I’m No Expert But…

I am not an expert on working out but I can give you some tips on making it easier to achieve your goals when you do:

  1. Decide what your goals are. Be honest with yourself. If you just want to look better naked when the lights are on, admit that to yourself. Maybe you just want to be healthier so you can keep up with the children in your life. Either one is ok and your actions might bring you to the same place one day. Point is, be honest about why you are starting this journey.
  2. Accept it will take time, patience and heaping amounts of self-forgiveness.  Read this one again and don’t forget it.
  3. Don’t confuse weight loss with losing unhealthy amounts of body fat. It’s possible to gain muscle weight, lose unhealthy body fat and remain the same weight. I mention this so you’re clear about your goals and therefore less likely to get discouraged.  
  4. Showing up to workout is 90% of the battle. When you show up to workout, keep in mind that tons of people wish they had the dedication and discipline you do. Congratulate yourself even before you workout.
  5. Put the time and workout on your calendar. I schedule what my workouts will look like as repeating commitments. I look at that appointment the day before and during the day. Doing so gets me thinking about how I will use the rest of my time and visualizing what my workout will be like.
  6. Don’t assume you know how to do something at the gym. Be willing to re-learn what you thought you knew. There are plenty of resources for learning each and every exercise you will do. Take advantage of it. Yes, it takes time but it will make you more confident and prevent injuries from occurring. 
  7. Plan your workout in detail. Don’t just say, “Today is leg day.” If it is leg day, what exact exercises will you do? Think it through. It’s best to have an exact plan of each exercise you will do, the order, the reps and the amount of weight. Use an app or a notebook and pen but don’t start your workout thinking you’ll just figure it out when you get there. You won’t. 
  8. You're not working out to impress anyone! Especially when you’re starting out, use lighter weights and focus on doing the exercise the best way that you can. You won’t be perfect but you will learn and get better. You’ll know when to increase the weight when the exercise becomes somewhat boring for you mentally and physically. 
  9. Learn how to eat healthy for your body. Make sure the calories and nutrients that you are consuming are of the highest quality you can manage. This also means you will need to learn what is healthy and not healthy for you. If you don’t watch what you eat but work out every day you will inevitably be disappointed when you look in the mirror months later. 
  10. Pack your bag and put it in your car the night before. Imagine everything you will need and make sure it’s already in your trunk. Shoes? Headphones? Towel? Water bottle? Don’t put your workout bag by the door thinking you’ll grab it on the way out. No. Things get moved around, passed by and forgotten. Make the commitment the night before and it will set-up the next day up for success. 
  11. Keep in mind that everything you are doing is helping you to be healthier. Regardless of your goals, your body will feel better and that means your mind and mood will improve, too. This is especially true if you’re working out just to be healthier and not linking your self-esteem to having a certain body type. 
  12. Making a little progress is making a lot of progress. Sometimes the little gains make the most difference in time.