Let’s face it; we all want what we don’t have. Even when progress is made towards a personal fitness goal, it’s often still not good enough. It is time to break this vicious cycle. We often compare ourselves to airbrushed models on magazine covers, people with completely different body structures than our own, and forget to appreciate how far we have come. Remember, a positive attitude, reduced stress regarding all “problem areas” and a focused mind can make a world of a difference in overall health and well-being.
Challenge to be a better you!
1. Look in the mirror:
I challenge you to compete with no one other than the person in the mirror. If you’re stronger, fitter, more positive and healthier than you were yesterday- that’s called progress. “Be yourself because an original is worth more than a copy.” –Unknown. Whether you’re tall, short, a mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph, muscular, lean, curvy or straight learn to embrace it.
2. Be satisfied with giving your best:
Are you giving your all every workout? Are you pushing yourself, even on the days when you might not feel fully motivated? Are you taking time to read and do research on ways to help you reach your goals? Pat yourself on the back, each day is a new day and a growing experience. Don’t be afraid of trial and error, and don’t get stuck in the same routine. Mix up your workout routine to experience muscle confusion for maximum results and to reduce boredom. Try out new healthy recipes a few times a month to incorporate into your diet. Learn to love being fit, healthy & active.
3. Monitor Your Progress:
Just looking in the mirror every day, or taking progress “selfies” isn’t the best way to monitor progress. Instead of just looking for physical improvements, why not monitor strength, endurance and flexibility improvements as well. For me personally, I love training legs. One of the ways I am monitoring my improvement in strength is with the leg press machine. I started with just 90lbs/40kg (3 x 15) a few months ago and now I am up to 265lbs/120kg (3 x 15)- my goal is to get to 350lbs/ 160kg. I only add about 5-10kg each week, but it’s really cool to see my personal improvement overtime.
4. Surround Yourself With Good People:
You may have done some spring cleaning in your closet– but what about with the people you call “friends?” Jim Rohn says ,“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Would you say it’s time to increase your average? I started my health & fitness journey in my 2nd year of college when I was 19 years old. While most were out partying, drinking, making poor food choices and losing sleep, I was living the complete opposite lifestyle. I lost a lot of friends that way, had to deal with comments about being “obsessive” and that I needed to “live a little.” But to me, I was living better than I ever had before- not to mention feeling and looking the best I ever had in my entire life. Surround yourself with people who uplift, support and believe in your goals and dreams whether they be big or small. People that ignite or provoke negativity I call “toxins.”I aim to lead a non-toxic life.
5. Read 10 pages of anything a day:
Knowledge is power, and it’s amazing the amount of knowledge that can be found through reading books, magazines, online articles, newspapers– literally anything. One of my favorite books is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson because he puts perspective on the compounding effects of just a little bit overtime, including reading. If you read 10 pages a day for 265 days a year (taking 100 days off) you will have read about ten 250-page books. By the end of the year Imagine how much you could learn about fitness, health, positivity, meditation, improving your work quality, getting better sleep, how-to accomplish a goal you may have, how -to do a project you’ve always wanted to do– literally anything! Take advantage of the information available to you, form your own opinions and reach your full potential.
6. Keep A Journal:
No one knows your feelings and emotions better than yourself. Document your feelings, frustrations & accomplishments as often as you can. I love journaling (even if it’s just a short paragraph) because when I look back on past entries, there is always something I can learn about my past self. Perhaps a past frustration isn’t even something I think about anymore, which aids in managing feelings about current frustrations. You can learn a lot from yourself and your experiences, but it’s not really possible to recall everything just by memory. Take time to journal and reflect to quiet your mind & wind down your day.
7. Let Go of the Past:
Is there something from your past that you are holding onto? It’s time to let that go. There is nothing more toxic to your body & soul than dwelling on something that is behind you- there’s no way to change what has already happened. Maybe you have tried and failed at so many diet and training plans in the past that you are still harboring a lot of self-doubt– let it go. You may have made a lot of health and fitness mistakes before, but so have a lot of people. What sets the bar is not how many mistakes you have made, but how you learn from them. Don’t keep making the same mistake and don’t keep going back to your old ways. Stop beating yourself over the head and let bygones be bygones. You’re life is too precious to waste & YOU are too important to be doubted.
No matter what your fitness goal is, it will not happen overnight. Learn to enjoy each and every workout and smile because you are YOU. Results will not magically appear overnight, so do not expect that. But with persistence, consistency and hard work, you will get there.
Smile, it’s universal and contagious.