Training isn’t always fun. It requires discipline. It’s often painful at the beginning. We put in a lot of effort to ensure that life doesn’t get in the way. We become consistent by prioritizing training in our schedules. We spend money to keep ourselves accountable. We wake up early or stay a little later than we have to just to make time. We may skip out on eating out, coffee with friends, TV shows or anything else we might do during our personal time to stay on track. That’s a lot of effort. It’s difficult especially for new athletes to adjust to this life change.
We recommend that you start with what you can and as you get comfortable, expand your comfort zone. If you can do only only once or twice a week, do just that. Explore adding a training day after consistently achieving your small target.
An “okay” plan that you can stick to is far superior to the “perfect plan” that you’ll quit after a few days or weeks.
Overcommitting leads to early failure and burn out. Overexerting yourself leads to exhaustion. Both situations make you feel like a loser fighting an uphill battle. You need to set yourself up for victory instead of failure–slow progress that makes you feel like you’re winning. When you’re happy you’ll last longer, get to do more and achieve more.
Here are some thoughts to consider that can help you keep the joy in the training.
Track the right things.
Take note of your benchmarks. How much weight can you lift? How many reps or rounds were you able to do? How fast were you? How was your form? Every few months compare yourself with your past performance. Consider shifting from aesthetics goals to performance goals. Aesthetic goals are a by product of achieving performance goals. You have little control over the aesthetic part but perfect control over the performance part.
Acknowledge what you’re doing and appreciate your progress. It might take some time for you to reach your goals but consider this. You are far ahead of everyone who needs to make changes to their life but are doing nothing. Document your progress. Write down the workout. How did you do? How many rounds? How do you feel? In one sentence, what did you learn or need to improve? Celebrate the small wins.
Get better at your new skills
What movements have you unlocked that you previously could not do?
Do you now have strengths that were previously your weakness?
What was previously hard for you that is now easy?
Track your results correctly.
Don’t base your progress on pounds lost. How much fat and muscle mass is more accurate. You’ll need to use more complicated tools to measure your results. Here’s a trick. As early as you can take bathroom selfies after every workout and compare them every two or three months. If selfies aren’t your thing you can also log your waist line.
Make friends and have fun.
Don’t compare yourself to others. You can admire what they can do as you cheer them on. People who are ahead of you are there to show you what is possible when you achieve as soon as you reach their level. Don’t take things too seriously. Just have fun as you do what you have to do.
Nothing good ever comes easy. The road to your goals is often long and hard but with the right attitude and the right strategy, you can keep the joy as you train to achieve your goals.