Posted by on Dec 19, 2014

Dispatches from Xenowang and Fitocracy

So you’ve decided to join Fitocracy and get in better shape. Great!

We know how much of a struggle it can be to reach a fitness goal. All of the work, trial and error, education, time management… it can be exhausting!

So, we put together a simple list of things to help you focus on the pure essentials to boost your chances of success. Stick to these, ignore the fads, and go get ’em!

1. Have a plan… and figure out if it’s working

First things first, you need a plan. Putting blind effort toward a goal usually doesn’t work. Once you’re following a plan, it’s a good idea to periodically evaluate how well you’re progressing toward your goals. Be really honest with yourself. If you’re unhappy with how things are going, then it’s time to identify what’s working and what’s not so you can figure out what to change.

2. Set the right expectations

Oftentimes we pursue an unrealistic goal that either leads us to harmful behavior or disappointment, which can screw up our relationship with our health. Whenever you set a goal, spend the time to figure out whether it’s reasonable or not. If you tell yourself you’re going to drop 20lbs in a week or double your strength in a few months, take a step back. It’s fine to chase an ambitious target, but break it into attainable chunks that benefit you in the long run.

3. Get accountability

It’s way too easy to make excuses and deviate from your plan when you’re by yourself. Everyone loses steam at some point and most of them can’t pick it back up by themselves.

So get other people around you invested in your success. They’ll keep you honest and on track. Whether it’s a friend, a partner, the Fitocracy community or a personal coach, you’re far more likely to stick to your plan if somebody else is holding you accountable!

4. Track your progress

If you don’t know where you’ve been, it’s hard to tell where you’re going. Keeping track of your workouts means you can look back and see your progress over time. It’s a great feeling to look at the difference 6 months of improvements can make!

Jerry Seinfeld once revealed a productivity trick that can be applied here. To become better comedian, he writes every day. His approach was to take a calendar and put a red mark on each day he wrote. After a few days, he had a chain of marks. He says:

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

So make sure to log those workouts! And remember, not every day needs to include a formal workout. Even logging your walks and general activity throughout the day can make sure you don’t break the chain on Fitocracy.

5. Find your positive feedback loop

One of the biggest reasons people quit a fitness plan is because the effort they put in outweighed the reward. Might seem obvious, right? Yet people still do it all the time. They go all out, see mediocre results, and give up. Don’t do this!

Your job is twofold:
A. Find an approach that you enjoy, or at the very least can stick to without much trouble. Do it at a rate you can sustain.
B. Make sure that approach clearly gets you to your goal, whether that’s weight loss, building strength, feeling better, or having fun.

Done right, your successes will motivate you, spurring you to keep putting in the effort, bringing on even more success. It’s a beautiful cycle!

Remember: a good plan + consistency = progress

What’s next?
We hope these tips help you get closer to your goals. Remember that getting results takes time. Remember to log those workouts, keep a positive mindset, and enjoy the journey!

Featured image courtesy of Fort Rucker.

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