We all have our thing. The thing that brings us immersesurable joy, the thing that we’re known for among our friends, the thing we try to convert others to so they too can experience the euphoric completeness our thing brings, a non-relationship BAE – Before All Else – that we’re happy to share with others, unlike our actual significant other.
My heart-eyes inducing thing is fitness, the condition of being physically fit and healthy. Yoga and running are my long-time physical activity BAEs, and I’ve recently introduced weightlifting. In your fitness pursuits, you’ll find that having a range of activities keeps things interesting when one activity turns stale.
Fitness seems so abstract and begs so many questions, but you should absolutely make it your thing! Where to begin? How to begin? What do I need? Is it going to break the bank? How long will it take? All great questions, and to answer them you’ll need to make a few decisions first. So how do you make fitness your thing?
1. Understand what fitness is! Understanding that fitness is the process of being healthy and fit. Yes, a process (not just a one time action) and that process includes both physical activity and diet. Define for yourself what you want your physical activity to be and how you want to embark on that process. Physical activity and a healthy diet don’t mean shredding your body to Adonis-like standards, or only inhaling a few leaves of lettuce and a protein shake everyday. The great thing about fitness is that it should absolutely be personalized to accomplish what works for YOU!
2. Establish a goal! Since we’re talking about a process, you need a goal, and smaller objectives so that your goal doesn’t have to be a one hit wonder. You may start out with a weight goal which gets you to that magic number, but maintaining fitness means remaining active even beyond that singular goal so you can maintain what you’ve achieved. Your goal for fitness could look more like “exercising X times a week” to get beyond “losing X pounds”. If you’re really inspired, your goal may even look like “completing X number of races/competitions/contests by Y time” but it doesnt have to be limited by those parameters. Whatever goal you set, focus on it being SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-based) and you have a much higher chance of achieving it.
3. Create a plan! When you want to spend more time with bae, but there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day, what do you do? You make a plan! The plan not only gives you an idea of what to do, but how often, how intense, and how long. A plan is also a remarkable tool to use to tick off your progress as it happens, check off that work out, reward yourself for meeting that goal. Now, you may be an excellent planner with boundless ideas or you could even take a chance on finding a generic plan on the perpetual wellspring of the internet, but you could get a more tailored personalized plan developed specifically for your needs from a professional. Depending on their specialty, that professional could offer you guidance and advice on everything from nutrition, and routines, to form and events. If you’re considering doing something competitive you should definitely consult a professional.
4. Stay committed! Staying committed to fitness has so many wide reaching and immeasurable benefits. Exercise, in particular, is a daily habit for most successful people. They see their commitment to fitness as a commitment to their total success as a person. I guarantee you your fitness will increase with dedication and commitment to your plan. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy, and for that precise reason, your goal and plan should be something that is sustainable for your life. It’s terrific to have a very specific target – a certain race or completion – but that goal may have very short term and restrictive requirements to meet. Maintaining enduring fitness will require staying committed to activity and good dietary habits beyond smashing that goal!
5. Stay accountable! Because remaining committed is the hardest part of fitness, make sure to have a reliable buddy or two who are part of your process and keep you accountable. Here’s where your relationship BAE and you non-relationship BAE can join forces for your success. It is easy to fall off a one person bandwagon, but if you’ve got a support system that you’re regularly active with, you’re much more likely to stay on target. In fact, you might even become a fitness roll model to others as they see your dedication. A 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise concluded that you are positively influenced by the exercise habits of people you know and likewise you can have the same uplifting impact on those around you. It’s a fitness two-for-one with superhero status included who knew you’d be giving back while getting so much!