5 Ways To Ensure Your Long-Term Success
Struggling to make your fitness and health goals?
Searching “personal trainer near me in Ann Arbor” to find the help you need?
Starting off on your journey to improving your health, losing weight, improving performance, and feeling better about yourself can often be intimidating and confusing. There’s so much information out there nowadays which can be a good thing, but at other times be the worst thing for you. If you’re searching for a personal trainer near you in Ann Arbor, there are some common statements that can confuse or even stall out your success.
“You should only lift weights.”
“You shouldn’t lift anything over 3 lbs and only do cardio.”
“Stay away from grains. They cause inflammation and make you fat.”
“Only eat paleo. Our ancestors ate this way…” - after the “our ancestors ate this way” claim is usually when I tune out.
There are so many more generalizations that are made about health and fitness. When someone has an agenda, they’re going to shove it down your throat. These individuals, although probably well-meaning, will likely leave you confused because they’re so convicted in what they say. This was probably the complete opposite of what you heard from another “expert” on a different blog earlier this week.
Check out these 5 surefire non-controversial ways to ensure that you get the most out of your time working toward your health & fitness goals.
1 - Participate in physical activities that you enjoy
I don’t care if it is Pilates, yoga, lifting weights, badminton, or even Pokémon Go; if you enjoy it then the likelihood that you stick with it rises dramatically. Making physical activity a lifestyle is the goal, rather than something that you do when you have time or only when you’re frustrated with the way that you look & feel.
Bottom line: find something that you enjoy
2 - Participate in multiple physical activities
You will notice more improvement via the transfer of the physical qualities of one activity to the other. Not to mention that there will be different health benefits that you get from certain activities that can’t get from others. For example, when I go play basketball versus hiking, then I get exposed to multiple planes of motions at varying speeds with a reactive component (the basketball, other players on the court). While hiking will definitely give me a cardiovascular boost and work on developing lower body strength endurance, it lacks the qualities that I develop playing basketball.*
*This is in no way, shape, or form saying that you should play basketball over hiking or saying that basketball is superior to hiking.
By participating in multiple activities, you also expand your social circle which helps with accountability. This helps tremendously with adherence!
3 - Work on one habit a time
This is something that we do with our clients at COVAL. Why work on one habit a time? When we focus on changing aspects of our lives, we can get a bit overzealous and try to do it all at once. This might mean we are working on changing 5 different aspects of our lives at the same time. What happens the majority of the time is that we fail at changing any of these aspects, we don’t develop any new habits, and we end up frustrated and either give up or move on irritated, yet repeating the same patterns. Focusing on one thing at a time ensures our best chances of success. Once that habit is formed, then we move on to the next desired habit.
How long should you work on each habit?
There’s no clear-cut answer, but research has shown anywhere from 21-66 days to develop a habit. There should be some sort of objective measure so that you have a deadline to work with. At COVAL Fitness in Ann Arbor, we use 21 days with our clients to get those new healthy habits in place.
When is a habit considered mastered? A good way to measure that is if the behavior is executed 80% of the time, then you can consider that mastery of a habit. From there you can move on to the next habit that is going to get you closer to the vision that you have created for yourself.
4 - Acknowledge Your Victories - Even the Small Ones
There are two trends we see:
People acknowledge their small victories but do so in a way that enables the behavior that they are trying to change. They tend to overdo it. An example would be if someone makes a goal to eliminate alcohol for 14 days straight, and is successful, then to celebrate they go out for the night with their friends and drink themselves into oblivion. They wake up the next morning, their first meal is something greasy because it “helps the hangover,” then they nap for the afternoon… Do you see where I’m going with this?
People rarely, acknowledge the small accomplishments in life. They might even struggle to embrace the big victories (I have been guilty of this too often). Simply put, they’re so caught up in the end product that they don’t take the time to celebrate and acknowledge the steps that they’re taking to get to where they want to be.
Neither situation is desirable. If you tend to fall into the former category, then be sure to select celebrations that stay away from previous behaviors that got you to the place that you started from. If you’re a member of the latter group, then take some time and smell the roses every now-and-then. You will have a better appreciation for yourself and the effort that you have put in to get to your new milestone.
5 - Find External Accountability
External accountability is a HUGE part of long-term success. Whatever the goal, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to find external accountability. Find people within your group of friends who have similar goals. If you don’t have any, then find a group of people outside your circle. Meetup.com and Facebook are great places to find groups with similar interest. Even if you can’t find a group, you could use your social media profile to put your goals out for all to see. It’s a great way to put some more “skin in the game” and up your level of accountability now that everyone has seen it. Finally, if you want to maximize your chances of success, then hire a professional. They’ve most likely been in your shoes at some point and/or surely helped others achieve the same success that you want so badly.
“The best gym in the Ann Arbor area! Coval Fitness changed the course of my athletic career and gave me a community of people to lean on when I moved to Michigan and didn't know many others. Mike and his staff individualize each person's program to their personal needs in a way that you can't find anywhere else at their price. They have created a fantastic culture, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.” – Harry R.
Read more of our reviews