Part 1/2: How to Succeed in Your Fitness Goals
Know the foundation before anything else
Fitness really had not been my passion until I got lured into its impact. Not only does it improve your strength and physique, it also heightens your cognitive abilities — like focus. I’m always enthusiastic to talk about it because it has become a lifestyle than a mere obligation. We know that fitness has become a major demand and fad, as fitness centers, mainly gyms crossfit boxes, and goal-specific centers like yoga, continue to proliferate. More and more people are getting into healthy living and staying fit — as a means to treat vanity, as well. With this common goal, we see more young people starting weightlifting, and people who don’t feel satisfied about their body actually do something about changing that. This reality makes up for the abundance of fitness gurus, how-to philosophies, and supplement products, all feeding your mind to help you along your journey.
We have many inspirational icons to look up to, and I’m sure you know someone within your social circle who immensely transformed physically. And I’m one of them. I want to share the secrets of my 230lbs to 160lbs transformation within just a couple of years. I’ll be discussing how I was able to achieve my fitness goals, mainly in bodybuilding and fat loss, within such timeframe. I’m grateful and proud to share that I’ve had NO personal trainer, NO gym buddies, NO support system, and NO prior knowledge about workouts and diet, yet I’ve managed to achieve. It’s simply a journey of self-teaching and reliance, and that’s what I want to share to you, too.
When I stayed in the U.S. during 2011, I grew to 230 lbs… and my goal was to shred fat as much as I can and achieve that typical “great body.” With the fat guy stereotypical attributes becoming imminent in my mind, I got scared and thought it wasn’t who I really am. These negative affirmations became motivators to a shift in mindset. That let my mind produce a series of thoughts that represent my future, and from thereon, lived my life as if I’ve already achieved my fitness goal.
We’ve heard of all the fitness success stories: from obese to six packs, from chain smoker to marathon king, and couch potato to gym rat. Besides their shared shift of lifestyle, strong determination, and commitment, here are the top focuses I can recommend in order to successfully climb the challenging path of fitness.
What the mind perceives, it can conceive.
It all starts in the mind. The thought is the seed we have to nurture for long-term. Start with a dream and picture a vivid look of your future self — this goes beyond aesthetics. You must also think about how your lifestyle has evolved, how others see and treat you, how you feel with having achieved your fitness body, how it influences you and others, and how your daily activities have been influenced for good. Focus on all the positivities that your future has in store for you. Remember how your dreams seem so real? These dreams can transform into reality through consistent mental imagery. This is what we call visualization, and is simply the manifestation of law of attraction. To give a simple brief about law of attraction: in order to make it work, you must know its sublaw called the law of polarization—either you’re driven by fear or by love… there’s nothing in between. There must be a singular focus on just being motivated by love or by fear; otherwise, results wouldn’t manifest. To achieve a positive mental state, you can start looking up a music track that’ll let you feel limitless and be in tune with how you want to be. You can have a dedicated power music to listen whenever you do fitness activities. It must not just let you feel strong and capabale in doing your workout, but also let you feel that you already have the body and how it feels so good when people around starts noticing you. If you can set this positive mindset and instill affirmation that you will achieve your fitness goal, you’re off to a good start.
Each day is a step closer toward a quantum leap.
The aphorism “consistency is key” resonates immensely to fitness. If you don’t set short-term goals toward your long-term goals, you’ll always be disappointed and have problems in progress assessments. It’s important to have weekly targets and monitor your performance. If you’re too pressed for time, you can get a fitness band/watch for easy monitoring. Therefore, first set a realistic schedule for your fitness activities. It’s encouraged to dedicate at least 5x/week, 1hr/day. Also consider what time of day you’re most energetic and motivated to do physical activities. It’s encouraged to start early in the morning before doing your usual daily activities. Being an early bird can alleviate good mood, combat stress, and boost energy for that optimum productivity. Consistency without commitment — doing whatever it takes — will not be sufficient, as these two always work in tandem.
You must have a passion deep inside you.
Being passionate and courageous will make your fitness goal easier than you thought. I’ve had both of these because I had life-impacting motivators: the need to get out of my bad self-image and the need to achieve and develop because my life’s mantra is achievement of my highest and truest potential — which is somehow influenced by my competitive nature. First, ask yourself if you have that passion. If fitness is a new crowd but your curiosity for venture is stronger than your naiveness, then you can think of all the positive values you’ll achieve with it. Some of these include physical strength, stamina, endurance, focus, commitment, kinesthenics intelligence andhealth. If you value enough these attributes, then there’s enough conveyance — even be hidden in your subconscious — for you to be passionate. Second, think of intrinsic motivators. These can be your drive to compete for a better self, or that need to be at par with your fitness role model. If you don’t have such, having extrinsic motivators will make up for it. This mainly suggests rewarding yourself for every achieved milestone. Every milestone is ascending, which makes you push more effort in every succeeding interval.
Who are you to start off with?
Your self-image is your idea of your abilities, appearance, and personality. Counterintuitively, fitness doesn’t just influence your appearance; it affects all three aspects. Successful fitness enthusiasts have experienced massive developments in their abilities — the go-to attitude in accomplishing tasks, appearance — their physique, health and first impression influence, and personality — the conveyance of your character which distinguishes your uniqueness. With all these greatness to have, the first question to ask is “Why are you transforming your body?” The second is “For whom are you doing it?” (note: must be for yourself) and lastly, “What is your new self-image?” In crafting your new self-image, it’s critical to consider all physiological aspects — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — in order for harmony and balance to occur.
Research-backed facts are essential.
Fitness knowledge includes both workouts, diet, and lifestyle, because these are the primary ingredients. First, know your current body type. This will let you know what workouts are suited for your body and the expectations throughout your journey. Second, assess your current overall fitness. Many fitness centers already have this technology, thus making you know how to set your compounding targets and goals. Third, know fitness basics 101. This critically involves knowing the correct form and execution of workouts on top of knowing what workouts to do, and also workout do’s and dont’s. There are many workouts available online, and counterintuitively, all these workouts have subjective results. This means that you have to experiment from time to time. There’s no one size fits all plan. The typical is having 6 months workout intervals before changing routines. Fourth, stick to a diet and lifestyle plan. This basically induces you to a commitment to food to take and food to avoid. Some take protein supplements to expedite and maximize their muscle gain. The keyword here is lifestyle foundation. Lastly, look up to a fitness influencer or enthusiast. This is highly suggested if you’re a DIY person, and especially if you don’t wanna shell out money on personal training programs. Each influencer has a unique fitness philosophy, thereby encouraging you to find out which ones produce results for you. Before following the regimens of your “fitspiration,” you have to consider the following: recommended workouts, physique, transformation story, and credibility. If the person has the physique you’re aiming for, then it’s a good sign you should follow that person.
Succeeding in fitness can be for everyone. Educating yourself to different philosophies and having a focused and patient attitude is the way to go. Just be sure that along the journey you keep the burning drive and let everything become a habit.
To survive the fitness transformation, all you need are:
- Self-discipline (by religiously following workouts no matter how hard it gets)
- Sacrifice (getting used to boring yet healthy food and cutting delicious yet unhealthy food)
- Stamina (each day gets compounded into a stronger, tougher you)
- Faith (believing that you can do it because you have confidence in yourself)
- Desire (whatever you call that divine or universal force people say as a god can never go wrong in your life; if you ask that force something and you work for it, you’re gonna have it)
- Relationships (you get to meet people of all types in the gym or whichever venue and share life stories, motivations, and successes)
- Connections (if you become successful in this field and have your own transformation, you’ll get to meet lots of people and be able to inspire them and even make a living/business out of it)
And the skills you develop are:
- Ability to follow routines, rules, procedures, and regimens
- Physical strength
- Mental fortitude
- Monitoring progresses
- Time management
While the core fitness pillars you work on are:
Click here for Part II.
About The Author: Josh L. Domantay discovered his devotion to writing after serving as a journalist then managing editor for his college’s official school paper and publications. His writings are addressed to provide inspiration for catch-all problems we can tag with the question “How can I become better?” and explanations for making sense out of society and our collective consciousness. Publications are reflection of anecdotal encounters and accrued readings about behavioral economics, self-help, and spirituality.