Sailing into the New Year with the goal of getting in shape is exciting.
Getting in shape has tons of benefits! You’ll build muscle, lose fat, boost your metabolism, sleep better, think better, have more energy, and feel more confident once you start to see and feel results. And it doesn’t take that long to reap the benefits of exercise if you stick with it.
But with so many fitness plans swirling around online, it can get confusing where to start. In this post, we have a simple guide with the steps to help you so you can achieve your fitness goals in 2023 and beyond.
Ready to jumpstart your fitness journey?
Read on and discover how you can set yourself up for success and finally transform your body this year!
Start With A Fresh Mindset
If you’ve tried to get in shape before, but haven’t had success, erase it from your mind. That’s in the past and this is a new year.
But thinking about getting in shape won’t get you the body of your dreams or help you run a mile.
Committing to creating the habit of working out and eating better will.
If you can motivate yourself to get off the couch and do that online workout, take a walk outside or drive yourself to the gym, you’re moving in the right direction.
Starting any new habit, like a fitness routine, takes time.
You need to understand that:
- Getting fit does not happen overnight.
- Everyone’s fitness journey is unique to them.
- You don’t have to be perfect.
- You need to find your motivation to keep going.
Skinny Doesn’t Mean Healthy
Studies show that having some extra meat on your bones isn’t necessarily unhealthy. 
Can you run up a flight of stairs without wanting to pass out? Can you do strength training without feeling so sore you can’t walk or move your arms for a week? These are better signs of health.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
This is self-sabotaging and won’t help you achieve your goals. Your fitness will improve with time and consistency, but it will be at your own pace, and that’s the right pace.
We are all built differently, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Someone else’s results may not be your results. Your genetics may not allow you to get giant biceps, a tiny waist, or a super round booty.
If you’re a beginner, it’s going to take longer for you to get in shape than your friend who was a childhood athlete.
Embrace the body you have and focus on feeling healthier and getting stronger instead of worrying about what you want to look like. The physical changes will come.
Those “perfect” fitness model bodies you see on social media took years to achieve. Often the photos are heavily edited, which means they’re not real.
Be Patient With Yourself
It takes time and effort to achieve great fitness results and change your body for the better, so be patient and don’t expect overnight success.
Accept that there’s always room to improve. You’re on the right track if you see positive changes in your fitness routine over time rather than sudden leaps forward.
Set Up Easy Ways To Keep Track
One of the major reasons we give up on our fitness goals is that we don’t think what we’re doing is working.
By tracking your progress (goals, workouts, and nutrition) you’ll have a clear picture of your journey and progress and then easily make changes when needed.
When you see that what you’re doing is working, you’ll stay motivated to keep it up.
Here’s how to keep track:
Use a fitness journal: This can also be a daily planner, a notebook, or a habit-tracking app on your phone. Start by writing your starting weight and body measurements.
Then make up a workout schedule. Record the length and frequency of your workouts (including your reps and sets) and what you’re eating and drinking each day.
Download a Nutrition App: You need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day if fat loss is your goal. Apps like MyFitnessPal and Loseit! are great for keeping track of your daily nutrition.
They take your starting weight, age, gender, and fitness goals into account and can help you determine how many calories you should eat each day. They can show you how long it will take to achieve your goal weight and many offer personalized meal plans.
Take Progress Pics: Who doesn’t love a good before and after pic? Before starting, take front, back, and side photos. Seeing the changes in your physical appearance will help you see subtle body changes and inspire you to stay on track. Take photos every 2-3 weeks wearing the same clothes to check your progress.
Get a Fitness Watch: Fitness watches are great for tracking and motivating fitness tools. They can keep track of your daily calories burned, daily step count, distance traveled when running or walking, as well as your heart rate while exercising to show you if you’re working out intensely enough. I use an Apple Watch and highly recommend it.
Figure Out Your Fitness Goals
First, establish what your fitness goals are for the coming year. What are you looking to achieve?
They should be personal to you, but also realistic.
Do you want to…?
- Get and stay active
- Feel healthier
- Lean out
- Achieve a healthy weight.
- Increase strength
- Improve your conditioning
- Improve flexibility
Even better, get really specific with goals like these:
- Get steps 7000- 10,000 every day.
- Walk 5 times a week.
- Run a 5K (3.1)
- Master an advanced yoga pose (crow pose,
- Do x amount of pushups
- Do 1 chin up
- Hold a plank for a minute
- Lift your bodyweight
- Learn to surf a wave
Break up your goals into easy steps: Setting attainable mini-goals and actionable steps that work toward big goals that can take a while to achieve is important to keep you pumped and make the process easier.
For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, how many calories do you need to burn each day to lose one to two pounds per week?
Connecting your goals with emotions: Take a few minutes to think about how you’ll feel once you achieve your fitness goals. Happy, healthy, confident, energized? This can make the outcome of your goals more realistic in your brain and help keep you motivated.
Write these emotions down next to your goals in your journal. Read them to refresh yourself whenever you feel you’re going to go off track.
Set fitness goal deadlines: Establishing a realistic timeline for your fitness goals will help keep you accountable. It will also tell you when it’s time to reward yourself. Being realistic is key though. Unrealistic expectations are a recipe for failure.
Adjust as you go: Goals provide the framework for your workout plan, but it’s okay and normal to need to adjust to them along the way.
Reward Yourself: If you hit a goal, no matter how small it may seem, give yourself a reward. It will help boost your mood and confidence while motivating you to keep going. A piece of chocolate, some new workout gear, or some me-time in the bath are all game.
Time to Build Your Workout Plan
Getting in shape isn’t about doing trendy workouts for a few months and then suddenly stopping when you reach your goal.
It’s just like the old saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” The same goes for fitness.
Find activities you enjoy, but will challenge you so you see results, and also fit into your lifestyle.
You can also mix and match exercise styles so you don’t get bored. Cross-fit, Pilates, biking, yoga, hiking, Zumba, kick-boxing, swimming, and tennis are all great.
Health experts recommend you do:
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (30 minutes, 5 times a week)
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week (15 minutes, 5 times a week)
- A combination of both
- 300 minutes a week for weight loss
Add in Weight Training and Learn To Love It!
For years, I avoided weight training because I thought it was too hard, too boring and something gym bros did. Boy, I was wrong.
In fact, weight training is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and build lean muscle, which can increase your metabolism and fuel fat loss. It’s made the most difference in improving my fitness level.
Start with lighter weights and focus on perfecting your form. Once you get the hang of it and see how it can change your body and improve your fitness level, you’ll learn to love it too.
If you need help, consider getting a trainer or fitness coach to take you through the basics. I used the Future coaching app from the Apple Store and it took my motivation to a whole new level. For a limited time, you can try Future for FREE for two weeks.
Strength training exercises for the upper body and lower body should be done at least twice per week.
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