Tips for staying optimistic while getting fit

If you have a goal of living healthier or trying to lose weight, you're more likely to have success with an optimistic outlook. Here are four tips to help.

Tips for staying optimistic while getting fit

1. Focus on the positive

  • Try to keep your thoughts directed toward what you want, not what you don't want. Visualize yourself in elegant evening attire or in the jeans you've always wanted to wear, or on a beach with the kind of body for which you've always yearned.
  • Block out the reflection of the overweight person you spotted yesterday in a shop window. The sooner you focus on a positive goal, the sooner you can plan how to achieve it.

2. Self confidence

  • Keep your mind on moving closer to your goals, rather than indulging in negative thinking. Dwell on what you have accomplished. Take time to write down your successes, however small.
  • If you've done your research before setting out on your heart-health journey, you probably know a great deal more about heart attacks and strokes — and how to prevent them — than many of your friends and neighbours.

3. Be detail-oriented

  • To achieve any long-term goal, you need to work on the details. Breaking down big tasks into small steps makes them more manageable and allows you to follow a predetermined sequence, helping to avoid the procrastination that derails so many good plans.

4. Set SMART goals

There is a formula used by business people for setting out their aims that can help almost anyone be more effective in achieving success. When defining your own goals, make sure they are SMART, as exemplified below:

  • Specific "I will go to the gym for an hour every Thursday afternoon." (Not: "I'm planning to get more exercise.")
  • Measurable "I will substitute one portion of fruit for a chocolate bar every day this week."(Not: "I will eat more fruit from now on.") To find out if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as: "How much?" "How many?" "How will I know when it is accomplished?"
  • Achievable "I've decided to cut out fatty meats, burgers, fried foods and take-out." (Not: "I'm going to avoid all saturated fat.")
  • Realistic  "I will take a deep breath whenever my partner irritates me." (Not: "I'm never going to argue again.")
  • Timely  "I'm starting a diet on Monday and aiming to lose seven kilograms (fifteen pounds) waist by May 1st." (Not: "I want a 66-centimetre/26-inch waist.")
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