1) Set your workout schedule in advance: I make my workout schedules for a few months at a time. Not only that, but I schedule something for every day. With a schedule sitting in front of me when I get up in the morning, I know exactly what workout I have for that day so there are no surprises. This way, I sort of get myself psyched up the night before, visualizing what exercises I have the next morning. Not only that, but if I have a different workout every day of the week, I know that if I miss Tuesday, I do not have time to make up for it on Wednesday, so to complete my schedule, I have to get up and do it!
2) Set your goals...: Lets be honest here, if you set your schedule that you know right off the bat is going to be too hard for yourself, you are going to become discouraged and fail. If you are just getting started, make sure you pace yourself and listen to your body. If you do 20 pushups one week, then the next week you are feeling a little bit tired and push for 23 pushups but only reach 17 pushups do not beat yourself up over it or get discouraged. The fact that you are working out and got 17 pushups is far more important than sitting on your ass and not doing anything!
3) Keep your diet in check!: Being physically active, you are really pushing your body, you are going to get fatigued and worn out if you do not fuel your body with top-notch foods. Stay away from high-sugar junk food or greasy crap that contains empty calories. You want to fuel your bodies. Race car drivers do not fuel up their vehicles with Regular Unleaded, so you should not be fueling up with junk if you are wishing for your body to perform at peak performance. Plain and simple, eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, you decide on how to make those delicious and choke 'em down!
4) Enjoy your workout!: I know this is probably cliched but it still works. There is an old Chinese proverb that states something like, "If you enjoy your job, you never work a day in your life!" This rings true for exercise as well. If you are not enjoying your workouts then there is not a chance in hell that you are going to stick with it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Be in the moment as well. Forget all of the crap you have to do after your workout (laundry, dishes, etc.) and forget about any stress you had prior to your workout. Give yourself that hour or so every day as your time, and enjoy it while you have it!
Go find yourself something you enjoy and that you are good at. Because let's face it, if you are good at something you are much more likely to enjoy it. If you enjoy swimming, join a swim class. If you enjoy biking, go buy a bike or take a spinning class. This is not rocket science, just find something you like and do it as often as possible!
5) Don't be so cosmetic: Truly dig deep down inside your inner self and ask yourself why you exercise and eat healthy. If you have decided to make this lifestyle change to exercise and eat healthier just so you can look better, you are not going to stick with it, trust me! You should be more interested in living a long, healthy, painless, medication-free life! There are a myriad of benefits that are obtained from living a healthy lifestyle that I will discuss in a future blog.
Just remember that every single time you workout, you are healthier than you were before you started, and probably happier too!
1) Take it easy when you are sick: Lets face it, even when you push yourself to workout, there are going to be days when you either have a cold or flu or are feeling just under the weather. If you really are not well enough to workout, fine. However, studies have shown recently that your body is actually better off getting even some mild exercise while you are sick, so get to it and do some light cardio or something!
2) Focus on the numbers, but not really...: First of all, you should be tracking all of your progress in resistance workouts such as weights and reps, etc. Do not become obsessed with the numbers and try and beat what you did the week before every week, but you should still bring enough intensity to improve yourself constantly. Doing less pushups one week is probably alright, but you should be prepared and psych yourself up to do better the next!
3) Don't become a diet freak!: We are all human beings, and we all love to indulge. The difference is, when you are living a healthy lifestyle, you should keep your indulgences to a minimum. Should you sit down and eat a bag of Doritos in one sitting, probably not. Can you have a small piece of cheesecake after dinner every once in a while? Absolutely! You are better off to have a treat every now and then rather than binging some time because it has been 6 months since you had a chocolate chip cookie.
4) Check yourself out: I said previously that you should not base your motivation strictly on your looks, and I stand by that. However, when you pass a mirror, give yourself a flex and remind yourself how hard you have been working. You should not solely base your motivation on looks, but its nice to see some results too!