It’s easy to decide to get in shape, and so much harder to do so. How many of us have friends that swore they were going to drop thirty pounds, run a marathon, get back into their old pair of jeans? Yet after three weeks of incredibly focused activity they all seem to lapse, lose energy, and drift back to the couch, burned out and bored with their routines, or perhaps even simply overwhelmed, and quickly revert to their old forms of behavior. Obviously there is more to getting in shape then simply resolving to do so: what are some of the methods that successful folks have used to accomplish those very goals?
Tip 1 – Go Public
The first is to use your community to help you stay on track. If you quietly begin to work out and eat differently, it won’t take much for you to quit, since you won’t have much skin in the game. However, if you announce to all your friends and family that you are going to make it this time, and ask for their continued support and motivation, you will definitely think twice before quitting due to the simple reason that you won’t want to have to explain to everybody that you’re off the horse.
Tip 2 – Team Up
Second to that is getting a friend to workout or diet alongside you. It’s always easier when you can share the pain, and having somebody there will not only give you a friend to complain and moan to, it will also give each of you a source of strength. For when one of you is feeling down and looking to quit, the other one can motivate them and convince them to stay on track. Nothing is more motivating than having your friend show up and ready to drive to the gym with you, or to get you going as well when you see them down.
Tip 3 – Focus on Enjoyment
Finally, pick something fun. This may sound silly, but it makes a huge difference. Fitness is a lifelong pursuit, and too many people try to get healthy by doing really strenuous, miserable kinds of extreme fitness. They force themselves to run for five miles, or do endless crunches, or something else that amounts to torture. It’s no wonder they soon quit. Instead, if you do something that you really enjoy, like a beginner level workout, play basketball, or go for long walks, or try playing tennis with a friend, you will be much more likely to stick with it. Not only that, but as exercise becomes a habit, you’ll have plenty of time to ramp up the difficulty level and work out as hard as you could ever have wanted.
Photo courtesy of James Lord Productions