Mentally, physically, let’s do this thing.
1. Pick a fun fitness goal
Last month I made it my goal to nail down a series of jump rope tricks without messing up. See video clip here for proof https://www.instagram.com/p/BtwcwJ8BWk3/. What was fun about this goal was jump rope is something I sincerely enjoy learning and growing in, and what was beneficial about that passion for it was the progress I made and the results I got. My love and want for this goal to happen made me work 10x harder than I normally would on the rope had I just decided to freestyle for 10 minutes with no goal in mind. I’d find myself tired, sweaty, and sore all over after sessions dedicated just to working on my rope skills.
So here is what I’m trying to tell you: pick a goal that will be fun for you and you are so much more likely to succeed in getting in shape. For example, if you used to do gymnastics but haven’t attempted not even a cartwheel in years, make a hand stand your goal. And do whatever it takes to get there –more shoulder work, more stretching, more core work, etc. If you’d like to throw 60 clean jabs in a minute, start working that jab arm in more ways than one. If you enjoy dancing, make learning a break dance move your goal. Anything that jives with your interests will be worth your while and will keep you coming back to your space of fitness.
2. Make yourself a kick ass playlist
Music can seriously set the tone for my workouts. But not just my workouts… if I’m not feeling quite up to going to work, I blast hip hop music while I get ready and in the car ride on the way there. If I’m feeling down, certain music can help lift me up and out of my mood (and off my couch). If I’m feeling like I can’t finish my last 3 minute round of shadow boxing, I blast 2pac and keep it moving.
Notice how I said music helps me when I “feel” a certain way. What I’m getting at is music truly can play on our emotions, so when it comes to getting in shape – use that knowledge to your advantage. I definitely allow music to overcome my senses while I listen to it, especially during a workout. I immerse myself in it and let my body move to the beat, and it powers me when I feel I can’t go on any longer and I have witnessed it motivate countless others. To help you get started on making your pump up playlist, I’ve created a list for you of my current top 10 pump up songs to listen to during a workout. It’s mostly hip hop so if that’s not your jam, skip over and read on.
- Through The Wire – Kanye West
- Drip – Cardi B, Migos
- American Dream –Jeezy, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar
- Everyday – Logic
- Definition –Mos Def & Talib Kweli
- Pick it Up – Famous Dex, ASAP Rocky
- APESHIT – The Carters
- I Get the Bag – Gucci Mane, Migos
- Notorious Thugs – The Notorious B.I.G.
- Pain -2pac, Styles P, Butch Cassidy
Guys, this is a big one. And I mean it. I know you’ve likely heard it before in a thousand different ways but let me keep it real simple for you: if you want a killer body, you have to start with your head. It’s the damn truth. And I’m not saying that people who are not in shape are not mentally healthy. What I’m saying is that as my mental health and self-esteem improved, my body changed with me for the better. And I don’t mean just the amount of fat on my body, I’m talking I had less stomach aches, my lower back was no longer in pain, my skin cleared up, etc. Things changed because I was listening to my body better. Things changed because I no longer feed my emotions with alcohol, sweets, chips, smoking, overspending, gossiping, etc. Meditation is my new release. It’s a way for me to free my mind, improve my self-esteem, and listen to my own self first and foremost. I highly recommend the app Calm. Although it costs to get full access, this one has helped me the most and it’s a small price to pay for the benefits you can reap. Aura and Headspace are ones that friends and family have told me are great and are free. Treat yourself and spend 10 minutes per day just for you in silence and I think in due time you’ll notice the physical benefits that come with it.
4. Talk about it
Don’t be shy about what you’d like to achieve in your life! Tell those you trust most what your goal is and why it’s important to you. Telling others helps us to become more accountable. When I decided I wasn’t going to drink or smoke weed for 30 days, I told two people I could trust. I asked these people to check in on me every other day. Their presence was so encouraging during the first few weeks when it was the most difficult – they helped me stay on track. When I felt like lighting up a blunt, I’d reach out and they supported me and reminded me of why I started this in the first place. I firmly believe we are not meant to do things alone. Life is too hard and gets in the way too often. Those who love us want to see us succeed and remind us of how awesome we are especially when we feel like failing. Don’t keep your awesome goals to yourself, share it however you’d like – with one or two people, with Instagram, in a book, whatever will motivate you to succeed. If you’re fearful that you will fail and be embarrassed, remember this is about you and not anyone else. Share in a way that makes sense to you and know the right people will not make you feel bad if you don’t meet your goal.
5. Start with small, healthy habits
Research shows it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. If you want to see a positive change in your health, set yourself up for success by creating a schedule for yourself. Start with your sleep schedule – for example, make a pact with yourself that you’ll wake up between 6:30 and 7:30 am every day and go to bed between 10 and 11 pm every day. This is just a small adjustment that will help keep your body more in tune. After you feel you have that down, you could make a goal to do 20 push-ups every day at 10am. Set an alarm for yourself so you know you’ll do it. Start with small, healthy habits and they will help you achieve the bigger picture goal. If you start big with just the goal to “lose 30 lbs!”, you will likely become overwhelmed on how to get there unless you have a plan of small, achievable habits. The key to creating these habits is making a promise with yourself and for yourself. Don’t do this for anyone else but you.