With the new year being right around the corner (literally), there’s no better time than now to, not only change your mindset, but to start building more accountability for yourself, making healthier habits, and shifting your attitude towards positivity.
You will come across many health, fitness, and motivational articles as the new year passes, and you will hear and see many “tips & tricks” about the “new year, new you” fad, in hopes that they will help to motivate you to get in better shape. Those are all great and all, but a lot of the fitness hype that you will see is repetitive, a bit monotonous, and doesn’t usually motivate you to get your ass up off the couch and do something productive with your life. I’m here to change that. If you want to get in better shape or just be a better person in 2023, it all starts with MINDSET. If your mind isn’t right, then nothing is ever going to change in your life. So, to help push you in the right direction to get started with any goal you may have for the new year – health, fitness, career, family, relationships...etc., then start with your mindset. Coming from a tiny female, turned bodybuilder, turned Air Force Veteran, turned city Firefighter, I know a thing or two about what it takes to get and stay motivated, build accountability within myself, and get shit done. With that being said, that brings me to point #1:
- BUILD ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOURSELF
You are a grown ass adult (or let’s hope you are if you are reading this for that matter) – It’s time to start acting like one. You do this by holding yourself accountable for your actions, or lack thereof; stop expecting other people to do it for you; and practice what you preach. Do what you say you’re going to do. It’s not that hard. Learn how to lead by example, be confident in yourself, and realize that everyone makes mistakes – it’s just about how we overcome and learn from those mistakes as we continue to move forward. Another great way to build accountability is by setting small goals and building yourself up to bigger goals. If you’re part of a team, such as being in the military, working for a fire department or law enforcement agency, set team goals and work together to tackle them, and when you do tackle them, celebrate the wins, and learn from your losses. Don’t be an asshole to yourself or to others when a goal you had planned for falls through or you fail at something. Remember that every failure is a stepping stone to success and each time you fail, means you are that much closer to achieving your goal; so, if you do anything in 2023, NEVER GIVE UP on your goals and dreams and always keep trying and keep moving forward in a positive direction. You will get there when you are supposed to be there.
- DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF. BABY STEPS.
Don’t set too many unrealistic goals or expectations for yourself. The problem with setting these types of goals and giving yourself a shorter-than-normal timeframe to achieve them, will only result in negative emotions such as: disappointment, self-doubt, frustration, and feeling like a failure. You are not a failure, and you need to know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to…well, almost…but you need to make your goals realistic. You want to lose 50 pounds? 100 pounds? Run in a marathon? Get your dream job? These are all great goals to have, but you need to plan them out, figure out what steps you need to take to get there, and make it happen. It’s that simple. It took me 5 years to get offered my dream job, but did I give up on that goal because I failed so many times prior? No. Did I think about it a few times? Yes, but where would that have gotten me? I can say for certain it wouldn’t have gotten me the job I dreamt of. Same goes for your fitness goals. You set that goal, you figure out the steps, you do the fucking steps, and you make. it. happen. You can’t lose 100, or even 20 pounds overnight, so let’s take it one step at a time and put in the work that needs to be done. You will achieve your goals, in time, and that sweet feeling of achievement feels so much better than giving up and not achieving something you have wanted for a long time. Trust me. There is ALWAYS a silver lining and always a light at the end of the tunnel – but you need to get through that tunnel first – whether you must walk, run, or crawl to get there – to see the light in all its glory.
- NEGATIVITY HAS NO PLACE IN YOUR MIND
You know that person that bitches and complains about literally everything and anything and always seems to be the victim in everything they do? Yes, we all know someone like this, and no one likes to be around people like that. They are mentally draining and soul suckers. Don’t be this person.
Moving forward, focus on the things you CAN control and not on the things you CANNOT. Some of the things you can control are: your mindset, your environment, the people you hang around, how you treat others, and what you decide to put in your body. Shift your mindset to gratitude and be thankful for what you do have versus what you don’t. There will always be someone out there that has it better off than you in every aspect of life, and that’s ok. Let them be. Don’t complain and don’t whine, hang out with positive, successful people, get off social media for a while, go for a walk/run/hike outside/move your body, play with your dog or your kid, and enjoy life for all it’s great moments that it offers. Before you know it, your life will be over and you’ll regret not living in the moment more, and not being more positive or thankful for what your life offered you.
- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THERE IS NO “QUICK FIX” OR FAD DIET THAT IS SUSTAINABLE FOR THE LONG TERM
Now before you get all in your head like “yes they do, my aunt Bertha lost 50 pounds on the ________ diet” or maybe you, yourself, lost however many pounds on the ____________ diet. That’s great. I’m happy for you. But guess what? Fad diets are not long-term sustainable and 90% of the time, you and Aunt Bertha will gain back all the weight you lost when you go off that fad diet and back to your old habits. If there is one thing I have learned in my 10+ years of being a personal trainer, in addition to my military and fire career, it’s that eating whole foods and keeping portion sizes down is literally the “diet” that is sustainable for life. Yes, you should also cut sugar way, way down and yes, you should get rid of the fast food, soda, energy drinks, candy, cake, and pie, and overly processed microwavable garbage also. The best rule of thumb is to stay around the outside aisles/perimeter of the grocery store when you shop. The trick to losing weight is always to be in a calorie deficit (eat less food/smaller portions) and to gain, you need to be in a calorie surplus (eat more/bigger portions). That’s literally it. It’s not rocket science; but I will say that not a lot of people have the luxury of being educated in proper diet and nutrition and I feel for these people. The way to get around that is to find yourself a reputable personal trainer that can also write you a meal plan to fit your specific macros and calorie expenditure, catered to your fitness goals, and follow that plan + a good workout program. I guarantee you will see much more results this way than with the _________diet that Aunt Bertha told you about.