Spring into Action – Today!

Spring into Action

Now’s the time to start planning how to look your best on holiday.

At long last, all the rain has stopped and at least for a few days we can enjoy some lovely spring weather. It also means that we’ve all been given an early reminder to start on our summer body preparation, so if you’re ready to get started, here’s a step-by-step plan to feeling energised and full of confidence.

Although it may be a few months until your holiday, it’s easy to let time slip away or to get distracted by life along the way. So the key thing is to resolve now that you will be feeling great. Decide what you want to achieve and write it down, along with the date you want to achieve it by. Be realistic; set yourself a goal that should be relatively easy to accomplish provided you stick to your plan. So if weight loss is your aim, base the goal on no more than 1lb per week. It may not sound much but it will all add up to a significant amount. Plus you may even exceed it which will keep you super motivated.

Now find a friend or colleague who also wants to achieve similar goals to you. Agree to check in with each other weekly so that you can share your progress and encourage each other. For added incentive, choose a treat that you can enjoy together if you BOTH achieve your goals. That way you’ll be letting him or her down if you stray off track too regularly.

Next, work out what you need to do to achieve your goal. For weight loss, find a diet that you are confident you will be able to stick to. Avoid faddy or rapid weight loss plans, but instead choose natural foods, with lots of fruit, veg, lean protein and complex carbohydrates.    For fitness, decide how often and for how long you will exercise, and consider what form that exercise will take. If you can, aim to include outdoors activity whether that is sport, brisk walking, jogging or cycling. Being outdoors brings extra benefits – you’ll feel more in touch with nature and will find your routine a lot more enjoyable. If toning or muscle gain is your aim, then ask your gym instructor to design a programme for you and review it monthly. Alternatively get yourself a home exercise DVD or book, or sign up to one of the excellent online/e-mail training programmes.

Then take a full length photograph of yourself from the front and side and put it somewhere you’ll see it everyday. If you have a favourite piece of clothing you would love to be able to wear, then dig it out of your wardrobe and hang it somewhere prominent.

If you’re good with spreadsheets or graphs, create a means of recording your progress each week visually. Most of the online diet programmes will do this for you.

So now you have your target, your plan and the discipline and support in place, so just get started.

Record your food intake and/or exercise completed on a daily basis. Don’t cheat. This will act as an extra discipline for you and prove a useful review tool if the results aren’t as good as you’d hoped.

Each week, review how you did the previous week. What was easy and what was difficult? How can you avoid the difficult situations or make them easier to handle next time? Do you need more help? Do you need to adjust your diet or exercise programme or add more variety so you enjoy it more?

Remember the following:

  • It almost certainly won’t be easy so decide now that you are strong enough to forego the short term temptations and that you will instead enjoy the feeling of being in control
  • There will likely be occasional bad days; just minimise the degree of badness, then put it behind you and get straight back on plan
  • It’s best to enlist support wherever you can; tell people what you’re doing so they don’t undermine your efforts – plus you’ll want to avoid the embarrassment of failing

Make this the year you look your best yet!