While one of the hardest parts of any fitness journey is getting started, staying consistent and committing to lasting fitness habits can prove even more difficult. Abby Pollock, an engineer and fitness trainer, knows this all too well. She's been at every point on the fitness spectrum and has shared her journey on her social media over the years.
Pollock had an engineer's mindset and was fascinated with efficiently taking things apart and putting them back together. Her Work Smarter, t Harder approach focuses on home workouts and healthy fitness habits and has helped hundreds of thousands of women with The Team Plans. She believes that by taking a simplified approach to meeting your goals, you stand a better chance of staying consistent and setting yourself up for long-term success, rather than getting discouraged when you meet the high expectations many have of themselves as the new year begins set, not fulfill.
She explained some of the basics of her approach to building good fitness habits, nutrition and consistency. You can also get more insights on her YouTube channel.
Why New Year's Fitness Goals Fail
Overall, a lot of people start the new year with a lot of motivation, and I love that. I think it's a great time for a fresh start. When you're motivated it's easy to put that energy into the wrong things and maybe set bigger goals than you should and you become too committed to what's actually realistic. A lot of people start the new year thinking what's the most I can do today. Whether you follow a very restrictive diet, lots of cardio, or a rigorous exercise routine, rather than asking what you can do the most, I'm trying to get people to rephrase that and ask what the least is what you can do will make you feel like you are taking steps toward your goal. My goal when I'm training people is how can I do it so easily that they don't even realize you're doing it. You're still making strides toward your goals, but I'm not making big strides. I am committed to the small actions that lead to these larger goals over the course of a month, two months and three months because you are now sticking to a routine.
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Honesty is the key to consistency
w is the time to be really honest with yourself and that doesn't mean criticizing yourself. Many New Year's resolutions set people up for failure because they're too extreme, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that people fall away. It may well be that it didn't work out for you at first because if you don't fall now, you will eventually fall or burn out because this routine isn't designed to serve you. Starting from scratch doesn't have to be a bad thing. My advice is to focus on routine rather than extreme. Let's get back to what's the smallest thing I can do. How can I do less so I can keep at it and get results instead of getting stuck in the cycle of self-destruct, burn out and start over? w it's time to find out what three important things you can do. Let's be really realistic about training and diet and focus on what you can do consistently.
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Take control of your fitness habits
Which I would recommend to people who are investing in a dumbbell set if it's within their budget. If it doesn't, grab those gallon jugs and some heavy objects you have laying around and start doing some YouTube workouts. There are so many things and they are all free. That's just to get moving. I'm also big on walking. It's something you can do anytime of the day, anywhere, and every little bit counts. It's something that will help you feel more active. Once you're moving, it's easier to keep moving. So many people get stuck in a routine of sitting on the couch watching Netflix or sitting at their desk at work, but once you get moving and create a routine of getting up and moving, it becomes easier for your body.
You don't have to start by cutting out an entire food group and going on some crazy calorie deficit diet. I think a good place to start is to develop a routine with grocery shopping and try a few basic dinner recipes. Everyone has a different definition of healthy, but these are recipes that should be fun because you have to eat them consistently. This is like two to three recipes that you can alternate throughout the week. Many people get off track with their diet when they get home from work. They have nothing to eat and don't want to cook anything, so they grab something to go or eat what's in the pantry. If you can find 2-3 recipes that you really like and you can control portions, but doing just that one routine will build momentum. Too many people try to change everything at once. Start with dinner, find these basic recipes, rotate them throughout the week, and swap them out as needed. That alone will be so helpful.
Some people try to do six to seven workouts a week. That's crazy when you're brand new to training. Try three workouts. If you're trying to change your entire diet, let's do these three basic dinner recipes. Do your best earlier in the day but make sure you have the food prepared at home. Instead of doing tons of cardio, just go for a walk. Get up after meals and go for a walk, add it to your morning routine. If you work in an office, walk around the office after lunch. There are small things you can do that people refuse because they think it's too small to make a difference. When you do it consistently, every bit really counts.