Not so long ago (at the start of 2013), I wrote this:
If you’re looking for a sign: this is it. : about how you can achieve what you want to achieve.
Whether its weight loss, muscle gain, healthier eating, an improvement in your fitness, or training for events now is around the time when most people start to slip a little and give up on their goals or resolutions. Well please don’t!
Here are my top tips which I think will make the biggest difference in helping you to achieve your goals and succeed:
1. Set goals and record achievements and activity
When I set out to lose weight in 2008, I decided to eat more healthily and exercise more (see my weight loss journey here).
I decided to enter and train for three events: a 5k Santa Dash (Dec), a 10k (May) and a Sprint Triathlon in August. I set myself a goal of losing around 1lb a fortnight and managed to get to my goal weight within around 6 months (see more graphs here, more about my journey here and here’s how I lost the weight). Then with me training for more events, the weight fell off (without me even trying) until I managed to get to a very comfortable place maintaining my weight.
I raised money for charity, so had to train and do the events. I learned how to fit exercise into my life and I set up this blog to record my activity and allow me to share my experiences with others.
There are plenty of ways you can record your activity: online, in a book, on Facebook, in an app, on a blog. I recorded the activity I did in an excel spreadsheet and posted about my training on my blog… one things for sure, if you post on Facebook or your blog that you are going for a run at 6:30am in the morning, you usually HAVE to do it! Be motivated, you can do it!
Recording your training / miles / calories burned can be a really good motivator too… (as can the Nike Fuel band). Recording my miles is the reason I ran 37 miles in two days one year to round my running miles up to 1,300!
See here for more: Goal Setting and Motivation
2. Prepare, Eat Smart and Healthily
Eat healthily. If you don’t know what is healthy, learn about it. Read the Smarter Science of Slim (or get the free podcasts). Ask advice from nutritionists, from friends, family and colleagues. Go online. Don’t think about being on a ‘diet’. Diets don’t work! Think about fuelling your body. Giving yourself the best nutrition you can. Replace one unhealthy item a week, with a more healthy version.
Prepare your meals in advance. I do weekly food prep and keep all of my ‘tubs’ full of tasty food int he fridge until I need them. I also take plenty of food to work with me so that I’m not tempted to snack on crap that seems to pop up in the office. Change your habits and routines to allow you to make exercise a part of your like and help you become more fit and healthy.
3. Drink plenty of water
Drink water… it’s good for you. Don’t drink ‘Liquid Satan’ (ie fizzy drinks, diet coke / diet drinks). Consider what liquids you put in your mouth. Don’t drink empty calories. Think about how many calories are in that Starbucks, fruit juice or lucozade. Do you really need them? Consider ditching alcohol for good (water or soda water instead) – I’m now off it since May 2009 and loving it (or if that’s too much, just try a month off it, or a fortnight off it).
See here: Why Water is good for you
4. Exercise consistently and do exercise you enjoy
Be consistent is one of the best pieces of advice you can give someone who is trying to make exercise or healthy eating a way of life. There’s no point in going all out 3 days, then needing a week off to recover. Plan your training, include rest days, and vary days of cardio with strength work. Rest after long and hard sessions.
If you hate going on the rower…don’t do it. Choose something you do like: walking, circuits, bodypump, spin fit, Running Club. If you hate running, you’re maybe doing it wrong?
See here for how to run and enjoy it.
5. Rest and Recover
Rest and recovery is as important, if not more important than training and exercise. Make sure you rest when you need it and if you think you’re getting carried away with something like 6+ days exercise in a row… schedule rest days into your schedule. Aim for at least 1 day rest a week, preferably 2.
See more here: Rest and recovery: 5 posts
6. Be positive and believe in yourself
‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.’
And let me tell you, if you think you can, it makes it a hell of a lot easier.
Believe in yourself, because you can do it.
And if that little devil the voice that doubts you comes back in your head… get some Mantras to scare it away:
- You can do it
- Run strong
- I feel great
- Stay Strong
- This is easy
- Easy peazy
- I feel fine
- Have Fun
- Keep Going
Take my Super Human Test to see which areas you can improve in.
Improve one, two or a few things at a time, and in a years time you might be a different person! See how I corrected my bad habits here.
7. Get social and get support from others
Friends, family and work colleagues: let them know your goals. Get them on board too and get support from them. You can meet others and share your experience exercising at Running Clubs, classes at your leisure centre.
8. Learn: from books, online, others.
I’m always looking to learn more – from books, websites, and other people. Running, Circuits, Strength, Spin, Food, Nutrition, Habits and Routine, Positive Mindset, Will Power, Rest and Recovery.
If you want to find out if I’ve written about a subject on my blog, just type a word or a few words into the Search bar on the right: ie: motivation, marathons, weight loss, how to run faster, coaching, you can do it…. and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me and I’ll be happy to help.
See my list of my favourite books here.
9. Everything in Moderation
Eating, drinking, working, running, metafit, sleeping, training, treats… do everything in moderation. 🙂 And if you do go over the top with anything… reign yourself in and STOP what you’re doing. If it isn’t good for you… change the habit.
10. Have Fun!
One of the most important things that I’ve learned about running is that you have to be able to enjoy yourself to keep coming back for more. If running is hard and you hate it… try to take the pressure off a bit.
Slow your pace down and try to enjoy yourself and the experience of running in such a great and amazing event. Make it a social thing, a fun thing a thing you do with your family and friends.
See more here: How to run and have fun!
The observant among you may have realised there were actually 11 top tips above… I wrote the list and I couldn’t decide which one to take out as I think they’re all good! Let me know what you think. 😀