There are so many things to think about on your fitness journey that it can be easy to get overwhelmed. However, once you have a solid plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your goals and becoming the healthiest, happiest version of yourself. Below, we’ll take a look at 11 crucial things to think about on your fitness journey:
1. What Are Your Short Term Goals?
First of all, consider what your short term goals may be. Having both long and short-term goals can make a huge difference in how motivated and persistent you are when it comes to doing what you want to do. Your short term goals could be:
- Get into a good routine.
- Find a work out style that you enjoy.
- Hit a PB this week.
- Work on form for a specific exercise.
Giving yourself short term, and even goals per week/session can help you to improve slowly but surely. They can keep you feeling accomplished even if big changes aren’t happening elsewhere.
2. What Are Your Long-Term Goals?
Long term goals will help you to stay focused on what you want to do. Although many people might pick a body shape or weight as their long term goal, it isn’t always wise to purely focus on the aesthetic aspect of fitness. It’s nice to feel and look good, but it can be a bit of a weak goal that leaves us feeling deflated. The goal posts always tend to move, and if we already have body image issues then it can be tough to recognize when we’re actually where we want to be. It’s only when we look back that we think ‘oh, I actually was in great shape at that time in my life.’
Bodies change for a multitude of reasons: age, fitness level, gym frequency, illness, and more. You can’t always control it. Becoming comfortable whatever your body looks like is often the key to long-term happiness and contentment. With that being said, here are some examples of long term goals:
- Get into the habit of attending the gym 5 times per week.
- Hit bodyweight on a squat or deadlift.
- Improve overall health and reduce illness risk.
3. Are You Enjoying The Process?
If you’re not enjoying the process, then quite simply, something needs to change. You’re not going to stick to this at all if you don’t enjoy the process. If you just want to hurtle towards the finish line, what’s your incentive to keep on going when you look the way you want to look? You’ll probably give up on your routine altogether. Make sure this is something you enjoy and you’ll have an easier time of it. Make sure you learn to love it all, from early mornings to days when all you can do is get in the gym, even if you feel weak and unmotivated. Enjoying the process and getting lost in it is key!
4. How Are You Tracking Everything?
Tracking your fitness journey is a great way to make note of your progress and see how far you’ve come, as well as what else you can improve on. You don’t need to track everything, but it can definitely indicate what you need to work on. Here are some pointers:
- Use a special app, your notes app on your phone, or take a notebook with you to the gym to record your weights and see yourself getting stronger.
- Take pictures of yourself in the same place at the same time each week or month so you can see any changes in your body.
- Pay attention to how your clothes fit.
- Write out short journal entries detailing your sleep and how you feel.
5. Do You Have a Solid Support Network?
A solid support network can help to lift your spirits when you’re feeling deflated. A group of people you attend the gym with or somebody you’re close to can help you to look at things objectively when you feel too close and emotional about certain situations.
6. How Many Weeks Until You Want To Reach Your Goal?
It can be helpful to give yourself a timely goal sometimes, but it can be a hindrance if you don’t do it right. Looking at a timetable to get ripped can give you a good idea, but make sure it’s realistic and doable for you. Rushing towards your goal isn’t sustainable. Instead, focus on building habits you can stick to. Try to only give yourself timely goals that you can control, too. For instance, you can’t control how much fat your body decides to lose or how much muscle it decides to pack on in a month. You can, however, control the number of times you attend the gym. Bear this in mind!
7. Is Your Gym Giving You The Support You Need?
Not all gyms are created equal. Make sure your gym is giving you the support you need. Some will help you to track your results and keep you focused on what matters, while others will basically ignore you until you tell them you want to end your membership.
8. Could You Work With A Virtual Trainer?
Working with a virtual trainer often means conversing over Whatsapp and email, sending progress pictures each week, and having somebody you have never met in person take control of your training plan and macronutrient split. However, if you pick somebody highly qualified, they can do a good job of it. You may have people at your gym who offer this service, but again, not everybody is qualified equally. A trainer should care about your health and getting you into a routine, not just before and after pictures to show off on socials.
9. Is The Routine I’m In Sustainable?
It can’t be emphasized enough: you need to see yourself doing this in the long run. If not, change it.
10. Am I Eating To Support My Goals?
The foods you eat make a huge difference to your workouts. You need to fuel them properly, eat protein to build and maintain muscle, and consume fat and carbs for energy. Don’t starve yourself or cut out whole food groups!
11. Am I Paying Attention To The Little Things That Can Make A Big Difference?
There are a number of little things that can make a big difference in your progress and wellbeing. These include:
- Water intake
You want your lifestyle to be sustainable and enjoyable, and you should feel good. Keep this in mind!