Losing weight is one of the most common resolutions we make this time of year.
And yet, it’s one of the most difficult things a person can do.
Why? Because despite what ads want to sell you or other blogs tell you, it all boils down to work and commitment.
And while that doesn’t sound like much, those are the two biggest obstacles to anyone looking to become more healthy and fit.
Believe me, I know. It wasn’t easy for me to lose 30 pounds this past year or nearly 100 pounds in a little more than three years.
As difficult as it was sometimes — and it truly was — I simply put the time in and stayed committed. And I learned to utilize three keys to help along the way: I set goals; I tracked my progress; and I was consistent.
1.) Set goals.
When you set goals, you need to start small. This, of course, will help build momentum and confidence.
For example, strive to head to the gym two times a week and work out for 15 to 30 minutes each visit. Or, instead of the gym, head outside and walk for that same amount of time. The idea is to be active.
Once you feel comfortable with the amount of activity, work out three to four times a week. I’ve found that’s the ideal range. After all, as good as you feel about your progress and as motivated as you may be, you need that rest. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out.
Also, set a concrete weight-loss goal. And, again, start small. For example, 5 pounds in a month.
And once you hit that goal, set another one. And then another. And then another.
To keep moving, you’ve always got to be working toward something.
And how do you know you’re meeting your goals?
2.) Track your progress
For Christmas in 2015, my parents bought my wife and I a pair of Fitbits, the Charge HR model, to be precise.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but I’ll tell you, it’s quite the device and something I’ve leaned on this past year.
And no, this isn’t an advertisement for Fitbit. I only bring it up because it truly helped me track my progress. Please insert any other way or device that’ll do the same thing.
The point is, of course, you need to have a tangible way to see what you’re accomplishing, whether it be a Fitbit, an app or regular old pen and paper.
So, you’re working toward your goals, and you’re tracking your progress, what’s next?
3.) Be consistent
I promise you, there will be days when your workout is the last thing you want to do.
You’ve had a bad day. You just want to relax.
I get it. I do. Even as I write this, I would rather read or watch TV or do laundry or, really, anything else. But I know I need to head to the gym to complete my week of working out. To accomplish that weekly goal.
I also know it’s easy to get off track, so staying consistent, no matter what — outside of an illness or injury or things of that nature, of course — is a key to success.
And how can you stay consistent? Give yourself a reason. For example, I want to be around for my wife and our future kids as long as possible. That drives me.
Look, when I got married three years ago, I weighed upwards of 280 pounds. And at 5-foot-8, that wasn’t pretty. I shudder at those pictures.
But now, I’m a little more than 198. And I’m not done yet.
My latest goal is 190.
Will it be easy? Nope. But if I set goals, track my progress and stay consistent, I’ll give myself a great shot.
And, really, if you think about, that’s good advice for anything you take on in the new year.
From Editing Life to you and yours, have a happy, healthy and safe 2017.