing 10 pounds by December. I recommend that you want to keep track of your weight, use a board near the scale so you can visually see your results.
- ACCOUNTABLE – Accountability is so important to keep you on track. My suggestion is to find a buddy that will keep you on track. My friend Sherrie is my accountability buddy. When I’m not consistent with my goals she will push me to keep going or be brutally honest about what I’m not doing or what I need to do. I also work out with my friend, which keeps me accountable to going to the gym throughout the week. Find someone who motivates you but also is not shy about telling you like it is.
- REALISTIC – Being realistic about weight loss is so important. Yes, my overall goal is to lose 150 pounds, but if I said that I want to lose 150 pounds by summer and it’s April….Yea that wouldn’t happen. But if I said that I wanted to lose 150 by the end of 2016,then that gives me about a year and half, that’s realistic. Same as if you said that you want to go the gym 7 days a week…that most likely wouldn’t happen because you have a life, but starting off by saying that “I will go to the 2 times a week”, is realistic and a great start. Set yourself up for success by being realistic with what you know is doable for you.
- TIMEFRAME – This goes back to MEASURABLE and REALISTIC, when you set a goal to lose weight, for example 150 pounds, it takes time to lose this amount of weight. On average, we can lose 1-2 per week and this is with consistent workouts and eating right. In 52 weeks, you would have lost between 50-100 pounds, so you have to set a time frame that could work for you. Since I want to personally lose 150 pounds, then setting a goal of losing the weight by December 2016 is possible because I’m giving myself 1 year and 8 months to do so. Once again, set yourself up for success, not failure.
3. Visualize yourself at your goal. (Use visual aids such as a vision board) – There are so many books out there that talk about visualizing yourself at your goal, this creates a mental plan that makes the goals real and attainable. See yourself at your goal weight or at your physical fitness level. A vision board is another great way to visually put your goals in front of you on a consistent basis. I look at my vision daily which helps to keep my focus. I also use digital vision board in Pinterest, I love using this board because I can add pictures that I find online to help keep me inspired.
4. Journal your fitness – I’m a writer at heart, so I have journals everywhere. Journaling my thoughts helps me in various ways including my fitness journey. I keep track of my workouts, food I eat and just overall how I’ve been feeling. Part of the appeal of keeping a journal is to look back over those times that were really working for you. When you lost the most weight or was really enjoying your workouts, you can go back and see what was working then, and incorporate some of that to your new routine. Plus, journaling will help with the next tip.
5. Maintain a positive outlook during those tough times. – I know that a fitness journey can be difficult at times. Especially when you’re not seeing the results that you want, it becomes frustrating and you want to give up. Don’t! It’s only a moment in time that will pass, you have to push through and work towards your goals even when you don’t feel like it. That’s where your character and strength are developed, when you push through the tough moments. Using your journal is great during these times, because you can write and get all of that heaviness off of your shoulders by leaving it between pen and paper.
Remember, when you’re working out at some point you will plateau. You will reach a time where you feel as though no progress is being made. The best advice I’ve been given during that plateau period is to switch up your workout and do something different. This will allow you to use different muscle groups, which can assist in your weight loss plan.
6. Review your goals every 4-6 weeks. Revise old ones and Create new ones. – Simply revisit your goals and remember that goals are fluid, you can revise them and change them as you need to. They are not written in stone, so take the time to revise and be sure to create new ones as you start to knock out this goals!
What are some of your favorite tips to sty focused?
This Curvy Girl