One of my new year resolutions this year is to become healthier and start a better lifestyle. I'm on this journey of getting better, emotionally, mentally, and physically. After a while, I realised and kind of guessed that 90% of the population in, well, everywhere also has this on their resolutions list! Everyone's either trying to be skinnier, or lose weight, or exercising.
Basically, I wanted to write this post to just kind of give us all a head start and a little how-to guide on where to start. Here are a few tips that I think most of us need to remind ourselves when we are trying to dive in and start a much healthier lifestyle:
- Focus with your time and effort. I don't know if this happens to you as well, but sometimes when I'm trying to do cardio, or just exercising regularly, I find myself being distracted by my phone's notifications. I did my reps and work out routine, but I didn't always give it my full attention. This year, I'm shifting away from this ugly habit when working out. Turn off your notifications, and diminish every distraction! This will save up a lot of your time and energy, and your exercise will be a lot more effective.
- Stop making "not enough cute workout gear" as a new excuse. Lately, I've found that some people simply feel like a workout is not a workout unless they're wearing the prettiest Nike roshes, or the Forever 21 sportswear, or that Victoria's Secret PINK gym gear. Or maybe it's something similar. News flash, you don't even need that many equipments. You have an inflatable ball? Or maybe a pair of dumbbells? That's great, use them! You don't have any equipment or cute gym outfits? Then wear something else. Just be comfortable! You don't have to wait until you can "look cute", and frankly, it's the silliest reason to not start now. Stop with the mirror selfies and get to work!
- Don't do it as a form of punishment. It's easy to get caught up in telling yourself that you must lose weight, or achieve a leaner stomach, or lose the muffin top, but at the end of the day, all your attempts won't really work unless you're doing it to achieve something you want, not to rid yourself of something you don't want. Maybe the muffin top is bothering you, or wow, you must really want a thigh gap. But honestly, the most important thing about having a healthy lifestyle is to do it by feeling good about yourself and taking good care of yourself. The biggest reward that I get out of this process is how i become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I'm starting to love my body a lot more, and so that's exactly why we should push forward in this. Be healthy, but be happy as well!
- Drink water! Yeah okay, your mom has told you this, your best friend has, and all the health-related articles tell you this, but seriously, drink more water. This has always been a very big struggle for me, so what I do is now, I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go. You can't lose weight without drinking plenty of water. Water also prevents you from eating unhealthy and unnecessary things.
- Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. It's easy to want to stop once the low self esteem starts kicking in. It's easy not to believe in yourself because that one extra pound just won't go away. But the most important thing to hold on to is just how badly you want this and have always wanted this for yourself! When it gets tough, just remember that giving up is going to hurt a lot more than that workout that makes you sore. Also, just remember why you started and I promise, your future self will thank you for this.
- Start now. There is no reason for you to wait until it's the new years "just to make it into a brand new resolution" or to wait until it's a new month of week "just to make it easier". There is no rule that says you must start on a first and new day. Stop postponing! You can simply start now and not wait anymore! Faster results too, right?
- Avoid making your own rules. The most effective way to get yourself to start exercising or doing cardio every day or week is to follow a workout plan. Whether it's a 30-day challenge from Pinterest or taking online Youtube lessons, it's always best to follow the rules that are made and not stray from them. Don't set rules for yourself once you're starting out, or practically ever, because there's a bigger chance of you compromising with the plan or cheating here and there. It won't be effective, and self-made rules don't always come out too realistic. Workout plans from the Internet or from health magazines are a lot more trustworthy, because they include the time you probably need as well as giving rests in between.
- When doing reps, try counting backwards. I learned this from my best friend who had a habit of doing home workouts for a few months some time ago. In PE class, when I was already squeezing the breath out of my lungs, she still managed to maintain that stamina and had no problem with any of the exercises we were doing. She was still so pumped up and energised. Later, I discovered that that was because she always counted backwards. I realised that it's a small change but it does make a little difference in your self-motivation while exercising. A little more energy always helps!
- A slip-up isn't a sign that you should stop. Oh boy, haven't we all been there? Eating an unhealthy snack or meal, missing a few reps, cheating on the workout. It's a normal thing and frankly, it's impossible to start a whole new and different lifestyle without a few slip-ups here and there! Basically, it's a tendency for us to be completely discouraged because of our mistakes, especially when it's about a new journey of being healthy. There are many temptations all around, but a little mistake should never stop you! Once you have a minor slip-up, just get right back up and keep going. Like I said, stopping will hurt a lot more than you think.
- Put extra effort into eating well. The biggest thing to pay attention to other than your exercise is your diet. Food is probably the trickiest aspect when trying to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle, because, well, desserts anyone? It's important to keep a balanced diet. Do not skip meals, even when you're trying to lose some weight. It's better to do it in the right way, instead of the quickest way. Good and unhealthy food is always very tempting, but keep your diet healthy. Remember about your goals, and know that dangerous food can very easily keep you from achieving your goal. Don't get me wrong, you should totally indulge in the things that make you happy, but just stay balanced!
- Most importantly, never rush for results! We all know that the truth is that we will never see our results after just a week. A few days into the progress, you will feel a lot more fit and refreshed, but that doesn't mean you'll instantly see your body changing into something more attractive. Like that picture you saw on Cosmopolitan. Being pretty, of course, should not be our main reason for doing this. Although, seeing positive changes happen to our body would be terrific, right? But frankly, you need to be consistent, and diligent, and disciplined in order to achieve what you want for your body's appearance. You'll need total self-control, and not to mention, some extreme deliberate practice! Truthfully, you won't see your progress. It's not that easy! Just stick to what you're doing and why you're doing it: To become healthy.
So that's all I have for now! Thank you guys for being so patient, again, because I've been super busy with my school work as well as many activities I've been involved in. I hope you found this post helpful, and good luck to you out there who are just starting off on a totally new and refreshed lifestyle.
What are some tips you would share to other healthy-lifestyle-pursuers? How is your progress going? Tell me all about it in the comments below! Have a good day, you guys.