In today's complicated and sometimes over-analyzed society we can feel a bit overwhelmed. I know, I know -- that's an understatement. When this happens in the world of fitness it can leave people wanting to just throw their hands in the air and give up. Then a few months later they "start over" again. What if you could finally find SUCCESS in the fitness world? First, you would need to DEFINE what success means to you. That's right. WHAT IS FITNESS SUCCESS? Some people may think that competing in a figure competition or bodybuilding competition and placing would be successful. Other people might think a six pack is what defines their success. And then others are still stuck on that number on the scale -- once they reach a number, then and only then can they deem themselves to have found success. I'm here to tell you that all of that is bullcrap. Yep, a huge pile of it too. FITNESS success is NOT defined by being a professional bikini competitor, or reaching an all time low on the scale, or having a six pack. And may I also add -- it's also not established by the BMI charts either (I hate using BMI as a way to establish your health). Success in fitness should rather be described and defined as having something you are passionate about that helps you to live a healthier life, can dedicate yourself too and feel happy and healthy in your own skin. Once we start viewing fitness more along these terms - then it is easier to find success and meaning in living a healthy life! There is no end in the definition of FITNESS SUCCESS. It's finding a healthy habit that you can stick too and find enjoyment in! With that being said, I'd like to share with you my personal TOP THREE tips for finding this success in fitness.
1. FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE So you tried running -- and it was miserable for you. You hated it. And you could never keep yourself motivated enough to keep at it. You tried Yoga - maybe it just wasn't your thing - you're more of a loud, outspoken type of person. You tried Zumba - and your hips just don't shake like that. I get it - I'm with you. You tried Bootcamp - and you couldn't stand the instructor ;) You tried just "going" to the gym - but found yourself walking around and just guessing what machines to utilize next -- and how exactly to use those machines....yeah, we won't go there. So you've tried all of these things and hated all of them. Then keep trying until you find something you genuinely enjoy. I'm not saying you have to LOVE the shortness of breath and sweat that goes with it. But, if you love DANCING - then give Zumba a try! Or give a line-dancing class a shot! If you used to be a cheerleader or dancer -- give a choreographed class a try. If you have never done anything active in your life -- walk your dog! Find something that suites your fitness level and go from there. But don't throw in the towel. There are literally one million and a half ways of exercising. If it makes you sweat and leaves you short of breath - then chances are you'll see some results! Start slow and then build yourself up to the next thing that you find enjoyment in! 2. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER Whether it's your husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend from work, daughter, niece, sister, brother, mother or cousin twice removed. Having someone to meet at a certain place at a certain time every day or a few times a week will definitely help you stay on track! As humans we tend to be okay with letting ourselves down more so than letting someone else down. Plus, everything is better with friends! Use it as your "ME" time (this is super imperative by the way -- if you haven't established your "ME" time yet, get on it). Schedule it -- make it stick -- and make it a priority. You'll most likely be helping a friend out too! Hold one another accountable and get into the habit of showing up. Heck - maybe your accountability partner becomes someone in the class you take! I know lots of women who have established friendships inside my class and they continue following up with each other. They set one another up for the class, and if one doesn't show up - they get worried that something serious happened. I have about 60 accountability partners currently -- and boy do they keep me in check! 3. ESTABLISH YOUR "WHY" and MAKE IT A PRIORITY This tip will come easy if you have mastered the first two! If you haven't done so already, you need to sit down, get a pen and paper and scribble down reasons why exercise is important to you. Do this -- PRONTO. Once you have it down on paper and you re-read it a few times it really starts to sink in. Maybe your blood work showed you have elevated cholesterol levels. Maybe your blood pressure is high. Maybe heart disease runs in your family. Maybe you want to feel good in your own skin and have a sense of self confidence. Maybe you want to set an example for your kids! Maybe you want to feel strong and help others to feel strong by being a role model. Whatever your WHY is -- write it down and don't forget it! Making fitness a priority piggy-backs off of your "WHY". If your health and your why isn't strong enough to make this a priority - then you didn't dig deep enough! Making this time a priority means -- no dinner dates, no meetings, no conference calls, no events, etc. It's kind of like brushing your teeth -- you would never skip that step of your day. Why would you skip exercising your heart and lungs? This needs to be written in pen on your calendar. For example: Every Tuesday and Thursday - no matter what - I will be at Cardio Kickboxing at 4:15. Dinner at 5? I'll be there but will be late because I'm busy working on my health -- so that I can live longer -- so that I can see my grandchildren graduate from high school and enjoy my retirement years in my home rather than the hospital. Get where I'm going with this? The more you make your exercise time (which, again, doubles as your "ME" time) a priority, the better results and more success you will see. You can't put that time on the bottom of your list and expect to be successful. A great way to do a reality check with yourself is to sit back and recognize how often you cancel on YOURSELF. And what are the reasons? Trip to the ER? Okay - fair. Going out for drinks with friends?.......nope. Not okay. Your schedule SHOULD revolve around the time you have set aside to take care of yourself. Otherwise, you won't be there to take care of anyone else and you certainly won't be around to enjoy this beautiful life we've been blessed with. I hope you can take these three tips and put them to use. There is never a day too late or too soon to start. Get yourself outside, or in the gym, or into a Kickboxing class! Press play on that workout DVD, or sign up for a class at the studio. Today is your day!