Starting something new can be scary, cause anxiety, and be short-lived if we don’t know where to begin. Especially if you plan to start your fitness journey. To be honest, we all strive, in part, to be “healthy” so we can accomplish some superficial goal.
Maybe your goal is to eat or train better for health reasons, but I’ve never met someone that said they WOULDN’T like to look better in tight pants. It’s a great motivator for many, but also causes a lot of anxiety for beginners.
In a world built around trying to look and feel better, you have to learn how to ignore the desire to look a certain way and just get started. Here are a few tips for getting started on your journey to better health and fitness. Don’t think about it too much, just read this and dive in.
If you don’t enjoy reading, skip the descriptions and head straight to the bottom of the page. Otherwise, get some more info below.
The best way to start something new is to be a blank slate
If we try to compare something new to too many other things we already know, we hinder our progress. The goal in starting something new, is to expand our skill set. Why start over with something you’re comfortable with? You couldn’t, you would already know too much about it. It’d be like trying to watch a great movie the second time through and not think about the crazy plot twist the entire time. Part of the fun is finding out after the process has some time to unfold. Just enjoy the discomfort, it’s more satisfying to look back at the struggle and realize how far you’ve come than to have it handed over.
The second point I’d like to make is on finding guidance
We can’t become great at something completely alone – especially if it’s something that’s been studied and refined for centuries. Don’t waste the time. Find guidance in your endeavor and you’ll blow past whatever you thought possible at the start of your pursuit. In this case, find a coach, trainer, or nutrition expert to get you started on the right path (like myself). We can help you through the entire process from start to finish, its what we do every day. Most of us truly enjoy helping other people accomplish their goals, it’s why we tediously study the body and its systems. One of the best feelings for me is watching people smile in shock and say, “holy shit! I didn’t know I could do that.” We’re all capable of more than we think, but not alone.
Here are 7 steps to help get your fitness journey started:
1. Set your goal
You can’t have a plan if you don’t have an end goal. this is where you decide what you want to accomplish. Fat loss, muscle gain, increased endurance, lowered cholesterol, or maybe just to feel and perform better overall. Pick a general goal, then define it further by figuring out what you can measure for that goal. I.E, If the goal is to put on muscle, decide to look at your lean body mass once a week.
2. Come up with a rough plan of action
You can’t plan your fitness or health to the minute, but you need a legitimate time frame. Set a reasonable time frame to reach your goal, it keeps you accountable. If it’s to build more muscle, maybe you decide to do it in 4 weeks. Then, layout a calendar with workouts for the week, a meal plan with the necessary caloric intake and macro-nutrient count for you, and make sure you have a time and place to train.
3. Find guidance through a coach, trainer, or expert in the field
If you wan’t to be able to just focus on reaching your goal, get a coach to guide you through each step. Find someone who knows what they’re doing, and genuinely wants to help you move forward. More expensive isn’t always better, but knowledgeable is very important. A skilled coach will help you find things that you need, as well as things you enjoy. If you hate every aspect of your journey, you (or your coach) are doing it wrong. Put getting a coach into perspective, if you wanted legal work done, you’d probably find a lawyer, not YouTube, “how to be a lawyer,” and hope for the best.
4. Start forming habits that will strengthen your discipline
I’d recommend reading The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg (or at least listen on audio). It’s a great guide on forming and breaking habits to more efficiently reach your goals. Start by doing simple things like set alarms to drink water, eat, or go to bed. If you need to start eating healthier start by avoiding routes that take you by fast food joints. Simple changes become as routine as brushing your teeth. Start slow – this won’t happen overnight.
5. Review your progress
You need to keep track of your progress. You can’t tell if you’re moving forward if you have nothing to compare. How much fat have you lost? Roughly how many calories are you consuming? How many hours a week are you training? Is it all too much, or too little? Only you can tell by keeping track of your progress. Apps like MyFitness Pal link up to your trainerize account and are great tools to keep you plowing forward.
6. Set new goals every little bit, typically between 1-6 weeks
Depending on your goal, set periods where you sit down and evaluate what to do next. If you’ve tracked your progress, you can easily decide where to go next. Maybe you’ve gained all the muscle mass you want in 4 weeks, your new goal could be to lean out a bit over the 4 weeks to follow. If you don’t change or at least redefine your goals every little while, you’ll hit a plateau. It’s a frustration that’s easily avoidable.
7. Enjoy your accomplishments, but put in more work
Take some time once in a while to enjoy your progress. Remember, the process doesn’t have to suck all the time. The goal is always to feel better and be happier. Don’t forget to have fun. Just don’t linger, you may lose all that you’ve worked for.
If you’ve found this helpful and want to get start on your fitness goals, reach out to me at EDP. Leave comments or questions and subscribe. Now get out there and train!
Like I said, don’t think too much, just dive in!