There is a downloadable form to fill in at the end, so don’t worry if this article gets a bit confusing!
1 Set Goals
This is a good starting point – what do you want to achieve?
Be specific, for example, you might write down
“I want to lose 2 inches from my waist, by December 20th, 2016”
Make all goals “SMARTER”
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do
Evaluate your goals once a month, tweak them if necessary but always make a note of why you’ve had to change them.
Have 1 or 2 “Target Goals” – these relate to the end result, e.g. having a 32 inch waist by December 20th.
The Target Goals are the “What”.
Have 3 “Process Goals” – these are the “How”
So you want a 32 inch waist – how will you achieve this?
3 Process goals might include:
1. Eliminate sugar from my diet completely
2. Go for a walk every day
3. Go to boxercise class every Wednesday
Finally, to keep motivated, write down why you want to achieve your goals.
For example, you may want to improve your health for the benefit of your family.
2. Prepare for & Eliminate Obvious Pitfalls
List all the potential hurdles, barriers & pitfalls; then list the solutions.
For example, your hurdles might include:
People offering you unhealthy food –
Solution – Say “no thanks” in a highly assertive manner
People not being supportive / making fun of your diet
Solution – Laugh and just see it as a bit of banter. If necessary explain that you are doing it for the benefit of yourself and your family and that their support would be appreciated.
Hurdles are things that will almost certainly happen, and you will have to jump or fail.
Barriers, you can sidestep these completely.
For example a barrier might be having unhealthy food in the house.
Solution – give it to charity.
Pitfalls are obvious things you shouldn’t do.
For example – Buying unhealthy food.
Solution – Make a healthy shopping list
3. Have a Specific Plan
Unfortunately, deciding that you’re going to get fit, and leaving it at that, often fails.
You need a plan, with specific rules set out.
As outlined above, write down your goals and process goals.
These should form the foundation for your plan.
Write down what you need to succeed.
Everything essential – e.g. a chosen form of exercise, a set of diet guidelines, gym kit etc.
Get as organised as possible
Use a spreadsheet if you have to – write down a healthy main meal for each evening & plan what exercise you will do each week.
Leave an area to write comments and feedback for yourself.
How will you eat healthy? Get this organised.
Will you prepare batches and freeze food for each day of the week?
Will you cook fresh each day?
Will you prepare your own lunch?
4. Empower Yourself
Write down, and then answer these questions:
Do you think you have everything you need to succeed?
If not, what else do you require?
Do you think this plan will work?
If so, what is it that you like about the diet and exercise programme you have been given?
If not, what are you concerned about?
Are you convinced that this plan is worth your while? – Is getting in shape worth the effort and commitment?
This is your programme. Not your trainer’s programme. You must take ownership of the programme and be happy with it.
Is there anything you would like to know more about, or anything you would change before taking ownership? If so, write these down, research the answers or ask a professional
Finally, write down a positive affirmation or mantra that you will use whenever doubt starts to creep into your mind.
This could be something as simple as
“You can do this and it is worth it”
5. Access Expert Fitness Advice & Support
No, I’m not trying to sell you online personal training (not yet, but maybe down the road I will); you can get great support and information (although take it all with a pinch of pink salt), from Facebook groups and online forums.
Some websites and forums to have a look at:
Just beware of the groups and meatheads that share lion memes and selfies all the time. They won’t really help too much.
Download a pre-exercise questionnaire here
Contact me if you do need any additional help (I changed my mind, ask me about online fitness training!).
You could also have a read of my free book and have a look at this infographic for some nutrition basics: