Although most of us know what works best for us when it comes to exercise and nutrition, we sometimes stray from our fitness ‘plan’ at some point or another. Whether busy, injured, stressed, on vacation or simply burnout, even the most dedicated fitness ‘rock star’ needs to take the occasional break.
The challenge is, most of us can sabotage ourselves when it comes to getting back on track with momentum once we’re ready to return to our most effective program.
When we fall out of the daily habit of consistent discipline, it can make even the idea of it feel unattainable and overwhelming.
So, what are some steps to make your transition back into fitness more successful? Here are five helpful tips:
1. Set a S.M.A.R.T. GOAL
Be honest about what you hope to accomplish with your nutrition and exercise reboot. While setting a goal is great, I offer my health coaching clients the S.M.A.R.T. Goal. This plan will increase your chances for sustainable results.
Make sure your goal fits the S.M.A.R.T. criteria:
Specific: It’s not enough to say you want to “get fit;” you need to be specific. Choose a specific goal that will get you to your overall goal. For example, training for a 5K or feeling your best at a special event.
Measurable: Once you identify your specific goal, make sure you’re able to measure your progress. If your goal is to run a 5K, gauge progress by hitting certain benchmarks throughout your training regimen. Hoping to lose weight? Track progress by weighing yourself periodically and/or having body composition measurements taken.
Attainable: People often set high goals but get discouraged when they can’t reach them and then fall off their plan. Whatever your goal, you must be 100% confident you can attain it. If you’re not, consider adjusting your goal. For example, instead of aiming to lose 10 pounds in a month, set your goal for 4.
Realistic: You must be willing and able to work toward your goal. How committed are you? Have you done something similar in the past? What do you need to do to achieve the goal? Be honest with yourself about your available time and energy and plan accordingly. And, make sure your goal is challenging enough to inspire and motivate you.
Timely: Goals like “lose weight” or “get lean” are vague and have no end dates attached to them. Decide when you hope to achieve your goal and fill in your timeline with milestones you need to hit to keep you on track.
2. Shift your PERSPECTIVE
Make a promise to yourself to crowd-out unhealthy patterns with healthy habits. Start your day with 8-12 oz. water with 1/2 organic lemon to hydrate and alkalize your body. Enjoy 5-10 minutes of meditation or morning devotion. For me, this ritual sets the tone for my day. It helps me make decisions from a peaceful mindset instead of one that is more anxiety based. Move your body for 30-45 minutes 5-7 days a week. Choose a walk outside, yoga, a run or group exercise such as spinning or another form of fitness class. Listen to your body and what it needs.
3. Practice SELF CONTROL
Focus on your own goals and abilities. Preparation is key to consistency. Sit to eat. Set out your workout clothes before you go to bed. Journal your activity, water, food and supplement intake. Acknowledge every success you make. Keep it simple. Continue taking consistent steps toward your goals and enjoy the journey.
4. Incorporate SELF CARE
When we love our body, our body responds lovingly. Sometimes that response is soreness. Celebrate that soreness as a sign your workouts are effective. Schedule a massage. Take care of your feet. Notice changes that clean food, less sugar and hydration make in your complexion. You may notice your skin is tighter and brighter. A facial with a qualified aesthetician is a wonderful way to further improve your skin tone and it’s also an exceptional self care treat. Establishing a self care routine is an important element in maintaining proactive healthy living.
5. Be ACCOUNTABLE
With close to 30 years experience in the health and fitness industry, I fully believe that this tip is one of the most important aspects of achieving and maintaining results. Whether it’s a close friend, a trainer or a health coach, having someone hold you accountable for your actions and recognize your achievements is such an important factor. Relationship feeds our drive, belief system and motivation. Surround yourself with people that stoke your flame, make you laugh and lift you up. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with no holding back by trusting someone to guide and challenge you with consistent accountability. You are ultimately responsible for yourself so honor your body with optimal health.