At this time of year we're all trying to do good regarding our New Year resolutions and I reckon at least 90% of us have said that we want to be healthier and get fit, tone up, and lose those few pounds the chocolate gave us over Christmas. It's a cliche but very true. Plus, why wouldn't we?! The new year is an ideal time to have a fresh start and if that means wanting to treat your body better then all the best to you. The reason why that type of resolution is so cliche is because many people won't actually stick to their goals. Myself included! "Life just gets in the way and there's not much we can do about it!" we tell ourselves so we feel better about eating another cupcake. It is only true to some extent. Mostly it isn't true at all because there's nothing stopping us other than ourselves.
In today's post I wanted to give a brief step-by-step guide to get us achieving our goals, and particularly losing those pounds! I'm no expert but I have really been working on this over the past week making sure that I don't let myself down again so let's hope this guide helps you too!
STEP 1 - Why?
You need to prove to yourself that this is what you need and want to do! Write a list of all the reasons you want to get fit and healthy. It may be because you envy other girls (or guys) or it may simply be because you regret eating that large box of maltesers last week - I sure did! Since I have registered for the 5K Adrenaline Rush, I know that I want to train for that to be able to give it my best whilst also getting my 'summer body' ready for my trip to Mexico!
STEP 2 - Get motivated!
You may have all the reasons in the world but none of that is getting you off the couch or out of bed. You need to find something that's going to motivate you and the best thing for that is to find other people who love exercising and love being healthy. I have a separate Twitter account just for that and I spend a little time everyday retweeting pictures and quotes from fitness motivation accounts. It seems daft but it really does make me want to be one of them so I'm more likely to do it myself! I don't normally advertise that account but if you need some extra motivation follow me! It works the same on Pinterest and tumblr!
STEP 3 - Go Shopping!
I never used to be one to admit this but everyone loves to shop. It's just about finding the right thing to shop for! Making shopping part of your preparation makes the actual exercise all that more exciting. I don't mean buying another pair of heels or a new handbag, like my mum does every other weekend, I mean buy some new trainers, running gear, perhaps a swimming costume. New fitness clothes immediately make me want to go out and get good use out of them, especially considering the price of some! You can of course find cheaper alternatives at supermarkets and shops like Primark but it's up to you what you choose. I tend to mix and match my Primark running top with a pair of Karrimor or Nike joggers.
STEP 4 - Home workouts!
Many will disagree with the whole working out at home thing but really it can be a great way to start you off. I did it for most of last year but then began to struggle when I'd rather just get straight into bed. If you have enough space in a room other than your bedroom, you may be able to last longer than I did. However, it did really show me how much of a stress reliever a little workout can be making me want to do more. I knew that, not only my body but, my mind was benefiting from it. I have Dumbbells, ankle weights and a yoga mat for home workouts which I never regret buying! There are also plenty of apps out there that can help you keep up with your daily workouts.
STEP 5 - Gym searching time!
If you now feel like you know you are definitely going to want to stick to it and want to start working harder, which is what you should work up to, it's time to find yourself a gym. You could just continue to work out at home but I myself can never find the motivation to do it. If you can, then I applaud you. You may know of a local gym but before you rush into things, search around online for others in your local area. You need to consider price, facilities, benefits of a membership, and of course how far away it is. The gym I have joined is a YMCA and my membership allows me to use all of their gyms in the Fylde Coast! There's even a bowling alley that I can get discount at! You should also look at what the age range of their customers is because I looked at one in my local area, thought it sounded good and was a good price then noticed it was basically a room full of 80 year olds, not for me I don't think!
STEP 6 - Find a friend!
It's not necessary to have a gym buddy but it really does help! Planning a time every week where you and a friend will go to the gym will make you more likely to not want to let them down by not going. My plan is to also go on my own but going with a friend, at least when you start, will help you get used to the surroundings and feel more comfortable using the machines. If you really want, you can be competitive with your friend, but just remember that everyone has different fitness abilities. So don't get too cocky if you can lift more than she/he can. On the other hand, don't be upset if she/he beats you.
STEP 7 - Join the Gym!
Finally time to join the gym! Look around for free trials or free one-day memberships. (If you live in the Fylde Coast of England, here is a free one-day membership voucher! Get it before it runs out! http://ymcayactive.org/join-us/vouchers/) Always speak to the staff before you start because they will be able to give you an induction to show you the ropes. They'll explain how to use all of the machines and will set you up on a programme, if you wish, to help you plan your workouts. They will be your very own personal trainer for the hour for free! Once you've been a couple of times, they can also have review sessions with you, as part of your membership, to see how far you have come and how you could possibly improve. Most of the hardwork is done for you! All you need to do is the exercise... But once you've got into a routine you'll start enjoying it and it won't be such a burden to keep going back! Paying for your membership a couple of months in advance will also keep you motivated because you don't want to be wasting all that money!
STEP 8 - Music Motivation!
Everyone knows how much music helps us at every point in our lives and now it's going to help us yet again. You need to make a playlist. I have 4 different playlists and even then I still like to change them up. Ideally you should have a playlist for each intensity of workout: low, medium and high. I also have one that's quite mixed. Upbeat songs are the best and in this day and age it's easy to find ones you'll like. Even Justin Bieber, of all people, is throwing them into the charts. I also like to have a folder full of songs that would be good to run along to then when I plan my workout, I plan my songs to go with it. A great idea is to have a playlist that will last as long as your entire workout. When you reach the last song you know it nearly the end of your work out!
STEP 9 - Plan your workouts.
Make sure you have set days you are going to the gym so you don't start telling yourself that you'll go tomorrow instead. Know that you'll be going this day, this day and that day and then if you feel like going in between those days as well, you're welcome too! Make sure that is an 'as well' though. Before you get to the gym, make sure you know what you're doing so there's no faffing around wondering what to go on next! Don't get bored of the same routine, change it up a bit by going swimming one day or go cycling and get some fresh air instead of staying in the gym all the time! Remember you have already paid for the membership though! Many gyms will have a swimming pool as one of the facilities you can use as part of your membership so you might as well make use of it!
STEP 10 - Keep Going!
You've done it! This year is your year and you will look amazing! The gym is your second home and your favourite hangout! Ok, so you might not be that enthusiastic but be proud that you've stuck it out! Now you just need to stay motivated and not give up! Keep repeating the steps and I promise you'll have never felt any better! Of course you'll need to be eating healthier as abs are made in the kitchen, not just in the gym. It's a two-part process but you'll get there and you won't want to go back!
I hope these 10 steps have helped and motivated you to stick to your resolutions! Feel free to share this post with a friend! Let me know how you're getting on with your new year goals!