For many people trying to get in shape, one of the biggest challenges is staying consistent. In those first few weeks, you are often inspired, motivated, driven and excited to be on a new journey that gets you to your goals and beyond.
But as the weeks go by and as the routine stays similar if not the same, it can be hard to maintain your motivation, stick to the plan and stay consistent as possible. As a result, you can fall off track at any moment and all of your initial hard work during the first few weeks could be for nothing. So, how do you make sure that you stick to the plan? What are the key, fundamental points behind long-term consistency for fat loss and toning?
Link Each Task To Your Goals
During your journey, there will be many times when you are not motivated to do a specific task. This could be anything from performing your training sessions, sticking to your diet, or not doing that extra bit cardio. It is very unlikely that you are going to feel motivated every day, no matter how much you are enjoying the process. However, when you go through these phases, the most important thing to do is remember why you started.
You will have goals, and not just that of looking and feeling good. You will have deep, emotional reasons behind wanting to achieve a better body shape.
Is it because your self-confidence is at an all-time low?
Is it because you want to run around with your kids all day and make them happy?
Is it because you’re tired of having low energy every day?
Is it because you want to achieve a particular goal or dream?
Is it because you want to change your overall outlook on life?
Something will really matter to you and that will be the trigger. Once you find that, you then need to link the tasks to your goals. For example, ‘if I don’t train today, I will not be closer of achieving my dream body shape, which is preventing me from achieving my goal of becoming a professional Rugby player.’ That is powerful. Find out your deep, emotional why, and relate every task to it. You will then find that your mind clicks into gear and you do what is required without hesitation.
Have A Plan
Before you start your fitness journey, it is absolutely essential that you have a plan of how you are going to get to where you want to be. There is no point in putting effort into your workouts if they are not suited to your goals, not to mention the fact that you can’t back it up with your diet and other important factors, such as sleep, stress, digestion and water intake. You need to know that your efforts will be rewarded and having a structured, effective plan is essential for that.
When it comes to the plan, there should be detailed workouts for weeks in advance, a personalised nutrition plan which features targets and plenty of other important information, such as example meals, example days of eating, and nutrition sources (protein, carbohydrates, fats), and methods for improving the aforementioned areas outside of training and exercise. Once you have a plan, you then have clarity in your mind as to what you need to do to reach your goal, which is vital.
Have Support and Guidance
When you are looking to change your body shape, it is important to understand that it will not be a straightforward journey. There will be bumps along the way, such as dips in motivation, confusion over certain topics, and a lack of expertise when it comes to making slight changes along the way. Going at it alone can be a lonely and complicated process, so having someone in your corner to keep you on track is going to be essential.
This does not always have to be a coach, it could be a friend or family member who knows their stuff when it comes to training and nutrition, but having one by your side is extremely important, not just from a knowledge perspective so that you get rewarded for your efforts, but also from a motivational standpoint. It is easy for your standards to dip if you are on your own, but a good coach will support, guide, and motivate you through the tricky moments that you will inevitably come across.
Track Your Progress
Consistency is stimulated by progress. If you are not seeing rewards for your efforts, whether it be fitting into clothes better, feeling stronger and having more energy in the first few weeks to seeing noticeable differences in your body composition (how you look) within a couple of months, you are going to feel frustrated and, in all likelihood, give up with the process.
This is why tracking your progress is so vital, you need to know if you are going in the right direction. Progress can be measured in multiple forms, ranging from pictures of your body to scale weight, energy levels, strength levels, how you feel, fitting into clothes, more self-confidence and a better relationship with food, along with many others. Celebrating the small wins and tracking progress is going to be vital for keeping you motivated and knowing if you are moving in the right direction.
Learn To Enjoy It
The last point is an important one – make sure you are loving the journey. Losing fat and changing your body shape through months, sometimes years of bad habits is going to take time, but it is a process you should enjoy if you are progressing every week. Of course, when you see progress, you will be encouraged to keep going, but the journey should be one that you relish and see as something that changes your life.
Although you should aim to enjoy working out, if you still don’t enjoy it, that is fine. However, you should enjoy the rewards you are getting, such as having more energy, feeling stronger, being in a better routine, enjoying your diet, feeling more flexible, noticing better posture, and having more self-confidence and positivity. All these things should help you enjoy the process, and when you combine that with noticeable physical progress, you will appreciate the positive changes in your life and you will never want to go back to old habits.
Staying consistent and sticking to the plan is challenging, but it is most definitely achievable. Make sure that you link each task to your goals, have a structured plan, have the right support and guidance, track your progress and enjoy the process. Write these points down, have them by your side, and action them if you ever struggle for motivation. Further down the line, you will then be grateful that you managed to stick to the process.
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