Guest Post: The Secret to Reaching Your Fitness Goals

The secret to keeping that New Years resolution to living an active life 

It’s that time of the year again…a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s a time when we make promises to ourselves to do more, be more and achieve some of the things that we either dream of or lie in the back of our minds.

It may be a cliché but many of us still have one key aim at the beginning of the year – ‘to be the healthiest and fittest me I can possibly be’.

“I plan to eat better, be more active, exercise more… I want to be happier and healthier.” Sound familiar? While there is no better time than right now, if the New Year has given you the motivation and drive to set some big resolutions around your health, you are probably looking for the key to keep you motivated.

Stop! Before you go off making big goals to work out every day for the next 12 months, let’s take it easy…make small steps to achieve big things. You don’t want to feel completely defeated by the end of the second or third week, sprawled out on the couch demanding someone get you a chocolate bar ASAP to fuel your energy.

Yes, I hear you, not everyone loves slumming it out on a treadmill or spending hours at the gym lifting weights. Yes, running can be a nightmare sometimes and I know you might not be a sports person. So how can you possibly become fit?

Well, there’s a secret and I am about to tell you after a short and meaningful anecdote (you’re going to love it).

So I’m an outdoorsy Australian who has recently travelled to and lived in Canada (yep, I went from crystal blue coastal living to waking up to -40 degree weather and elk creating unmovable live barriers on the snowy walk to work). Over there it’s a completely different ball game! I had to find new ways to stay active in a country that has a serious time limit for how long you can spend outside without freezing to death…you don’t want to get that wrong.

While I had the opportunity to do a bit of snowboarding (which is an intense workout by the way), I ended up joining a gym and trained daily to stay fit. I have had personal trainers before so I had an idea of what to do.

While this was a great way to keep the delicious Canadian treats at bay (well, kind of), after making the transition back from slippery, white slopes to the rather hot but beautiful Australian scenery, I was over it. I didn’t want to lift another dumbbell and I certainly didn’t want the word elliptical to be part of my morning routine.

You’ve been there too, am I right?

Well, I’m here to share what I believe is the secret to finding an exercise regime that will help you achieve your New Years resolution – to be healthier, fitter, stronger, more active…what ever it may be.

Here it is…

The secret…Are you sure your ready for this?

Try everything until you find that magic fit!

Get out there and give a lot of different sports, exercises and activities a go. Try new things like crossfit, unicycling, adult gymnastics, squash, martial arts, rock climbing or an alternate style of dance. Just give it a go. Con your friends to come along (they have to have something you can bribe them with – a trip to the frozen yoghurt shop after?) if your feeling a bit scared.

Don’t worry about how you look to others. Everyone has been there. The athletes and the experts have all been there. They’ve been in your shoes (hopefully not literally – that’s creepy).

Ever since I’ve come home I’ve put myself out there and tried a few things. As a result, I’ve found a few magic sports that are the perfect match for me. Hip hop, burlesque, I’ve dabbled in ballet, gymnastics and I’ve found a love for pole fitness.

If you find something that you enjoy doing, that you feel confident and proud to be a part of, the motivation for your New Years resolution is right there.

If you find something you love, keep at it!

You never know, keeping fit naturally might just come easy.

 

By Alyssa Gill

Alyssa is a persuasive freelance writer and strategic social media expert. She is the Founder and Chief Wordsmith of Squib Communications, a company that is helping lifestyle, creative and home businesses to create more meaningful partnerships with their customers.

She also has a passion for all things active – she’s a pole fitness teacher, hip hopper, burlesquer and basketball-enthuasiast.

Plus she recently started the Instagram page @myactivewear, a site that brings together and showcases real people being active and healthy in their favourite activewear. Follow @myactivewear.

Website: http://www.squib.com.au
Connect with Alyssa on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/squibcommunications/

Action Before Motivation

  We all have off days. Days we feel tired or uninspired. Days when getting out of bed seems like the hardest thing in the world. We wait patiently for that wave of motivation to hit before bouncing into the days activities, but that motivation never comes. The day is wasted.

It’s normal. It happens. But it begs the question? What comes first, the chicken or the egg? I mean… motivation or action?

Motivation doesn’t always come easily. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t come at all. Whether its’s exercising, studying, starting a new project or something else entirely, we have come to expect motivation to precede action. Yes this seems like the logical order of things; BAM! Inspiration strikes, action follows. But unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way.

A photograph of your ‘dream body’, an uplifting quote or simply the realisation that you need to make a change, can certainly prompt positive steps but it doesn’t always make things happen. Motivation isn’t something that magically manifests. We have to create it. And how do we create it? By taking action.

When you start taking action, once you see and feel the benefits, momentum kicks in and suddenly you feel motivated. This is especially true with fitness. It’s never easy to get started, but when it becomes a consistent habit and you begin noticing results, seeing your body change, your fitness increasing, your mind clearing and your energy levels booming, that is when motivation happens.

You just have to make a start!

I get it though. Some days, I don’t want to get out of bed either. All I want to do is snooze through that 5am alarm, or lay in bed instead of going to the gym. Other times I think to myself, ‘I’ll just wait until I feel like getting up’. However, the problem with waiting (procrastinating) until I’m in the mood to exercise or the mood to write or the mood to catch up with someone, is that in most cases, that mood never arrives.

If you are constantly waiting for the perfect moment, you’ll never get anything done. The perfect moment to start is right now!

If you wait until you ‘feel like it’, it’ll never happen. You cannot wait around for motivation to come to you. You just have to get up, get moving and (in the wise words of Nike), ‘JUST DO IT!’ 

Love Eloise x

Staying Motivated In The Winter Months

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Winter. The cold, dark mornings, the rainy days, the brisk icy air. All of these things make it a lot harder to stay committed to gym plans. If you have been struggling to stay motivated during the colder months, here are some tips and tricks to remember that will help you keep on track.

1. Summer bodies Are made in the Winter

It may be cold right now but in a few short months the jumpers, scarves and jeans will become redundant and it’ll be all about bikinis and board shorts. When that first warm day hits, wouldn’t you rather reveal the bangin’ beach bod you’ve been training tirelessly for, rather than some extra winter layers? Put the hard work in now and you’ll be set for the summer sun as soon as it comes out to play.

2. Buddy Up

Having an exercise buddy is one of the best ways to stay motivated on your health and fitness journey. Plan your workouts together, arrange to meet at the gym, keep each other in the loop and boost each other up. Having someone else to check in with every now and then, especially when temptations are rife, keeps you accountable. Not to mention, if you plan to meet your friend at the gym you are less likely to bail because you won’t just be letting yourself down anymore, but your gym buddy too. Plus working out with a friend is always more fun!

3. Set Goals

Setting goals is so important. When you have something specific to work towards you’ll have more motivation to achieve it! Start with small achievable goals first and gradually build on them as you reach a new milestone. With each little win you’ll be even more pumped to keep up the hard work.

4. Reward yourself with Incentives

Woke up at 5:00am to exercise 3 times this week? Didn’t skip a single workout? Stayed committed to your clean eating? Well done! You deserve to be congratulated. Yes, your transformed fitness is reward enough, but sometimes having little incentives can help boost that motivation just that little extra. Put $1 in a jar every time you workout, get a new PB or drop a kg and in no time you’ll have enough money to treat yourself to some new workout clothes, a well-deserved massage or that little something you’ve been eyeing off at the shops for a while. Just don’t reward yourself with food (your not a dog).

5. Before and After Pictures

Another way to remain accountable and track your progress is with before, (during) and after photographs. Whenever you need a little reminder why you started or feel like all the effort you are putting in is going to waste, take a look back at those ‘before’ pics to compare your progress. Sometimes the scales won’t budge but change is happening! You just need to see it to be believe it. Also take note of how your clothes start fitting you differently.

6. Prioritise Your Priorities

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now. Always think back to why you started and what your goals are. When your alarm goes off at 5:00am on a cold rainy morning, the lure of your warm bed may be more inviting, but just think ‘does the short term satisfaction out way the long term satisfaction’? 30 minutes extra sleep, or dream body? Weigh it up.

7. Get Organised

Fail to prepare, prepare the fail. Being well prepared and organised can make all the difference between succeeding and failing. Book your gym sessions in advance, meal prep at the beginning of the week, lay your gym clothes out the night before an early training session and schedule your workouts in to your diary.

Now, if that doesn’t help kick start the motivation during the winter months, I don’t know what will. Always remember, the only workout you’ll ever regret, is the one that you didn’t do.

Love Eloise xx