12 Expert Tips on How To Start (or restart) Your Fitness Journey - There's No Better Way!

12 Expert Tips on How To Start (or restart) Your Fitness Journey - There's No Better Way!

In today’s blog, we look at our top 12 tips for getting set up for success when you start or restart your fitness journey.  Managing hundreds of personal training clients over the last 10 years, we’ve observed that the ones who are most successful check all of the boxes below.  Applying these lessons at the start allows people to build consistent and manageable healthy habits that lead to lasting results.
Let’s dive right in!

Make the Commitment to Yourself

You most likely have made commitments to others: work, friends, family and even pets.  Most likely, you feel a need to follow through on these commitments, right?  We’re sure to your best ability, you usually do.  Knowing that making commitments equates to following through, why don’t you make the commitment to yourself?  When faced with choices to put yourself first or not, pick you!  Treat yourself like you are THE most important commitment.  You need to be the best version of you to show up for these other (secondary) commitments you have.  Don’t be afraid to make this clear to yourself (and to others).  What this looks like: getting your workout in instead of working overtime, passing up a night out to get some sleep, deciding to bring lunch when the office is ordering in.

Have a Vision

It’s important to remember that fitness impacts all aspects of your life, not just how your body looks.  Having a vision allows you to prioritize your actions to move you closer to your vision.  When you construct your vision, think about:

  • How do you want your body to feel in your day-to-day life?  This could include feeling energized to get a workout in and spend quality time with your kids.  For you, it might mean feeling alert and able to handle high-stress while performing well at your full-time career.  Feeling confident (in various areas of life) is oftentimes part of someone’s vision.
  • What do you want your body to be able to do?  Maybe you want to be strong AF and be able to crush chin-ups whenever you feel like it.  (Badass, right?).  Maybe it’s that you want to be able to enjoy your hobbies well into your golden years without restriction or pain.
  • What quality of life do you want to have now and also as you age?  Do you have activities or hobbies you enjoy now that you want to continue on into your golden years?  Do you need a certain level of fitness to fully enjoy your vacations?  Do any of your physical activities impact your social life?

Set a Schedule

Scheduling something into your calendar tells you it’s a priority.  Carving out time for deliberate action is a big part of your fitness journey success.  Here are a few areas you will want to make time for in your fitness journey: workouts, recovery (sleep and active recovery),  food planning (groceries, prep), and tracking.  Sounds like a lot?  Start with securing which days and times you will do physical activity that work with your schedule.  When you feel like you’ve got that down, you can add other “appointments for yourself” in your schedule. You want to be able to look at your schedule and clearly see when you are doing what.

Make it Easy (Don’t Overcomplicate)

There is nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed when you are trying something new!  It’s much more motivating and encouraging when you set yourself up to win.  All of these wins (especially the small ones) add up into big changes.  So, do yourself a HUGE favour, and make it easy.  What this looks like: Start changing your nutrition by drinking 0.5 litres each day until that’s easy.  Then, you can look to increase to more water or pick another goal.  The easier it is for you to accomplish it, the more likely it will be accomplished AND the more likely you will try it again.  Now, we’ve seen all of the Super Moms or Dads and big-time professionals taking on a lot at once.  That might be ok for what they are currently dealing with, BUT, fitness is different.  Take on 1 change at a time, trust us! 

Make it Convenient

Similar to the last point, making it convenient also increases your success of creating positive habits.  Here’s an idea of what’s not convenient: driving 1.5 hours through traffic to get to your workout, having workout times that often need to be rescheduled due to meeting conflicts, or having a workout plan that you can’t execute because you don’t have the right equipment.  Find a way to make fitness convenient for you.  Join the gym that is right next to your office or grocery store, workout from home if that affords you the time to workout, find a workout program that you can do with the equipment you have. 

Get Accountability

Accountability is the number one reason why people get started with a trainer.  Everyone needs a different level of accountability.  Sometimes this looks like hiring a fitness professional to ensure you show up to each workout.  Sometimes this can look like having a friend or family member check in on you to make sure you are still on track with your habits.  Regardless of how much accountability you need to follow through, it’s always a good idea to let someone know that you have made a commitment that you want to be held accountable to and ask for the level of accountability you need.

Be Honest With Yourself

What do you need to be successful?  Is it accountability, coaching, knowledge?  Do you hold yourself accountable well but you don’t know what to do?  Do you know how to execute movements but you lack accountability to yourself?  Do some self-reflection and look at some previous attempts to make changes to your life (fitness or otherwise) and ask yourself what worked and what didn’t work in those situations.  It’s hard enough to be consistently motivated, add in a lack of skills and your motivation meter quickly drops.

Have a Plan

You know the old saying, “If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”.  You really can’t execute a plan with 100% enthusiasm and intent if you aren’t 100% confident in it.  

Manage Expectations

The best way to have a positive relationship is to make sure no one feels screwed.  Well, since this is you and fitness you’ll have to make sure you don’t feel screwed by this process.  One of the best ways is to manage your expectations about this process (not just the results, but the process of getting them).  You need to know that:

  • Nothing happens overnight
  • Changing your body is hard work, but doable
  • Everyone’s body and fitness journey is different
  • You will not always feel motivated to do what you need to do
  • The path of pursuing your goals is not linear
  • Some habits are not glamourous, but they're necessary
  • You can do it

Get Settled In

See the first point in “Managing Your Expectations.” This is the long-game.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  You will keep your results longer by gradually changing your body over time with sustainable healthy habits.

Be Kind To Yourself

Again, this is not a linear path.  You may also decide not to make a decision consistent with your commitments.  It’s ok, this happens!  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and next time around, you’ll remember the consequence of your action and you’ll be acting from experience.  Don’t fly low for long.

Forget Everything You Think You Know

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about all things related to fitness.  Do yourself a favour and forget everything you think you know about changing your body.  Speaking with a qualified professional can give you specific direction for your specific needs and goals.  The best thing you can do is find out what is safe and effective FOR YOU!

BONUS: Start Now

All of the reasons to start now - it’s so important that we made a blog about it!  There will always be reasons to start later, but there will always be more reasons to start now.  If you’re putting this one off, start reading.  It will change your mind!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to achieve your results through a positive relationship with a sustainable process. If you’re going to do this, you might as well give yourself the best possible chance to be successful. Following the above tips, you will set yourself up to be successful.   

We want to hear from you!  What are one or two tips above that will completely change your relationship with your fitness journey?

Does this post make you think of someone you know who is struggling?  Hit the ‘Share’ button and give them some tips to steer themselves in the right direction!

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