It’s always hard starting something new (or re-starting something old). Playing piano. Managing to keep a garden alive for more than two weeks. Moving to a new place. Starting a new relationship. It all takes work.
Starting on a path to physical health can be challenging, too. Whether you’re brand-new to fitness or you’re getting back into a fitness routine, that first step is the hardest one to take. You can’t compare your journey to anyone else’s: you are uniquely beautiful. Start where you are and let your fitness journey begin here and now.
The First Step is the Hardest
Every marathon begins with one step (that’s just a metaphor, of course: I hate running!). The journey towards a healthier life all begins with one decision: the decision to start.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. You can kick it all off by taking just one step towards a healthier life: swapping out a piece of fruit for sugary snacks. Walking for 20 minutes. Calling a friend to invite her to a Zumba class after work.
One step is all it takes. You don’t have to run the entire marathon in one day, but you have to at least start moving in the direction of your goals.
Be a Goal Digger
Speaking of goals, what are yours? Do you have big, audacious goals along with smaller, more measurable benchmarks? Are they specific? Or are they more of a “wish” than a goal?
Now that you’ve taken that all-important first step, it’s time to create a roadmap for this fitness journey.
First, spend some time digging down to the why of your journey. Why do you want to get fit? What’s your end goal? What motivated you to pursue these goals in the first place? You can find more detailed information about Finding Your Why in this blog.
Second, create goals using the SMART method. Your health and fitness goals should be:
Then, write your goals down. Seriously, get out a pen and paper (or use your phone, if you’re young and cool), and put those goals in writing. Then, post them somewhere you’ll see them often, like on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or in your home gym. Keeping those end goals in mind will keep you motivated, even on days when you don’t feel like moving your body.
Be Kind to Yourself
As women, we’re socialized to believe we aren’t enough as the women standing next to us. We compare ourselves to others, beat ourselves up, and often have super harsh and harmful inner dialogue. When you start out on a fitness journey, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of comparison:
- Her thighs are so much thinner than mine.
- My stomach is so much softer than hers.
- Why can’t I look like that?
- I’ll never have arms that fit.
But here’s what I need you to hear: you are perfect, just the way you are. Sure, you can make healthier choices and gain strength, but that all takes time. You don’t need to change anything to be worthy of love and acceptance. You are already worthy. Your health and fitness journey doesn’t change that fact. It just means you’ll be a stronger, more confident version of your already perfect self.
Take a moment to analyze your self-talk. If you were talking to your eight-year-old self, would you feel comfortable saying those things to her? Or would you be horrified at what she hears? Be kind to yourself. Life is already hard enough.
Consistency is the key to success. We’ve talked about consistency before, but this is a message that bears repeating. Your motivation will come and go – even if you write those goals on your forehead and look at them every day. There will be days when you simply don’t wanna. However, if you create consistent habits, you’ll be more likely to overcome the blah and get back to business.
Make your health a non-negotiable priority. No, you don’t have to get it all right 100% of the time, but it’s essential to make time for yourself and your health journey. We all get caught up in the day-to-day, but true change comes from making a commitment and showing up, day after day, week after week until you reach those goals.
Ready to get started on the road to better health? We want to cheer you on! Share your first step with us in the comments below. You’ve got this!