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The Ultimate Guide to Kicking Off Your Fitness Journey

Planning for Success: Time, Money, and Mindset in Fitness

When I began my fitness journey, I didn’t fully grasp just how pivotal time and money would be to my success. While it might sound fundamental, creating an effective plan truly hinges on understanding how much time and money you’re both willing and able to invest. What follows are the insights and considerations that I took into account when embarking on my journey. I’m convinced that this strategic approach has been the cornerstone of my success, and I’m excited to share these steps to help you on your path.

1. Budgeting for Success

Get Transparent with Yourself: Start by tallying up your expenses on groceries, dining out, social events, and other recreational activities over the past three months. Then, derive an average and use it as a foundation for your diet and fitness budget.

Trim the Fat: Are there social or dining expenses that could be swapped for a personal trainer or meal delivery service?

Measured Goals Work: Emphasizing the importance of metrics is key. Those who regularly budget with real numbers tend to apply the same principle to their fitness plan, leading to measurable goals and accurate results.

2. Time Considerations

Time management is critical. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits emphasizes the power of intention by specifying when, where, and what can drastically influence success. Having vague goals simply isn’t enough. Clear recommends writing down this statement: 

“I will do [activity], at this [time] in this [place]. 

IE: I will do 20 min. HIIT workout at 10 am Friday in my living room. 

For me, my workout time became the pivot around which my daily schedule revolved, from my bedtime to meal timings. Would you rather wake up earlier before work to workout or trade in your evening hours to exercise after work? Which routine will you most likely stick to? 

Meal Preparation: Allocating a specific day for meal prep can be a game-changer. Over time, you’ll get faster and more efficient. Consider repeating meals for simplicity.

Ordering Groceries: Simplify your shopping by ordering groceries online. Especially on repeat orders, the process becomes a breeze.

Meal Delivery: Explore promotional deals from various meal delivery services; taking advantage of introductory offers can save both time and money.

3. Prepping Your Environment

Clean Out: Begin your fitness journey with a clean slate. Empty out your pantry and fridge of unhealthy temptations. This will make it easier to stick to your nutrition plan without unnecessary distractions.

Designate Your Metrics Area: Even if you don’t work out at home, designate an area for measurements, journaling, stretching, and meditation. Deciding where you’re going to perform each activity removes obstacles, excuses, and unnecessary mental energy from your schedule.

Practice Makes Perfect: Before you officially begin, consider doing a few practice meals and workouts. This prepares you for what’s to come and helps you get into the rhythm.

4. Mindset

Empower with Knowledge: Changing your body starts with changing your mind. To get motivated and stay motivated, be sure to monitor the content you absorb. For a list of enriching self-help books, check out my top picks.

Progress, Not Perfection: Remember, progress makes people happy, not the illusion of perfection.

The Power of Intention: As James Clear emphasizes, setting intentions by stipulating when, where, and what can have a massive impact on success rates.

Reward and Discipline: Discipline in eating right and exercising regularly is critical, but so is rewarding yourself. According to insights I gathered from Andrew Huberman’s podcast, when high achievers experience the rush of dopamine from a win, they often recount the hard work they put in. This association wires their brains to link the pleasure of success (dopamine) with hard work, keeping them perpetually hungry for more success and motivated to exert even more effort.

4. Gear Up

Home Gym Essentials: Consider investing in equipment tailored to your needs: resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga mats, steps, treadmills, and more. Having a few sets of different-sized weights is optimal depending on the body part you’re targeting.

Gym Gear: When joining a gym, consider investing in a quality water bottle, potentially a lock, a gym bag for toiletries, lightweight headphones, a phone armband, and maybe even a smartwatch. Ensure you inquire about what gear you might need at your specific gym.

Meal Prep Tools: Reliable Tupperware, food scales, and other kitchen essentials can make preparing your meals more efficient. Kitchen appliances like air fryers, microwaves, and slow cookers can be time-savers. Allocating a specific day for meal prep can be a game-changer. Over time, you’ll get faster and more efficient. Consider repeating meals for simplicity.

Progress Trackers: Stay on top of your game with tools like body fat calculators, tape measures, and food/workout journals.

5. Home Workouts Vs. Gym

Pros for Home Workouts:

Flexibility: No set hours; you dictate when you start.

Cost-effective: Many excellent YouTube channels, like Juice and Toya, Caroline Girvan, and Madfit, offer free workouts.

Comfort: You’re in your space. No worrying about appearance or, let’s face it, how you smell.

Cons for Home Workouts:

Motivation: Being alone might affect your motivation levels, compared to the energizing atmosphere of a gym.

Space: Limited space and equipment can sometimes restrict the type of exercise you can do.

Pros for Gym Workouts:

Equipment Variety: Access to a range of equipment that might be too expensive or large for home use.

Social Interaction: The chance to meet fellow fitness enthusiasts.

Classes, Personal Trainers, Amenities. 

Being in public can make some people push themselves harder. 

Cons for Gym Workouts:

Cost: Memberships can be pricey, especially at upscale gyms.

Travel Time: Commuting can sometimes be a deterrent.

Not All Gyms Are Created Equal: There are many types of gyms. I recently joined Lifetime Fitness – look out for my full review soon!

6. Negotiations

When changing your lifestyle, there may be pushback or lack of understanding from those close to you. How will you handle and communicate these changes with your loved ones? Remember, actions often speak louder than words. Stay steadfast in your commitment, and lead by example. You might just inspire them, and don’t be surprised if some have a change of heart after seeing the incredible transformation you undergo.

In conclusion, your fitness journey will be deeply personal and unique. But remember this Rumi quote: “A healthy man has a thousand wishes, a sick man only one.” I wish you health, wealth, and happiness as you forge ahead. Remember, progress is fulfilling, and the time and money you invest will pave the path to your goals. So, set your intentions, find your tribe, and celebrate every victory, both big and small.

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