It can be hard to begin a lifestyle dedicated to good fitness and health, but there are ways to make it easier; pointers and some rules-of-thumb may make the routinization of new habits slide more smoothly into your already stressful life. For the inexperienced trainee, here are two general guides to stick by on your quest to better health.

Goals you can attain

Have you ever done fifteen push-ups or sit-ups and looked immediately after to see the results? Similar to the “think globally, act locally” mindset, we want to imagine big, but hold ourselves to attainable goals and draw up realistic blueprints for reaching them. Just as a book is written a chapter at a time, weight loss and strengthening require the patience of the process to achieve. It is always better to start small and work your way up than to collapse under pressure and quit cold turkey.
In a slightly separate vein, do not get hung up on externalized desires, or reaching goals that do not truly represent you and what you want. Work for yourself and your own confidence, not the approval of someone else. You are the greatest source of motivation for yourself. Do not get carried away with image you want to match or become (ex. a famous celebrity), just keep in mind a healthier, stronger, authentic version of yourself.

Work efficiently; Focus wisely

The Pareto axiom found universally states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the cause.” To exemplify this, 80% of the apples in an orchard come from 20% of the trees. Simply, this means that some efforts are contributing more to your workout than others. This includes the more fundamental components of good health such as good quality sleep and nutrition. If it is easier to run a long time and work on cardio than it is to do heavy lifting for bulk, stick to the cardio.
Good nutrition involves staying away from processed foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats and bad cholesterol. It doesn’t mean stripping all your meals of zest, in fact a lifestyle that approaches ascetic tendencies may endanger you by diminishing general happiness and inspiration. A good workout calls for a good meal, and its okay to eat what you like, as long as you remove the unnecessary factors such as cheap, processed snacks. Julian Hayes II writing with the Huffington Post says “pleasing your palate and meshing with your lifestyle” is the most important part of a good diet.
Sleep is the most crucial player in maintaining good health, and yet, it is the quietest. Lack of sleep and irregular sleeping patterns affect the levels of hormones in your body and throws off homeostasis. Good fitness presupposes bodily equilibrium. Commit to a sleep schedule, and use a bedtime routine if it helps secure those needed hours.

For more on this interesting article, check it out at the Huffington Post.