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4 Strategies to Make More Progress in the Gym

4 Strategies to Make More Progress in the Gym

There’s always going to be a few bumps along the road to becoming fit.

Not everything will go as planned and it’s perfectly normal to sometimes feel that you’re just not making the progress in the gym that you had hoped for. But don’t give up! I’ve compiled a short list of strategies that you can apply right now to help get you back in the game.

Whether you’re an advanced lifter or a complete novice, the following tips will help you to get back on track and make more progress in the gym.

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1. Make time

Admittedly, this one seems like a no-brainer. But simply showing up is oftentimes the hardest thing for many people who don’t consider themselves the ‘fitness type.’ And while it’s relatively common knowledge that exercise may help to lower levels of anxiety and depression, it’s also been show to do so even if you are forced to exercise.

So, if you’re struggling to make progress, try scheduling time for exercise in the morning. This way, you’re less likely to make other commitments or encounter conflicts that may bump your date with the gym to a late time, or worse, erasing it from your to-do list altogether.

Not the 6:00 am workout type? No problem. Schedule your workout, even if it’s just a brisk walk, during your lunch hour. This way you’ll still have your afternoon and evening free to attend to your other commitments.

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2. Find a buddy

Everything is more fun when you can share it with someone else, right? And health and fitness isn’t any different. Some of my most memorable times in college were when my two roommates and I would gather our gym gear and head off to the gym in the evenings. Usually one of us would remind the other two that it was time to go, no excuses. And guess what? We always went to the gym.

So, here are a couple of things that you can do:

Firstly, survey your closest friends and find one (or two!) who are interested in joining you in your fitness program. Maybe they are way ahead of you and in better shape. That’s great, because they will be able to help you out, provide you with valuable advice and give you a goal to shoot for. On the other hand, maybe they could use a little help just like you to achieve their own health and fitness goals. And who knows? Maybe they are yearning for someone just like you to come along and help motivate them. Regardless, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised to learn that one of your close friends is just as interested in becoming healthy as you are.

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Secondly, if now is simply not the time for your friends to begin their own fitness journey, then I recommend joining a group training program. Not a class of 35 people, but a group program of 10 – 20. These programs are typically found at the now ubiquitous micro-gyms. They typically offer at least some level of personalized service and, most importantly, are filled to the brim with enthusiastic and motivated people who may have started out just like you but then progressed to become a fitter version of themselves. There is no better exercise support group.

3. Keep it simple

It’s easy to look at a lot of the fitness magazines today and think that you need to perform the most complicated movements out there because they should be the most efficient, right? But this isn’t always the case. In fact, regressing in fitness complexity is often what pays the real dividends. We are learning more and more every day that our bodies move in an integrative way. When we isolate our body and train each piece one at a time, it’s not only a more laborious process, but can even lead to detrimental movement down the road. Search for a workout program or training group that understands this concept.

4. Ask for help

This is hands down the best thing you can do if you’re looking to make more progress in the gym. Because we are all students of fitness and we are all still learning. No one has all the answers. And if you feel like your fitness regime is in a rut, then ask yourself who you can reach out to.ÂEven I have a coach! In fact, at a conference I attended earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the most prolific names in the fitness business had his own coach too.

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So look around and see who may be able to help you out. Maybe they are the credentialed trainers in the gym or other fitness professionals in your neighborhood. What I think you’ll find is that people are more than willing to help you out if you ask.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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