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Not a day goes by that I don’t see someone share a quote about ‘reaching for the stars’ on Facebook. Of course you should stretch yourself, but setting unrealistic goals can be bad for progress. Telling yourself you will go to the gym every day this month, for instance, just isn’t going to happen. And then you risk feeling like you’re failing when in fact you are doing a great job.
Take a look at your work, personal and social schedule for the coming weeks. Find good slots to squeeze your exercise in. Spot the days where you have the time in the evening to make a healthy salad to take to work the next day.
If you keep things convenient for your life you are more likely to succeed.
Make lots of notes, keep a fitness diary. Include your weight, diet and exercise (with details of time spent running, at what pace and weight and reps for resistance exercises).If something goes wrong or you miss a gym session, or fail to stick to a meal plan, write down what happened that caused this. You can also keep a daily note of your mood and how you are feeling, it can be really interesting to read back in your diary and identify patters, what worked and what didn’t and use it to inform better choices in the future.
Set a date
You will know from your job that if you don’t set a date, nothing will ever be completed. It’s the same in your personal life. Pick a weight and a date, or find a competition to enter.
Get support from others
So many other people are in the same boat as you, check Craiglist or a local directory for clubs or groups to join, either related to fitness and weight loss specifically or maybe just a fun team game.
Another great thing to do is externalise your goals. Tell friends or family members about them. You have supportive people all around you, who will help without even thinking about it once they know your goals. Whether it’s a second voice (after the one in your head) saying not to have that extra biscuit, or an invite for a walk people in your life will unconsciously step up and help out.
As you increase the amount of exercise you do, it’s important to make sure to stretch. Since it doesn’t burn calories it’s very easy to neglect, but if you don’t stretch properly you are at greater risk of an injury that might require days or weeks to heal from. Think of it as an insurance policy. Here are a few stretches to try.
Drink more water
Water is essential for the body to work correctly, and even more essential when you are losing extra by sweating. And hey, if you’re not sweating when you are exercising then you aren’t trying hard enough 😉
Drink 2-3 litres of water per day. Don’t be annoyed if you have to go to the loo a bit more often, you’re just keeping your insides clean.
After all of this exercise and dieting your body deserves a well earned rest. Well, not only deserves, it NEEDS it. Try and sleep as far before midnight as you can, as sleep earlier in the evening is more valuable. You should be able to get to sleep easily if you are tired from all that exercise you should be doing, but if you are struggling try setting an alarm a bit earlier in the morning and getting straight up rather than lazing around in bed for ages – you can start to move your sleep pattern to a healthier place.