Is 2021 your year to be a better you? If it is—if it's your year to step up to the plate and finally get that fitness goal into action—we have some of the best tips to help you reach that goal and overcome the hurdles.
When midnight strikes each New Year, millions begin their journey to reach that fitness goal. Unfortunately many do not succeed, but with the right strategies, you can be one of those who welcome summer with the beach body of their dreams.
2021 brings an interesting challenge into the mix with the pandemic still in full swing, so for some, hitting the local gym just isn't an option. Home workouts have become more popular than ever, and if you embrace the benefits of what home training brings to the table, you'll find it easier than ever to achieve your goals.
Here are three great tips that I wish I knew when I first started:
Tip 1: Meal Prep
If there's one thing you absolutely must do to have success with this journey, it's getting used to meal prepping. Those who attempt to just wing it or think they don't need to meal prep it because they're motivated enough to eat right will be the ones who'll be found in the pantry eating everything they see come February.
Find yourself a meal plan to reach your goals. While you can use an app on your phone to track what you eat when you move around your day, many find greater success if they actually know what they are going to eat already and at what time.
Things you will need to know:
- The days and times you plan to do your workouts
- The days and times you plan to do your meal prep
- The day and time you plan to shop for groceries- Instacart always helps
- The times of day you will eat your meals (allow for a little flexibility here if you have an irregular schedule)
- Meals should be spaced out approximately two to three hours apart.
- Your food intake and workout programs
- To calculate exact ounces, always measure food after it is cooked.
- Opt for fresh vegetables if possible, use frozen veggies if necessary, but try to avoid canned varieties.
- Avoid condiments and spices if possible as it can decrease your cravings over the long run. Approved flavor-boosters: Fresh lemon, Mrs. Dash seasoning, pepper.
Remember to keep it simple! to prevent you from getting overwhelmed, and you will feel the benefits of meal prepping!
Each of these elements are critical to your success, so don't leave anything out.
Tip 2: Find A Fitness Plan That You Enjoy
If you want to succeed in making this your very best year yet, you need to find a fitness plan for yourself that you will enjoy to do each and every day.
What does that mean?
"Not all type of workouts are meant for everybody." Don't be happy with just getting it done for the day. Find a program you enjoy doing. There are tons of fitness variation.
We all have exercises and a routine we lean toward because we are comfortable with them. I'm going to encourage you to force yourself out of your comfort zone. I'm not saying you can't do your favorite exercises or workouts anymore, but I am saying it would be very beneficial for you to try new things.
The gym is such a great place to practice this. Many athletes train in different forms of fitness. For example you have powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, mixed martial arts, and the list goes on and on. Find something you will enjoy and that way you finish your workout harder than you started and make sure you push your limits so you're better than you were the day before.
The good news is that once you find the right training style and adopt this frame of mind where you enjoy working out, you'll start to see it carry over to all areas of your life—and you will begin to excel in those, as well.
Tip 3: Find Some Training Partners
If you're looking for an actual action goal you can accomplish relatively easily that will help make 2021 your fittest year yet, try finding training partners.
Finding motivation can sometimes be the biggest barrier to achieving a consistent exercise routine. Most often when we speak about motivation we are talking about motivation that is self-driven, meaning it comes from within. This is called internal motivation. Something that is important to note is internal motivation can come and go and can be stronger or less apparent in different areas of our lives.
Luckily motivation does not always have to come from within to result in lifestyle change. Motivation that comes from outside sources is called external motivation and can motivate us to achieve goals. When it comes to exercise, external motivation in the form of a training partner can be extremely beneficial. Having someone who knows what your goals are, potentially shares similar goals and at the end of the day wants you to be successful and happy can be a huge source of motivation.
"Make it fun," by having a friend or a few friends as your workout partner will make exercising much more enjoyable. You can perform some serious workouts with your friends — without being too serious. Having fun while performing serious activities is no harm. In fact, it will make the atmosphere really enjoyable where you want to come back to do it again. Plus you'll always have a spotter.
When it comes to strength training day, you will always have a spotter if you have a dedicated training partner. You will never again have to count your own reps or approach a stranger and ask him to spot you. Your spotter will also keep an eye on your form as well as help you push through every rep when you didn’t think you could make it past a certain rep.
Remember to make 2021 a year that you'll excel in: Remember to go at your own pace. This is your journey, not someone else's. No one else can do this work for you.
Change takes time so don't get into the comparison game going, that's when we usually end up feeling worse about ourselves, and often this feeling can lead us to giving up entirely because we do not look like a certain person we see on instagram.
If you know in your heart you're doing the very best you can given what you're working with, that's all you need to know. Change will come! Take weekly pictures and compare week by week. When you see the small changes it will keep you motivated to keep going and going.
Keep these points in mind and take on 2021 with renewed energy, a better vision, and clarity that it will be your year!