Updated: Apr 12
There are many times in our fitness journey, that we feel extremely lost with regard to where we are headed and whether we are doing everything right. This confusion can allow us to become de-motivated at times and make us take some crazy decisions in haste which don’t help our progress in any way. It is very important, at times like these, to not get dejected and think with a clear mind about the way forward. Here is a list of 12 things to keep in mind whenever you feel you are not making progress or are slipping in your realistic fitness goals.
1. Being realistic
It doesn’t serve very well to be an unrealistic dreamer when it comes to long-term fitness goals. You have to understand the hard truth that everything takes time and every human body is different. Also, all the results are proportional to the effort and planning that goes into it and of course not to forget, access to the right information or right coach. What kind of workout or eating plans you are following? Do they suit your body? You could also be having other areas that might need looking into for holistic results for eg. your stress levels, hormonal imbalance, etc.
2. Having a short term and long term goal in mind
It is very important to know for a beginner what you want to achieve in the next few months and the next few years, being realistic, and then put it down on paper. This will help you focus on one thing at a time and not worry about too many things together. Once you have broken down your goals, they become easier to reach and keep you motivated. If you work on the short-term goals, the long-term will get looked after on their own.
3. Scheduling time in your calendar for your workouts
Treat your fitness goals in terms of workouts and meal planning like any other important appointment of the day and give it time and respect. Once it’s in your calendar, it will get done.
4. Plan your meals
Separate out time once or twice a week to plan your meals rather than waking up last minute and then cooking just about anything or eating out. This can really hit your fitness goals badly.
5. Schedule your grocery regularly
Few things to keep in mind when you go grocery shopping:
Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You will end up buying a whole lot of unnecessary stuff.
Have a day planned for it. Go with a list of things needed. Do not keep picking up things as you walk across the supermarket.
Avoid the aisles where there are processed and sugary foods, chips, biscuits, etc in the supermarket unless you are looking for something particular according to your shopping list. Ha case too, just pick up the particular ingredient and walk out.
Try to avoid buying anything that comes sealed in a box or anything that says ‘ready to eat’ or ‘instant mix’.
Pick up fresh veggies, fruits, freshly cut chicken, fish, etc as per the meals planned for the week to avoid wastage.
6. Keep a well-equipped pantry with essentials
Always have whole foods, spices, grains, lentils, beans, oils, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, nut milk, condiments, etc well-stocked in your pantry for easy meal planning and for those weeks when you haven’t been able to go grocery shopping. list of fitness goals and achievements.
7. Stock your refrigerator
If you come back late on weekdays, store your refrigerator with chopped veggies on weekends that are ready to cook. Keep a whole lot of frozen veggies and fruits for making stews or one-dish meals or smoothies when time is a factor. Keep different homemade sauces, chutneys, and pastes ready in your refrigerator which can be made whenever you have time. Use these to put together salads or marinate your protein on busy days. Always store some eggs, yogurt, or Greek yogurt for a quick snack.
8. Have a list of healthy emergency meals
These meals should not need too many ingredients and should be quick to make. You should be able to make them with your eyes closed. They prevent you from sabotaging your fitness goals and achievement.
9. Keep all addictive and attractive processed foods well hidden
This is self-explanatory. Don’t keep sweets, chips, chocolates where you can see them walking around your house. They will invariably reach your mouth and then stomach. Keep them somewhere, difficult to reach so that you eat them only when you have planned to do so.
10. Work on your mental well being
Nothing works in isolation. This cannot be truer than in the case of fitness and health. Different methods might work for different people to set the fitness goal. It could be daily meditation, chanting, energy healing, reading affirmations, yoga, daily deep breathing just to name a few. These practices help align your mind and soul with your body. Indirectly it helps manage stress, balances our hormones, and helps make an ideal environment for your body to get the best results.
11. Spend some time building good eating practices
Respect the food you eat by giving it your total attention. Therefore don’t eat while watching television or doing work or while running to work. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Eat until comfortable and full. Do not stuff your body with excess food. Eat only when hungry.
12. Be aware of your weaknesses
Nobody knows our body and our habits better than we ourselves. To identify your weaknesses and in case you are not getting results in your long-term fitness goals, revisit your weaknesses and see how much of these have you been able to overcome. This is a better approach rather than blaming our workouts or healthy eating habits.
You may be doing very well in both those areas but you may have some weaknesses when it comes to binging or emotional eating which you are not being able to overcome.
This list can make the difference between mediocrity and excellence when it comes to returns on the effort put in. They also prevent you from giving up when you have had a small setback.
It helps you realize where you might be going wrong and thereby keeps you motivated. Keep these points in your mind whenever you feel like giving up or when you are starting a new phase in your fitness goals or health building.
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