January means one thing, you’ve probably told yourself you need to cut back on the chocolate, clear your cupboards of all the delicious Christmas food and join the gym, right? WRONG! Here’s my no bullshit approach to starting your fitness journey the right way, without depriving yourself or spending every waking minute working out.
Goals: I know, I know, everyone says you need to have a goal and it’s true, however, what everyone tells you is that your goal or goals need to be long term as well as short term. Sure if you have an outfit you want to fit into or an event you want to look epic for, then yes it will help keep you motivated however it’s the long term goal that will keep you sticking to your routine and prevent you from jumping ship. So before you even think about starting a new routine ask yourself these three simple questions:
“How can I make this something I always do?
How do I actually enjoy moving?
How do I want to look and feel when i’m older?”
Commitment: Let’s be honest, if you don’t commit it will never happen. It takes 21 days to make a habit so challenge yourself to commit for one month and remember to praise yourself when you reach it, nothing worth having comes easily. On the flip side don’t over commit and tell yourself you’re going to work out 7 days a week unless you can actually do it (ps: aim for 5 days maximum, rest and recovery days are important to progress). As a beginner, you really can make small changes yet have big results so start small and gradually build up as your results begin to plateau. My tip is to get out your diary or your phone and schedule in three 30 minute workouts. I’d recommend planning them for when you have your most energy to make the most of your time and focus.
Time: When you workout can be just as important as how you workout. We all spike in energy at different times in the day so workout when you feel your most motivated and full of energy. Personally, I find the majority of my clients that complete their workouts in the morning, get the best results. This is due to the fact that you are more likely to actually get it done compared to the evening when you are more likely to cancel in favour of seeing friends, feeling tired or getting stuck in traffic.
Knowledge: Let’s face it, if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing you’re probably taking the long route to get to where you want to be. So instead of wasting time and feeling self-conscious, take the plunge and invest a little. Nowadays there are so many ways to boost your fitness and nutritional understanding, from YouTube Videos to Workout Guides, Ebooks, Books, Personal Training, Online Coaching and hundreds of unique classes. I love to switch up my routines and am always challenging myself to learn something new. It keeps it interesting and will challenge not only your mindset but your body which is the best way to keep progressing!
Results: It’s a fact, we are our own worst enemies and always see the negative before the positive, with that in mind it is highly likely that your new routine has made positive changes to your mental health, sleep and appearance, however, it’s very likely that all you’re focusing on is the fact that your abs aren’t “popping’ yet. To prevent being someone who always wants more, I fully recommend taking bi-weekly photos and measurements over jumping on those pesky scales. After all, a period, dehydration, hydration, lack of sleep, stress and more can make that number jump and cause you to feel deflated.
Once you’ve answered the above questions, plotted your workouts in your diary, written down your starting point and figured out how you want to workout, you’re ready! I myself am joining you guys in feeling like a newbie as I gave myself 6 weeks post labour before jumping back into my CrossFit box so let’s do this together!
Wearing my favourite T-Shirt from Stay Wild Swim.