Set Yourself up for Success

motivationHey Folks!

I wanted to share a few tips with you that I use to help set yourself up for success in achieving your fitness and health goals. Sometimes it’s really tough to stay motivated, but by changing your mindset and incorporating a few of these ideas, I can pretty much guarantee you will be on the road to success:

1) Plan your meals – This concept has been very new to me recently while prepping for my competition. This advice has definitely helped me out the most! I plan my meals, bulk shop for all my food at Costco, and prep cook on Sundays so I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. Some of my favorites like I’ve mentioned in previous posts are:

-Chicken Breast
-Brussels Sprouts
-Cubed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, yummm!
-Brown Rice
-Turkey Muffins

If you get bored of the same old stuff, get creative and try new recipes, make it fun. It doesn’t have to be boring 🙂

2) Write your workouts for the week – I started doing this about a year ago and man, o man has it been extremely helpful! Instead of going to the gym and walking around having NO clue what I’m gonna do that day; I go into the gym with an action plan, I know what equipment I need, I even know what time I should get there if I want a guaranteed spot on a squat rack! I don’t waste time, I keep my heart rate elevated the whole time, and I can look at the bigger picture as far as what goals I want to accomplish. Certain days I target certain body parts, or I’ll have my cardio days, two-a-days, heavy lifting, and resistance training days.

3) Prepare your gym bag the day/night before – When you pack your gym bag the night or day before, there is NO excuse for not getting your ass in the gym! Have everything prepared! Lifting gloves, post workout protein, resistance bands, jump rope, running shoes, outfit…. you name it. This has been extremely helpful lately. Waking up at 4am is tough enough, but waking up at 4am AND having to think about what I need to pack or eat before I head out the door is even tougher. Make it easier on yourself, preparation is key.

4) Have your friends and family hold you accountable – Tell everyone about your health and fitness goals, share WHY you want to improve in these areas. Ask your friends and family to hold you accountable. The more people that you tell, the less likely you are to slip up on your goals, because there are that many people that have their eyes on you. Everyone I work with, all my friends and family know that I have this competition and are in full support. I have never eaten a cookie from work or anything that hasn’t been on my diet plan because I have everyone watching me.

5) Follow inspiring and motivational social media – Ahhhh, this is a favorite of mine. I ‘like’ any fitness related page on my Facebook and follow so many fitness accounts and athletes on my Instagram. They really inspire me! It’s awesome watching other people’s transformations and journeys. It reminds me that if they can do it, I can do it too. I want to see the results other people are seeing! It’s a community, everybody encourages each other.

6) CHALLENGE yourself, step outside of your comfort zone – DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET COMFORTABLE! Step outside your comfort zone as much as possible, challenge your mind and your body. Try something new whenever the opportunity presents itself. No shortcuts, strive to be sore, strive to exhaust yourself! Hate running? Run more until you love it. Afraid of lifting? Lift heavier and build those curves. Horrible balance, don’t want to embarrass yourself on the TRX (this one’s me)? Get on the TRX, incorporate it into your workouts as often as possible. You see real results when you are challenged.

7) Weigh yourself – Yep. That’s right, you heard it. It’s not always fun, BUT it shows you where you are at with your goals and helps you focus on areas you need to improve in. Whether it’s gaining weight or losing weight, the scale is a good starting point. If weight doesn’t matter to you, don’t worry about it. Overall body composition, feel good, and muscle leanness is my goal, so I try not to worry about what the scale says too much…. for now 😉

8) Take advantage of free apps that help track diet and exercise
I’m a huge supporter of ‘myfitnesspal’. It’s pretty much the greatest lil’ tool at the tip of your fingers. It allows you to pick your own macro ratios, has a HUGE database of food and recipes with accurate nutritional values, and allows you to find the nutritional facts of your very own recipes! I like to plan my meals the night before so I stay within my calorie count and macros. It also allows you to add your exercise for the day, granting you more food to eat!

9) Set attainable goals – Slow and steady wins the race! Setting attainable goals will set you up for success. Setting ‘unrealistic’ goals with only set you up for failure. Start small and progress, you have all the time in the world. Besides, you are creating a life style, not doing a crash or fad diet.

10) Research, research, RESEARCH! – I do this all day, every day! I LOVE researching fitness and health. I’m always reading articles about nutrition, workouts, the mental and physical benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, and so much more. Got questions? Do the research! We live in an age where information is at our finger tips, when we have questions, there are answers.

11) Take progress pictures – This one has recently become a new concept for me. Sometimes I get disappointed when I’m not seeing immediate results, OR I am making progress but I just can’t physically SEE it by looking in the mirror. Take progress photos and look at them next to each other! They really do help! Sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves, we are our own worse critic. We need to relax and celebrate the small changes as well as the big changes! This is a life long journey after all 🙂

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