No matter how determined we might be to stick to plans, whether diet, workout or overall fitness, it only takes a few doubts, or a few missed days to lose our way and end up at square one. So what can you do right to make sure you sustain your fitness routine so it becomes a lifestyle? Here are some tips to help you stay on your journey.

At some point or the other, we all reach a place when we feel we must do something about our health and fitness. And so we begin, but somewhere along the way, we lose focus and things go back to how they were. So how do we make fitness a lifestyle? How can we make the change permanent? Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

1. Find a routine that fits your needs.

Just as body shapes and types differ, how each body works, it’s metabolism, nutrition and fitness needs differ as well. Meaning, fitness is not like a glove – one size does not fit all! What works remarkably well for one person may not necessarily work for another person.   Similarly, not every diet plan or workout routine, no matter how good, will suit you. May be you’re lactose and gluten intolerant. May be you eat fish and eggs but don’t eat meat. Or, perhaps you travel a lot or do not have access to a gym. Many people are unable to keep up with their diet and workout plans, not for a lack of effort but simply because it doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Your lifestyle and preferences are uniquely your own, so what suits someone else, may not work for you at all. A fitness routine isn’t something you can copy from the Internet and paste onto your life. Which is why, when you pick a diet plan off of the Internet, there could be foods that are not available in your local store, or are too expensive. Too many demotivating factors like expenses, availability and time will only make it more difficult for you to sustain in the long run. For you to be able to stay on track and actually maintain your fitness routine, you have to find a routine that suits your body, existing lifestyle and personal preferences.

2.  Get a good coach. You’ll get good results.

These days, with so much knowledge available at our fingertips, it’s easy to gain knowledge on calorie counting, macros, metabolism etc. But after a point, there’s an information overload, and you end up hitting a roadblock. May be it’s because keeping track of all these numbers start feeling tiresome. Or may be because the results don’t show even after weeks of hard work. At a time like this, it’s easy to have doubts on whether what you’re doing is any good for you.

Well, that’s why having a knowledgeable and supportive coach is worth every penny. The ideal coach will create a fitness plan that is customised to your needs, and be there to follow up with you and motivate you every step of the way. You won’t have to worry about planning anything, and you won’t have to worry whether all the work you’re putting in will actually bring you results. Your coach will remove any hassles or uncertainty, clearing the way so you can focus on the one thing that matters – slaying your fitness goals. Your coach will also hold you accountable every time you start to slip, while also applauding every victory like it’s their own. And where do you find a coach who will do all this for you? You can find him right here at MSF!

3. Build a strong support structure.

When you’re beginning something significant like a fitness plan, a strong support structure is an irreplaceable source of strength for you to draw from. And I say this from personal experience! Do share your intentions and plans with not just your family but also your friends. If you’re at a party and feeling tempted by that second piece of cake, your best friend will have your back. Or, if you’re finding it difficult to wake up early enough to get to the gym, ask your sibling to be your alarm clock for a week or two!

Your loved ones always want the best for you and want you to succeed. When they see you’re truly dedicated, they will do everything they can to help you. Once they realise you’re on a transformative journey, they will not just empathise but go out of their way to help you. They’ll never force you to binge, cheat or miss a session. At get-togethers, they’ll make sure you have tasty, healthy food so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

Just know that sometimes you may need to reach out to ask for help, and be specific about the help you need.

4.  Make yourself accountable to a social media audience.

Of all the inane things we tend to share on social media, share something meaningful like your fitness journey. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be as a way of keeping yourself on track. Whether it’s a healthy dish you’ve cooked or a particularly difficult workout you’ve tried, sharing your journey with a larger audience works as a great confidence booster. Especially on days when you feel low, or feel like quitting, the support you find in your social media audience will work as a great motivator. In fact, you would probably have become someone else’s motivation for setting out on their own journey.

If not for anything, be consistent with your updates keeping in mind what your social media audience might think of your prolonged absences. It will help you get back on track any time you feel yourself slipping. So if not for yourself, do it for the ‘gram! And don’t be shy to share about your difficult days either! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of people who’ll be there rooting for you to get back on your feet!

5. Give yourself regular breaks to let off some steam.

Everyone, no matter how disciplined, needs a break! In fact, just putting aside any thoughts of diet and workout for one odd evening, every once in a while, can work wonders. It will help you come back stronger the next day. But it’s also good to plan the off-days, such as weekly cheat days.

Also, every now and then, take a longer break. And when you do, don’t burden yourself with any guilt. Instead enjoy yourself fully so that when you come back, you’re ready and roaring to go! But always, always have an end date in mind for your long breaks. To make yourself accountable, tell a loved one or put it out on social media, if you need to. Ultimately, you have to be ready for roadblocks to come your way and believe that you will be able to overcome them. Every time you do fall off course, ask yourself why and learn from it. And once you’ve truly found what’s working for you and see the results, you’ll never want to go back!

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