So you’ve set out to be an extraordinary achiever this year. You’re visualizing success in various areas of your life and that is the first step to combat (and ultimately knock out) your goals. Congratulations on taking the first step to a new you! One of the best ways to ensure you continue to achieve your goals month after month is to start now, put in a lot of hard work and dedicate yourself (you can thank Money Mayweather for this). It’s normal to have feelings of procrastination creep up on you and deteriorate your willpower, but with these 6 simple hacks, you’re going to be well on your way to a happier and healthier 2016!
1. Start Now
Stop waiting for the perfect time to start, it’s never going to come! Life isn’t perfect and there will always be something “standing in our way”. The trick is, you have to find a way to get around it and, most importantly, want to get around it.
We’re sure you’re familiar with some of most common excuses that seem to pop up when it comes to starting a new fitness routine: “I’m too tired”, “I’m too out of shape”, “Im not prepared”, “I’m too busy”. But guess what all of those things are? You’re right. Excuses. Remember, there is a reason you have set this goal and the time to start is right here, right now.
Dig deep and remember why you chose this goal in the first place. Was it because you want to be fit? To live a healthier life? Or maybe you want to prepare for a race? Whatever made you make this decision in the first place is why you need to keep doing it. You made this decision now it’s time to stick it out and see it through. Even if you start small, you’re still starting and that’s all that matters.
2. Set Goals
Setting small, achievable goals is something that’s going to help keep you on track and keep you motivated to keep going. Everyone’s goals will be different depending on what you’d like to accomplish and by when. For example, my goal this year is to remain under 15% body fat and run a sub 80 minute half marathon. When I find myself procrastinating and am need of a bit more motivation, I’ll head over to my favourite Instagram page or search YouTube for an athlete that inspires me. Seeing their amazing progress helps me stay on track, reminds me what I’m working towards and gives my motivation the boost it needs.
If you’re lost as to what you should start working towards, here are a few goals you can set for yourself to attain a healthier you:
- Weight goal.
- Setting a goal weight is a great way to motivate yourself daily. While you shouldn’t focus on the number on the scale, it can definitely help you track your progress and encourage you to keep going.
- Finish a race.
- Setting a smaller goal like finishing a race or even just running on the treadmill for 10 minutes is a great way to help you feel accomplished. Achieving small goals will keep you motivated and keep you moving towards your big goal.
- BMI goal.
- Having a goal Body Mass Index of 18.5–24.9 is a great way to start your fitness goal. BMI relies less on your actual weight and more on reducing your body fat, which causes you to worry less about the number on the scale, and more about your overall fitness.
- Distance goal.
- Distance goals are also a great way to keep motivated. Whether you’re running, walking or a combination of the two, seeing how far you’ve gone is a great way to keep motivated, and see how far you’ve come.
3. Track Your Progress
If you’re like two-thirds of all Americans, it’s likely you own a smart phone, and that makes it extra easy to stay on top of your 2016 fitness goals. There are a ton of awesome apps in iTunes and the Google Play store that are designed to track your progress, keep you motivated and help you reach your overall fitness goals. A couple that we love are My Fitness pal, RunKeeper, the Apple Watch app, Fit bit’s app, Withings, Nike+ and Map My Fitness.
While it seems there is a never-ending list of apps you can try, the key is to find the one that works best for you. For example, would you like to track your outdoor runs? Map My Run would be a great choice. Or maybe you’re looking to track what you eat on a daily basis? My Fitness Pal is a great app for counting calories and making sure you’re eating enough for your workout routine.
Personally I use good ol’ Google Docs to track my workouts, Run Keeper for my runs, and the Withings scale for my weight. Food has always been personal battle to track but this year I plan to use the Calorie counter built into My Fitness Pal.
4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
So you missed 6AM yoga or spin class today (or at least I did on Tuesday…), don’t beat yourself up – it’s no big deal! We all have lives (and really comfy beds) so this bound to happen at some point. While you don’t want this to become a habit, you do have to give yourself a break when it happens. If you need to, you can even take a day or week off to recoup and re-energize.
Take this time to review your goals and tweak or realign your approach. Maybe you need to cut your training down to 3 days a week instead of 5 for it to fit in realistically with your lifestyle. That’s fine! You’re more likely to succeed if your fitness routine doesn’t feel like a chore, wear you out completely or take up your entire life. Tweak it until it works for you and then stick with it. And when you miss a workout, remember to remind yourself it’s just one day.
5. Find a Friend or New Scenery
A new companion with similar goals will help hold you accountable for your actions and push you beyond your minds preset limits. Find someone who enjoys the same things as you and also has a goal to stick to. You can not only help encourage each other to do better each day, but you’ll get to share in each other’s victories as well.
A new gym may offer a fresh experience with new people, new classes, new equipment, and an overall welcoming feeling. Or you could try a new sport outside with friends. We recently took up Tennis (that’s part of the Data Nerds team in the photo above) and while no one turned out to be the next Roger Federer, we all had a great time and got a good workout in the process!
6. Focus On Nutrition
Dr. Perlmutter is a renowned neurologist and author with several international best seller books. I recently read Brain Maker and Grain Brain which vastly opened my eyes to how our micro biome (gut) effects everything we do. To be our healthiest self and achieve our goals, we need to be aware of what is powering our body. Cleaning up your diet and eating more whole foods will drastically improve your mood, energy, and ability to maintain stress levels. All of these are important factors when it comes to maintaining our willpower when the going gets tough. The healthier your body and brain are, the easier it will be to ward off those sugar cravings or late night snack binges.
Here are a few of my favourite nutrition hacks to keep your body running optimally:
- Increase daily water intake. Always drink a glass of water before eating a meal.
- Reduce omega-6 intake and increase omega 3.
- Cook with coconut oil instead of butter or Olive Oil.
- Remove added sugar, stop drinking soda/pop.
- Always eat breakfast.
- Eat more vegetables.
So there you have it. 6 ways to keep your willpower strong in 2016 and stick to your health and wellness goals!