- Make many, small goals for you to work towards.
There is nothing like accomplishing goals to encourage you to keep working. Making smaller goals that you can work towards every week will help you stay motivated to continue your fitness journey, and will give you realistic feedback on how you are improving. For example- if you want to do a muscle-up, break the movement down into accessory work that you can build upon. Perhaps challenge yourself to mastering a certain number of pull-ups and dips first, and once you’ve achieved those- keep going! Smaller goals can help keep you on track for achieving larger ambitions, like competing in fitness contests, sporting events, or simply losing fat.
- Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint!
The first few weeks in a new fitness regime, it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement and go a little overboard with your dieting and training. Just remember- you have plenty of time to reach your goals (especially as a college student!) so try to pace yourself, and stay consistent. True progress cannot be made in a week, so it is necessary to continue to work hard, even when that initial excitement is over. Find healthy ways to motivate yourself, and aim to find a manageable balance in your training and in your life.
- Be kind to yourself.
Oftentimes, we are our own worst enemies. It can be easy to feel discouraged when you are not making the progress you want, or have far-reaching goals. The harder you are on yourself, the more likely you are to quit- so don’t do it! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a solid fitness foundation. Remember that all fitness goals should come from a place of self-love and self-improvement, not self-loathing. You are taking a step towards bettering your body and your life, so be proud of yourself!
4. Avoid the fads, and stick to the facts.
In a college environment, diet and training fads can be prevalent and tempting. Do not succumb to them! Fad diets may give you results in the short term, but real change takes time and dedication. Do your research; look at what other athletes are doing to make their goals happen, and figure out what works for you. In some cases, hiring a coach or consulting with a trained professional can help you create a long-term plan that will keep you physically (and mentally) healthy. There are no shortcuts to fitness, and anyone who says otherwise is simply trying to sell something. Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for anyone new to the fitness world, as it features countless articles on training, dieting, proper form, and more!
5. Focus on your fitness- the body will follow.
This tip goes out primarily to newcomers in the training world looking to change their bodies. While having aesthetic goals is fine, unless you are trying to compete in a bodybuilding competition or other aesthetic sport it is important to focus on all aspects of fitness and your health. Losing weight or adding muscle can be extremely difficult and disheartening if desired results are slow to appear. Focusing on your potential as an athlete all around will give you motivation to continue, and will help you build a sound body and mind. For women especially, lifting weights and making strength goals is INCREDIBLY important, and can help you achieve any look: from lean and tight to muscular and large. Your body is an amazing machine with incredible potential, so treat it like one. Train hard, eat well, lift heavy, and stay committed- the body you desire will surely follow.