The undertaking of any fitness training program requires that individuals not only have a realistic view of their own personal fitness goals, but that they also consider the variables they may be faced with in accomplishing their objective for better health and wellness.
Choosing the right fitness training program is not the only important step of getting in shape - you must also construct your plan realistically so that you can stay fully committed. Anyone can begin a fitness training program after getting clearance from his or her physician, and there are thousands of different programs on the market today; however, the real trick comes in knowing how to achieve the personal fitness goals you have set forth.
Determining Your Own Personal Fitness Goals
Most people have a skewed idea of what fitness is exactly. Ask anyone, and they'll most likely envision a skinny model-like woman or a huge man that seems like he just stepped off the stage of a body-building competition. You, too, might think this, but personal physical fitness is something much more specialized and unique. This is where commitment comes into play. When most people think of the term "fitness," it has a broad range of definitions that each of us can apply to our own abilities. Fitness generally has nothing to do with your general weight or body shape. If you eat right and work out regularly, sticking to your individual fitness training program, odds are that you're on the right path.
The completion of personal fitness goals is controlled entirely by the mind. You have to want to get in shape. If your mind is not truly committed to the final outcome, your goals will never be met even under the best of circumstances or any obstacles that may impede the process. You, and only you, can control your commitment to fitness and ensure that you meet your personal fitness goals.
How to Stay Committed
The biggest challenge of a fitness training program or plan is teaching yourself to stay committed - the fact is that most plans fail because there is an overall lack of drive or inspiration to meet those individualized personal fitness goals. Luckily, you have a few options if you find it impossible to stick to your diet and workout plan. Most people talk about finding or using an exercise buddy, but never actually seek one out. Try finding someone at your gym or fitness center with a similar schedule or convince a friend or colleague to join you on your quest for fitness.
Another good way to keep focus is to promise yourself a reward if you meet your personal fitness goals. If you've always wanted a pretty piece of jewelry or a new television set, save up during your commitment challenge and splurge once you've met your planned goal. Promising yourself a reward will help you keep your eyes on something you want.
What If Your Fitness Goals Aren't Met?
When personal fitness goals are not met, disillusion and despair begin to set in, and the whole venture seems worthless. You must ultimately revisit your commitment to the fitness training program and process and take a long, hard look at all of the factors that are hindering your program. You might find that your level of commitment was lacking; for instance, knowing when you should have rested more, eaten better and more frequently, or perhaps even turned down that additional serving of alcohol or dessert. Some people might dismiss willpower as just a personality trait, but everyone has the ability to resist.
Once you re-examine the flaws of your fitness training program, you'll understand why you're not achieving the personal fitness goals you created. However, you must remember to make goals that are attainable and realistic, and this is where many people slip up in planning an effective fitness training program. Research acceptable weight loss or gain, find cookbooks meant for your diet, and set your schedule for workout times that are manageable.
The Bottom Line
Making your fitness training program fully attainable is the biggest part of ensuring commitment. Without realistic personal fitness goals, it is highly doubtful that you will succeed. Examine your routine as it is now and slowly work the new regime into your lifestyle. Once you start your fitness plan and get used to the motions, it soon becomes second nature to live a healthy lifestyle.
The bottom line is determining if you are really committed to this fitness venture. If you see getting in shape as just another item in a long list that may or may not be completed, this is probably not the right time to start your fitness training program. Look inside yourself and see if you have what it takes to make this goal a reality.
By Timothy Haynes Personal Trainer
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