Let’s face it, working out and leading a healthy lifestyle is not easy, if it was everybody would be doing it. According to THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH AND FITNESS ORGANIZATION there is a 75% failure rate in starting a new exercise program. I see it every January at the gym I belong to. All the new faces, motivated and determined to change their lives for the better. For about 2 weeks you see them there every day, then as the weeks go by you see them there less and less until finally they have disappeared.
There are so many factors that can get in our way on the road to being fit; family, job, no time, money, a busy schedule and the list goes on. So how does the other 25% do it? Well, we are all different and we all have different ways of sticking to our exercise programs, but one thing I have noticed during my 30 year journey in the fitness world is that the longer you can stick with it, the less likely it is you are going to quit.
How do I get started and how do I stick with it is what this article is all about. I have a ten point, step by step plan I give all my clients to follow and the results are amazing. It is simple to follow and if you adhere to these 10 steps you just might be one of the 25% that stick with it and achieve your fitness goals.
STEP 1 – WRITE IT DOWN
When I opened my fitness center in 2000, I learned that the most important thing I needed was a business plan. It helped me to figure out how I was going to accomplish this dream and laid out my journey step by step, I couldn’t have succeeded without it. Every successful company started with a business plan. Why can’t you do the same for your health? So grab a paper and pencil and write down your plan using these 9 other steps.
STEP 2 – CHOOSE YOUR “WHY”
If you are reading this article then you must have a pretty good reason why you want to be fit. To be able to stick to any exercise program you need to have a pretty good “why”, so write it down. I also have my clients write it down on a sticky note and place it in their home where they are sure to see it every day as a constant reminder of how important being fit and healthy is to them.
STEP 3 – MAKE IT A PROIRITY
The biggest reason people fail with exercise is because it is not a high priority to them. Write down a list of the top 10 priorities in your life (make sure exercise is one of them). The rule is only the things ahead of exercise can interfere with your program. The higher it is on the list the better your chances. For me, exercise and being healthy is number 2 behind family emergency because to me, without my health everything else on my list becomes meaningless.
STEP 4 – CHOOSE A LOCATION
You need to figure out where you are going to workout, in a gym or at home. If you are going to a gym, visit as many as you can and find one where you feel comfortable and somewhere you would actually want to go. If you choose home then make sure you have enough equipment, space and privacy to get your workouts done. For those of you that travel often make sure you call the hotel in advance and ask them what kind of fitness equipment they have so you can plan your workout accordingly.
STEP 5 – SCHEDULE WORKOUT TIME
A good friend of mine once told me “That which gets scheduled, gets done”. At the start of every week review your schedule and figure out when you can get your workouts done and write them down as you would any appointment. You must hold true to that workout time just as if it were a doctor visit or a business meeting. There are 167 hours in a week, I am sure you can find a few hours a week to do something that will greatly improve your health and quality of life, right?
STEP 6 – SET GOALS
Write down your short term goals (first month), your mid-range goals (6 months out) and your long term goals (one year out and beyond). Make sure they are reasonable and even under play those goals so you can achieve them. Reaching a goal is a great morality booster and will keep you on track. Every few month re-evaluate you goals and make adjustments according to your progress.
STEP 7 – FIND MOTIVATION
I have three motivational videos that I downloaded to my phone from UTUBE and, every day, I choose one to watch and it really helps keep me on task. It can be anything from a song to a picture or even a phrase, it just needs to be something that will pump you up and keep you focused. Make sure it is readily available to you when you need that boost of motivation.
STEP 8 – HIRE A TRAINER
Hiring a trainer can be expensive, but the value far exceeds the cost. A trainer will show you how to set up an exercise program and, if he is good, give you all the knowledge and tools you need to succeed. This is very important when first starting out, the last thing you need is to get injured and have to put your program on hold. Ask family members and friends if they can recommend a good trainer.
STEP 9 – JOURNAL YOUR WORKOUTS
Journaling is a great way to see the progress you are making with your workouts. At the end of every workout take five minutes to write down in a small notebook the workout you just completed (exercises, weight and reps). Being able to see your progress on paper is extremely motivational and allows you to see your fitness goals coming true!
STEP 10 – HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY
Weather it’s a trainer, best friend, spouse or family member find someone to be your accountability buddy. Someone that can stay on top of you and make sure you are getting your workouts done. As human beings we don’t want to disappoint those we are close to, so having someone that goes out of their way to be there for us and hold us accountable is the best way I know to keep us on track.
Having a “business” plan for our exercise program is a must if you want to achieve your goals and have long term success. What these ten steps is designed to do is to teach you discipline. That is the difference between the 75% who fail and the 25% who succeed. Motivation is great for the short term, but if you really want to make this a part of your life, discipline is the only way to achieve that.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about my programs please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct at 908-635-2069. To set up a free 30 minute consultation visit my website at www.onlinefitpro.com.