Whether the goal is to lose a few kilos, drop 2 or more dress sizes, run our fastest 5k, or do 20 consecutive Push-Ups, we all have fitness goals we want to smash this year. That’s why I want to share my 2018 top 10 fitness tips with you.
I hope you find 2-3 tips applicable to your fitness goals.
Let’s dive in!
My 2018 Top 10 Fitness Tips
1. Decide What Matters
We treat as priority whatever we consider important. Deciding what matters and what doesn’t will give you a clear direction on where to invest your time and energy. What areas of your life do you want to make priorities in 2018, and how does being fit and healthy impact those areas?
Does being able to climb the stairs without getting out of breath matter in the scheme things you want to achieve in 2018?
Do you really give a care about not going a dress size up in 2018?
Does it matter to you to have a healthy blood pressure, and a stable blood sugar level?
Be clear about your priorities and focus on what’s important to you.
2. Don’t Argue For Your Limitations
We all know someone who has a thousand and one arguments for why they’re incapable of doing something.
They say things like, “I’m not really fat, I’m just big-boned.” “Everyone in my family is big.” “I’ve got a very demanding job, I don’t have time for exercise.” “I have a sweet tooth, I have been like that all my life.” “Healthy foods are too expensive, I cannot come and break a bank because I want to eat healthy foods.”
While we can’t dismiss the validity of these limitations, we must also realise that arguing for our limitations doesn’t serve us well and that we have more power/control than we think.
So, instead of arguing for your limitations, find a solution that will move you in the direction you want to go. At the end of the day, it all comes down to making time and space for what we consider important.
3. Don’t Pitch Your Tent With The Resolution Crowd
The resolution crowd is easy to identify. They announce their new year resolutions to friends and family.
In excitement, they join all the weight loss groups on Facebook. They start a new diet programme and join the gym or start an at-home workout. They’re pumped in January, but as February approaches they lose momentum and start coasting along, and eventually drop out.
If you want to reach your fitness goal in 2018, you must go from making resolutions to making habits. New year resolutions are nothing unless you back them with actions all year round.
4. Flip Consistency On Its Head
When it comes to exercise and healthy eating, some of us think we can’t be consistent.
We want to be consistent in eating healthy foods, but we find ourselves doing the opposite. We wish we can be regular exercisers, but we can’t help but sit on our butts all day every day.
So we conclude that we suck at being consistent. I think that conclusion is not an accurate reflection of who we are and what we are capable of doing.
We’re good at being consistent, we just need to flip consistency on its head.
See, if you can be consistent in eating junk foods, you can be consistent in eating foods that’ll nourish and heal your body! You’re capable of using your consistency for your good.
To start, choose one thing you’d like to be consistent in, not two things, just one.
Your one thing can be: Do an exercise that’ll make you break a sweat for 10-15 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week, or replace one of your three heavy meals with a bowl of vegetable salad.
The goal is to focus on that one action until it becomes your habit — something you do without even thinking.
5. Embrace Repetition
How do you make a habit stick? By practising it over and over.
Repetition, they say, is the mother of mastery. Those who are successful in any field are not necessarily smarter than the rest of us, they just put in more repetitions than most of us do.
If you want to be the person who exercises regularly, you have to get up and exercise regularly. If you want to be the person who eats more vegetables, you have to eat more vegetables. If you want to be the person who has less stress, you have to stop sweating over small stuff.
Every day do more of what you want to become.
6. Embrace Progressive Mastery
One of the mistakes I see people make when it comes to fitness or weight loss is that they try to do too much too soon. That, my friend, is a recipe for failure. Fitness is about progression, you must be able to walk before you can run.
Progressive mastery is about mastering a skill (or habit) before adding a new skill.
For example, changing everything about how you eat and move can be daunting if you try to change everything at once. You can reduce or eliminate the difficulty by focusing on one thing at a time, and introduce another habit after you’ve mastered the first habit.
7. Leave More Footprints and Less Buttprints
“Motion is lotion. Things get worse when we stop moving.” ~Chris Freytag
“We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising.” ~Dr Kenneth Cooper
Make it your goal to leave less buttprints and more footprints in the sand of 2018.
8. Get Rid of Toxic Foods
In 2018, you have to look beyond calories in calories out.
Food is not just calories, food is information. Everything we eat is an input that triggers the complex system, called the human body, to give an output. If we’re ingesting more toxic foods than the system can process, we risk a crash in the system.
We’re constantly bombarded with toxins. From environmental toxins to the ones in our personal care products, these things are everywhere. That’s why it’s imperative that we limit our exposure to toxic foods.
Added sugar in foods and beverages is not your friend. Nutrition experts agree that sugar is the most toxic food there is. Get rid off sugar, or reduce your intake to the barest minimum — it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.
Added sugar in foods comes under different names, therefore, pay attention to your food labels whenever you buy packaged foods.
Here are some of the names to look out for:
● Agave Nectar
● Barley Malt Syrup
● Corn sweetener
● Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
● Dehydrated Cane Juice
● Fruit juice concentrate
● High-fructose corn syrup
● HoneyInvert sugar
● Malt syrup
● Maple syrup
● Raw sugar
● Rice Syrup
● Sorghum or sorghum syrup
9. Know Your Body
Everybody’s body is different. What works for your friend may not work for you because your friend’s body is different from yours. Sometimes, we’re looking for someone to hand us the magic formula because that’s easier than doing the job of knowing our own bodies.
See, nobody can understand your body like you do because you’re the one living in it. Invest time to know and understand your body by yourself. Don’t relinquish that power to another human. Be in charge. Own your power.
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of “carbs are bad” “fat is evil” “animal protein is the devil”, “grains are not healthy for us because our palaeolithic ancestors didn’t eat grains, do a self-experiment to understand how your body reacts to stuff!
How to do a self-experiment
Step 1: For 10-14 days, eliminate the foods or food groups that are known to be pro-inflammatory.
Step 2: After the elimination phase, re-introduce those foods one by one again, allowing for a few days of re-introduction per food or food group. Pay attention to how your body reacts to the re-introduction of each food or food group.
Step 3: Decide whether you should eliminate that particular food from your diet.
10. Play The Long-term Game
The miracle isn’t in what you do for two weeks in January, the miracle is in what you do consistently over an extended period.
Don’t be distracted by fads and trends that’ll come in 2018. Dig your heels into the ground because this is a lifestyle.
This year, be okay with your friends who are jumping on “the latest and the greatest diet programme” losing weight faster than you.
Think long-term and make patience your friend. Remember, the fastest person does not always win the race, one needs to be able to sustain the speed to be crowned the victor.
That’s how to reach and surpass your fitness goals in 2018.