As a functional trainer, I’ve helped countless people achieve fitness goals that they thought were impossible, from getting people who could barely walk back on their bike to helping people struggling with their weight live a happier, healthier life.
But, unfortunately, there have been a few who, despite my best efforts, just couldn’t keep up. With so many people recently taking up New Year’s resolutions, this seemed like the perfect time to share the qualities of those people who achieved their fitness goals.
Focus on short term goals
When you start out, it’s easy to feel inspired by thinking “this time next year, I want to be able to run this far or fit in this outfit”, but aiming for abstract, long-term goals is an easy way to set yourself up for failure. In my experience, people who set a year goal and nothing else will fail about 60% of the time.
A better option is to set yourself short term goals for each month, without worrying too much about what’s next. This way you maintain a constant sense of progress, have achievements to feel proud of and will still be on track to your larger objectives without them seeming so far away.
Give yourself something to look forward to
For some people, exercise is its own reward, but for most it’s a means to an end. Exercise for its own sake can start to feel like a slog, so aim towards something positive so that there’s a bit of light on the horizon instead of just another day at the gym.
For example, you might have a skiing holiday later in the year you want to be fit for, a couple of weeks booked somewhere sunny where you want to feel confident on the beach or a wedding where you want to look your best for the photos.
Be disciplined outside of exercise
The people I see who are most successful are those who take a holistic view to fitness. If you combine your fitness objectives with a balanced diet, go easy on the drink and get plenty of sleep, you’ll have a much easier time making progress.
However, the people who can’t say no to another glass of port or a serving of Eton Mess tend to be the types who do say no when it’s time to see me early in the morning.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun; after all, the point of fitness is to be able to enjoy life more, just make sure that the discipline that you apply to your exercise regime is backed up by a bit of discipline at the dinner table or the bar, otherwise you’ll be making things harder on yourself than they should be.
Accept that you will fail sometimes
Whether it’s making a mistake in the gym or missing a week of exercise because you were just too busy, everyone makes fitness mistakes from time to time. Even trainers like me can still mess up a repetition or go a little too easy on ourselves – especially in winter.
The important thing is to not become discouraged: shrug it off, learn from it if you can and refocus on your short term goals. One of the biggest advantages of having a trainer such as myself is having someone to coach you through your mistakes and pick you up when you’re feeling down.
There’ll be hurdles that you can’t get over, plateaus that don’t seem to end and any number of personal challenges that get in the way. Accept this going in, be realistic about the difficulty of what you’re taking on and you’ll find it much easier to stay motivated when times are tough.
Book some time with a trainer
I know, of course I would say that. But having someone to motivate you, hold you accountable and teach you proper form and technique is one of the biggest advantages you can give yourself in achieving your fitness goals. Even trainers have trainers; no matter how good you are, there’s no replacing that second pair of eyes.
If you’d like to learn more about our training services or book an appointment with me, feel free to get in touch at 020 7937 1628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.