by Sandesh Palungwa Limbu

Many people drift into gyms with the vaguest of ideas of what they really want. We have all done it at some point I guess. Some of us come in wanting to lose a little weight, some wanting a hot body, and some on the doctor’s advice. As we come towards the close of the year, a lot of among us will soon also be making new year resolutions, and fitness figures on most people’s list. And with little forethought, a lot of us will sign up for gym memberships or classes that will hardly get used.

Vague goals will get you vague methods and even vaguer results. You’ll spend 30 minutes panting on the elliptical machine, contract a few muscles with almost tragic optimism, work a bit of each body part like the bloke working out next to you before hitting the shower and heading home. After a few days of enthusiasm and almost no result, you’ll find every excuse in the book not to go to the gym.

Here, I am putting together a small list that comes top of the mind for you to think about as you set fitness goals:

What you give is what you’ll get. You will have to trade your comfort if you want real change and real results. It will hurt, it will be frustrating, but if you can actually make friends with what it takes, you will not only enjoy your workout and see results but be committed to your health, body and over all wellbeing as a lifestyle choice.

Stay the course, stay focused. Set small and large goals and work towards this with determination. Make it more interesting by wearing the right gear, investing in a great pair of shoes, breaking the cycle with a fitness holiday with buddies.

Find something that excites you. If working out with machines bores you, try kickboxing, power yoga or mixed martial arts in a group class. Too often we only focus on the results and how our body will look, instead start focusing on what makes you feel good – running, boxing, dancing – and the rest will follow.

If you are really serious about your fitness goal – keep a journal and try not to repeat a routine exactly the same way.

Think about why you are doing a certain exercise. Connect your mind to your body. For example when you squat, which muscles are you firing? It’s important to know. It helps you understand your body better and helps you focus on proper form, execution and injury prevention.

Diet is a huge part of your fitness goals. What you eat, when you eat and how you eat are all equally important. Changing your eating habits is tougher than anything else and I would advise you to go slow and smart. You just have to be mindful and making conscious healthy choices when you eat. Going drastic means more chances of breaking down.

Fitness is a sum of all your efforts – both in and outside of the gym. Doing a few intensive workouts and eating clean for a bit will not get your permanent results. Enjoy training, enjoy testing your limits and progressing. Yes you will go off track every now and then but the more important aspect is to keep the focus and jump right back for it to be sustainable.

What you are ready to invest is what will determine your returns. Focus on staying healthy, staying strong.

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