How To Keep Your Fitness Resolutions

The best ways to keep your fitness resolutions

It seems like every year people make a New Years Resolution to exercise more or to live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, people often fail in keeping those resolutions. Personally, I’m not a big fan of New Years Resolution.

The way I see it is if you have a goal that’s important to you, why wait till January 1st. You can start working on that goal right away. If setting a goal for the New Years is what works for you, I’m here to support you. This post will be geared towards fitness but the principles can apply to any other area of your life.

Fitness Resolution Guide

Start Small: If you haven’t been active, don’t expect to be able to do 1 hour workouts 5 times a week. It’s not sustainable unless someone forces you to. Once you set a big goal for the year, focus on small things you can do to move towards that goal. Once you build the habit of supporting that goal, you can move on to bigger things.

An example is if you want to simply make exercising a habit. Try to set aside 10 minutes each day to do a workout. In your mind, 10 minutes won’t seem like too much of a commitment. You might finding yourself in the zone and decide to work out longer. After you do this everyday, exercising will become part of your identity. You won’t be overwhelmed by the idea of doing long workouts.

Write it Down: I’m a big believer in writing down goals. When you write a goal, you’re bringing it to life. Just keeping a goal in your head is less impactful. You have thousands of thoughts each day. By writing down your goal, you’re giving it precedence over the many thoughts that float around in your head.

Create Reminders: One thing that helps me build new habits is giving myself reminders. You can leave notes in places you’re likely to see them. The notes can be an instruction you give yourself to do something. The more you see that note, the more likely you’ll be to follow it. You’ll be brainwashing yourself in a good way.

Forgive Yourself: Creating new habits is hard. You might stumble at times when trying to create that habit. Maybe you’ll miss a workout or eat eat some junk food. The place where people go wrong is by giving up when they stumble. You should never give up.

When you stumble pick yourself back up. Forgive yourself for the mistake and start fresh with your habit. If you do this every time you stumble, you’ll eventually make the new habit part of who you are . It also helps to have positive reinforcements. Bet on yourself and keep moving forward!

 

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Fitness Affirmations

This post is about the importance of self-talk in achieving your fitness goals.

Your level of confidence will have a major impact on how likely you’ll achieve goals. One thing that will boost or hurt your confidence is your self-talk. If you’re trying to lose weight but you keep calling yourself fat, you’re just  sabotaging yourself. The easiest way to achieve a goal is by having your mental thoughts and emotional feelings in sync with your physical actions. Also, you’re more likely to do the physical actions that will lead you to achieving your goals when you have your mind set on your goals.

That’s why I love affirmations. They put you in the mental state of already achieving your goals. An affirmation is something that’s declared to be true. The tricky part with using affirmations is you might feel like you’re lying to yourself. What you’re doing is creating a shift in mindset. As you keep repeating affirmations to yourself with emotion, you’ll start to believe in them. Once you believe in them, you’ll act on them. Your actions will be conscious and subconscious.  The power of the mind is no joke!.

A lot of high achievers in fitness, business, and other areas of life use positive affirmations so they can be locked in on achieving their goals. They have helped me in achieving various goals of mine. For the purpose of this page, I’m sharing some affirmations that could help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Strength Affirmation: I am strong and powerful. I move weights easily. I get stronger each and every workout. I feel like I could wrestle a gorilla. I’m excited about this new strength I’m gaining. I’m hitting new PRs with ease. I’m ( Insert exercise) (Insert weight) with ease.

Muscle Building Affirmation: I am a muscle building machine. The food I eat go right to my muscles. I have so much muscle it’s ridiculous. I’m building new muscle each and every workout. Every action I take is helping me build muscle. I’m King Kong in the flesh!

Fat-Loss Affirmation: I’m a lean mean machine. My diet is on point. My workouts annihilate the fat in my body. My metabolism is buzzing. I love what I see in the mirror. Damn, I look good! I love my body.

Overall Health Affirmation: I feel so healthy! My joints are healthy. Blood is flowing through my body smoothly. I’m full of life. I’m breathing deeply. My movement is so fluid. I have so much energy. I look and feel young. I have a healthy and active lifestyle. I love highly nutritious foods. I’m at peace mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Athletic Affirmation: I’m a beast. I move like a gazelle. My reaction time is crisp. I dominate whenever I step in the field/court. I contribute to my teams success. My shot is deadly accurate. I can see things before they happen. This sport is easy for me.

Positive affirmations have helped many people achieve their goals and they can do the same for you. One thing that will give the affirmations more power is to look at any beliefs that are currently holding you back from your goals. Once you find those beliefs, you can attack them and destroy the power they have over you. It helps when your beliefs and affirmations are in alignment. It’s time to crush your goals!

Affirmation Definition: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/affirmation

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The Most Rewarding Workout

These workouts are the most important ones throughout your entire fitness journey

The most rewarding workout is the one you don’t want to do.  We all have those days that we just don’t want to work out. These days aren’t because we don’t enjoy working out. Other factors such as fear, doubt, and fatigue play a factor. Some might call it being lazy but a lot of laziness is a result of fear.

There are days that we doubt our abilities to perform well because of fatigue or fear of the workout. If you were just doing wrist curls this wouldn’t be a problem. Since you’re someone who has the the fitness mindset , you enjoy challenging yourself every workout. As a result, you’ll naturally face some doubts and fears. I get these feelings of fear on my heavy lifting days. Even though I know I can do the workout,  there’s always that voice of doubt that creeps in.

Sometimes I feel tired either from a hectic day or because I didn’t sleep well the previous night. These days I hear the voice of doubt telling me that I don’t have the energy to do this workout. This voice will tell me that the weight is too heavy or that I’ll embarrass yourself if you try to work out. We all face these battles but it’s how you respond that matters.

When you hear that doubting voice, you have two options. You either let that fear crush you or you can use that fear as fuel.When your body feels like it’s in danger, it automatically tenses up and is able to create a ton of  force. This is very useful when lifting weights or doing a power sport. The fear you feel will make you respect your workout. It’ll make you prepare well for your workout due to the risk involved. When it’s time for your workout, you’ll be ready.

When you can move past these doubts and fears in order to do the workout anyways, you get a sense of victory. It feels satisfying because you beat your biggest obstacles, your fears and doubts. Every victory over these obstacles will help you realize your potential to do great things in life. You’ll also realize that things are a lot worse on your head than in realize.

As you continue your journey, you’ll learn that the voice of doubt isn’t really yours. That voice is actually the voice of others who doubt their own abilities to do what you plan on doing. You know what you’re capable of and you know how to listen to your body. I don’t recommend forcing yourself to work out everyday but it’s important to learn the difference between what you’re capable of and the voice of doubt that tries to limit you, based on what others think they’re capable of. These workouts that force you to move past doubts and fears will you become a better version of yourself!

 

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Iron Sharpens Iron

(Short read) Surrounding yourself with the right people will improve your chances of achieving your fitness goals.

This past week I was reminded of one of the most important parts of my fitness journey. I was at the gym the other day, waiting for a power rack so I could do deadlifts. Someone had one more set of squats to do. As he finished his last set, he introduced himself and we had a conversation. I’d seen him in the gym before but we never spoke.

During the conversation, he mentioned how great the environment was. My gym has a decent amount of powerlifters, weightlifters, and people who like to lift big weights. He gave an analogy that really stuck with me.

Imagine two guys riding a motorcycle in the middle of the road. Each guy is riding their motorcycle as fast as possible to push the other guy to ride faster. That’s what it’s like when you’re surrounded with people who have similar passions as you and are trying to keep improving.

Fitness is an individual journey but being surrounded by like-minded people can add fuel to your journey. Even though I don’t have training partners, I believe I’ve benefited from being in an environment with people who are not only strong as hell but also hungry to get better. That’s why I’ve said the gym you go to matters.

Now you have two choices…

You can move to an environment filled with people that have or are trying to achieve your goals. Your other choice is to create that environment. You create that environment by showing up to the gym every day with the mindset that you’re going to work your ass off to achieve your goals. It may not be obvious because you’re so focused on your workout but people notice the work you’re doing. I can guarantee someone will be motivated by what you’re doing.

This idea goes beyond the gym. If you’re an athlete, you should train and compete with someone who will push you to get better. If you’re a yogi, take an advanced yoga class.

This isn’t to say that your focus should be on what others are doing in the gym or any fitness environment. Your focus should be on your workout and progressing in your fitness journey. Keep moving towards your goals and surround yourself with people who support you on your journey!

 

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The Fitness Mindset

The mindset you get from committng to fitness

The moment you commit yourself to a fitness journey your life will change. In order to get far in that journey, you’ll be forced to transform more than your body. Your mindset will change as well. I’ve experienced these changes during my fitness journey.

Growth

Growth seeking is part of the fitness mindset. Anyone that commits to fitness is trying to better themselves. When you try to better yourself in health and fitness, that mindset flows to other areas of your life. By committing to fitness, don’t be surprised if you become more ambitious in your overall life. If you want the best for your body, why wouldn’t you have the same attitude towards other parts of your life.

 

AN example would be deadlifting 500 pounds. This amount sounds like a lot but it’s possible with the right mentality. Any great physical feat is as much mental as it is physical. The growth mentality in fitness comes from setting goals. Fitness taught me the importance of setting goals.

Another element of growth is pain. Sometimes you have to experience pain to grow. Someone who’s committed to fitness is familiar with pushing past pain. That pain could be mental as a result of fearing what can happen or it could be physical as a result of fatigue or injury.

Resilience

The fitness mindset includes resiliency. Committing yourself to fitness will make you mentally resilient. It teaches you to move past adversity because you will face adversity in your fitness journey. Everyone that I’ve met who’s been physically active for a long time has had some type of bump or bruise. It takes a lot of resiliency to have your goals slowed down by an injury but keep pushing forward.

Another form of adversity you might face in your fitness journey is self doubt. I’ve had times when I plateaued on my some lifts and doubted if I could make improvements. It takes a lot of resiliency to overcome self-doubt.

Embrace Discomfort

When you commit yourself to fitness, you have a stronger tolerance to discomfort. There’s a lot of discomfort involved with fitness. Having 400 pounds on your back isn’t comfortable. Running at max speed with your muscles pumping like crazy isn’t comfortable. This goes hand in hand with growth seeking because you’ll need to move past your comfort zone to grow.

Discipline

This one is pretty obvious. It takes a lot of discipline to be committed to fitness. It takes discipline to not skip a workout when you’re feeling tired. It takes discipline to stick to your diet when your office orders Ledos pizza. It takes discipline to sleep at a reasonable time when you get invited to a big party.

Get The Fitness Mindset!

When you invest in fitness, the rewards will trickle-down to the other areas of your life. You’ll approach life a different way and be mentally tougher than before.

To be able to develop these mindsets through fitness, you’ll have to do workouts that challenge and scare you a little . You’ll have to do workouts that cause some inner doubt. When that doubt appears, do the workout anyway. Do workouts that make you want to curse.These are the workouts that’ll strengthen your fitness mindset. Wrist curls and calf raises aren’t gonna cut it. If weight lifting is your avenue, you’ll have to go for compound lifts. If you’re into sports, compete with people who are as good or better than you.

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The Power of The Mind is No Joke!

This post is about how powerful the mind is when it comes to achieving your fitness goals

Story Time

The other day I was reminded just how powerful the mind is. It was a deadlift day and I was getting ready to do my work sets. I usually do ten sets of one for these. As I try to lift the weight up, I struggle more than I normally do. I get so close to locking out but couldn’t make it all the way.

I figured maybe my setup was off. So I wait a minute and get ready to lift again. I usually rest a minute in between sets for this workout. The second set was worse than the first. I start thinking something is wrong with me. Maybe my body was fatigued and I wasn’t aware of it. I get frustrated and start taking weight off.

I took off two 45 plates and got ready for a new workout. As I got ready to do my set, something didn’t seem right when I looked at the weight. I then realized I was using the wrong weight all along. During my working set, I was trying to lift 50 more pounds then I intended. No wonder it felt heavy! I felt like a fool but was happy at the same time. I got a chance to see how that heavy weight felt. Aside from the importance of paying attention to what I’m doing, I learned some valuable lessons

Lesson 1

The first lesson I learned is you’re stronger than you think. I know I was unsuccessful when attempting those first two reps but the weight felt easier than I thought it would. Sometimes we get intimidated by large numbers. It’s not a surprise that confidence makes a huge difference when lifting heavy weights.

I’m not saying to blindly put weights and just lift. This is a reminder that you might be stronger than you think. Remember to enter the weight room with total confidence in your abilities. All great achievers in life have high levels of confidence in their abilities. Whether you’re creating a business or trying out a new weight in the gym, you have to see yourself succeeding.

Lesson 2

The second I learned is that writing down your goals is very powerful. I’ve heard many times that you’re more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down.

During my workout, I realized the weight I was trying to deadlift was the same weight I wrote down on my list of goals. It’s crazy because I’ve been reading this goal to myself everyday as if I already achieved it. It’s like when you set your mind to a specific goal , you automatically start moving in that direction.

Another benefit of writing down your goals and reading them every day is a boost in confidence. When you see yourself as already achieving a goal, you feel like it’s inevitable to achieve it. That’s what I’ve been doing every day when it comes to deadlifting this specific way. The saying the body follows where the mind goes applies to this situation.

In case you’re wondering, I got this goal setting idea from a book called It Works: The Famous Little Red Book that makes your dreams come true by RHJ. I recommend reading this book if you have an open mind and are trying to achieve a fitness or life goal. I’ll share my deadlift goal once it’s achieved.

Closing Thoughts

I can sum this all up with the human mind is very powerful. When you see yourself achieving a certain goal, your mind will think it’s true and will guide you to do what’s necessary to achieve it. If you have a fitness or life goal, write it down and read it every day. You’re more likely to achieve that goal when you a daily reminder of it.

 

Don’t Give Up

This post is about the importance of not giving up when you face challenges in your fitness journey.

One thing my fitness journey has taught me is to not give up. Since fitness is a journey, the only way to get great results is to keep going.

If you have a big fitness goal like squatting 400 pounds or being able to run a marathon, it’s going to take time. On your journey to achieving that goal you may face challenges. Giving up is the last thing you should do. Imagine if a toddler gave up because he kept falling when learning how to walk. Imagine if Usain Bolt gave up because he lost a race when he was younger. Giving up will prevent you from reaching your potential and achieving greatness.

Like many lifters and fitness junkies, I’ve faced challenges on my journey. I’ve missed lifts, I’ve faced plateaus, and even dealt with injuries. By not giving up, I’m now the strongest I’ve ever been. Not giving up during my fitness journey taught me not to give up when I face challenges in life. Also, those challenges that I faced on my journey taught me some valuable lessons. So when you face challenges, embrace them as learning experiences. You’ll not only increase your chances of achieving your goals but you’ll also gain new levels of confidence and mental toughness.

I believe fitness is a perfect analogy to life overall. The character growth you experience in your fitness journey can and will transfer to other areas of your life. Plus refusing to give up is like flipping the middle finger to any setbacks or challenges you face! When you face challenges in fitness or in life, DON’T GIVE UP!

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Act Like A Beginner in the Gym

This post is about taking some tools from beginners to get the best results in the gym

Remember when you first started working out? The excitement you’d feel for each workout because it meant you were closer to your goal. I remember them like it was yesterday. Now I find myself sometimes falling into the trap of the end result.

I believe the key to continue making progress in the gym and even speeding up the process is acting like a beginner and still applying the knowledge gained from years of working out and studying fitness. Having that hunger of a beginner allows you to be present for your workout. You’re not worried about the successes or failures of previous workouts. Your only concern is dominating your current workout and moving one step closer to your goals. By focusing on your current workout, you’re likely to use more intensity rather than going through the motions.

The attitude of a beginner allows you to focus more on how the current workout will move you closer to your goal rather than if you struggle. Part of the reason people reach plateaus is not because of a lack of passion but because they don’t have the same level of passion as they did earlier in their fitness lives.

Many factors play into why this happens. Daily stresses of life and doing the same workout are some of the main culprits. Switching up your routine and managing stress will help with these issues. One way to battle stress is meditation.

I also find that there’s less ego when you have the beginners mindset. You’re more concerned about improving yourself than competing with others. There’s a greater focus on how you can improve.

Another thing I like about beginners is they don’t know any better. Plateau is not in their vocabulary. They only saw room for improvement. Our minds are what holds us back. I like the saying ” the body follows where the mind goes “. By having the beginners mindset of constant improvement, you can take your body to new heights regardless of your fitness goals.

Experience based knowledge combined with the enthusiasm of a beginner will lead to amazing results.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee

Use Your Mind For Amazing Results

When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, your mindset can be your biggest asset. When you have belief in your abilities, you’d be surprised about what your body can do.

My First Experience With How The Mind Can Influence Performance

I remember one time I was doing squats. One of my friends who was an experienced lifter saw me. He noticed that I kept looking down when I was squatting and recommended I look up. I followed his advice and noticed that the squat felt a lot easier. I told him this and he insisted I add more weight to the bar. I was hesitant because in my mind I couldn’t see myself lifting significantly more than I was doing. With my friend spotting me, I added 20 pounds to what I was doing. After some successful reps, my friend convinced me to add another 10 pounds. Despite my hesitation, I added a total of 50 pounds to what I was originally doing. In my next squat session, I increased the weight of my working set by 20 pounds.

Mind Hacks I’ve used To Boost My Workouts

Over time I used various techniques to make sure I have the right mindset during my workouts. The most obvious one is listening to aggressive music to pump me up for my workouts. I’ve also had success by repeatedly saying ” I’m strong ” in between my sets when lifting heavy. Constantly telling myself how strong I am gives me the expectation of doing well in my next working set. It’s like having a cheerleader with you as you’re lifting. I recently stumbled upon a new way to mentally prep for my workouts.

Another mind hack I use sometimes is the power of my imagination. When I’m about to lift a challenging weight, I picture my self as a gorilla that’s about to lift the weight. By doing this I’m seeing myself as the one in charge of the situation. I’m the one imposing my will on the weight rather than the other way around. I use the gorilla but you can use any animal that represents strength for you.

The Mirror Technique And It’s Origin.

I recently learned about a different mind hack that helps with workout performance. It’ called The Mirror Technique and I became aware of it after reading Claude Bristol’s book The Magic of Believing. I’d recommend reading this book if you’re open minded to things. The background behind the mirror technique is one day the author was invited to a party in which the host got very intoxicated. The host was expected to give a speech that day but he was so drunk. The author witnessed the host stumble into one of the house bathroom. The host looked into the mirror and told himself that he was stone cold sober. The author was in shock when the host suddenly stood firm and behaved like a man that was completely sober. Clatude Bristol reccomends using this technique to get your mind to believe anything.

Applying The Mirror Technique To Health and Fitness

I recently used the mirror technique one night when I was about to bench press. I had to use the bathroom before I began my working set. Luckily it was a private bathroom so I decided to try the technique out. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself right in the eyes. As I stood in front of the mirror, I repeatedly told myself how great I was at bench pressing. I told myself things like  ” I have an amazing bench press ” and ” I’m so strong”. I added some expletives too so I could add emotion to it. After my little pep talk, I was so pumped. I had a new level of confidence as I approached the bench. It’s not a coincidence that the weight I was using felt lighter than normal. I also had the confidence to attempt a new PR. I used a spotter just to be on the safe side. I successfully completed the lift with a little assistance. I promise my spotter didn’t have to curl the weight for me. I used the momentum I had from my pressing session into the rest of my workout. I now use the mirror technique on most days. My go to line is ” My body is Strong, healthy, athletic, and attractive”. Saying this gives me a sense of confidence in my body. You can use the mirror technique for any fitness or life goal you have.

Going forward I plan on using the mirror technique and other techniques to make sure I’m mentally ready for my workouts. When you approach your workouts with the right mindset, you’ll be amazed at your results.

 

” As you think, so shall you become “- Bruce Lee

 

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