So many people go into the New Year vowing to make it the best year, particularly when it comes to fitness and nutrition. But after speaking with Eva Redpath, award winning Equinox Signature Program Presenter, we realized that January 1 doesn’t mean anything if you’re not committing the right way, so with that in mind, we got Eva’s top eight tips on how to create attainable goals and actually achieve them.
1. Decide on a time and stick with it
When I work with clients, I always talk to them about their schedule because exercise is something that they should look forward to and not a daunting task. The best thing to do is to identify when you will get your exercise in that fits into the routine that you already have. Maybe that’s a 6:30 am workout, maybe that’s a lunch-hour workout or maybe it’s a late-night after-work workout, but it has to work for you.
2. Identify your fitness personality
Once you have an idea of when you’re going to exercise, you need to identify what your interests and personality are: Are you the type of person that likes to workout alone? Just put in your ear buds, get on a treadmill or the weight floor and bang it out by yourself? Do you need one-on-one coaching? Maybe go with a personal trainer? Or are you the type of person that needs accountability and group camaraderie? So group fitness classes are going to be your style.
3. Listen to your body
If there’s a morning where you’re saying to yourself that my body cannot do this, listen to it and honour it, then get your sleep. What we don’t want is to ever get run down to the point that we lose motivation. However, energy creates energy. As soon as you get the gym and start to move, all of a sudden, energy is created. That’s something to keep in mind as well, but there’s a difference and you’re going to know that you either physically can’t or if it’s that little voice in your head saying to hit snooze.
4. Set (realistic) goals
When we start with goal-setting, we’re not doing a complete lifestyle overhaul on January 1. Staying focused on your goals is about two different things: determination and purpose. Start simple and choose a goal that is measureable and meaningful. If you’re going after the same goal every year and not reaching it, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if that really means something to you, because if you look back at the things that you’ve accomplished, it’s because it really meant something to you.
5. Make a plan
Setting the goal is just the first step, but knowing where you’re going and what resources you’re going to need is important. I am all about being specific so using words like I will get to the gym three times per week and then visualize yourself doing it. I always ask my clients how many times they want to exercise per week and then how many times they’re going to exercise per week then we start there. There’s a difference between what you will do and what you want to do”we have great hopes for ourselves and we want a lot of different things, but what we’re willing to do is a different conversation. I’m all about setting goals outside of your comfort zone, but also being extremely realistic of what we will go after is different. Of course, leave room for plan B. Things don’t always go according to plan, but it’s really not about falling off the wagon, it’s about course correction and how you can get yourself back on track without punishment.
6. Change things up
One of my favourite quotes is ˜the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ So, switching up your workout routine to keep your body guessing is certainly going to help with that. Equinox has a variety of class categories (plus a new location in Toronto, opening early 2016), depending on what your goals are, but they’re all going to develop better muscular balance and stability and reduce the risk of injury and reinforces the body’s ability to move. One of the trainers created this week of ideal workouts that include the variety of categories, all giving you the type of targeting that you would want to get strong, lean, toned and conditioned.
7. Don’t let your nutrition stop when your workout does
For nutrition, it’s really about fueling your body properly both in pre- and post-workout, plus drinking enough water to support all of that. What happens in the gym is 30 per cent of the equation, and the other 70 per cent is nutrition, so you don’t want to erase all of your hard work and efforts in the gym with what you’re eating.
8. Don’t skip recovery
We don’t focus on regeneration enough so we’re really trying to educate our participants about that. Stretching post-workout, foam rolling, which is extremely beneficial, getting those yoga or restorative classes and then getting a good night’s rest will all regenerate our bodies before our next workouts. We don’t want to go into our next workout completely empty. We need to restore our energy and regenerate the body.