Written By: Christian Rivera | Photography By: Brian Sager

Christian Rivera gives his top tips to tying mind and body.

The hardest part of reaching your ultimate fitness goals is consistency. But there’s a secret to being consistent: the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the week, I try my hardest to be mindful of what I eat and how I workout. Twenty percent of the week, I indulge. So if I accomplished my 80 percent rule from Monday to Saturday, I go all out at Sunday brunch with a stack of pancakes, French toast, extra bacon, and eggs fried in bacon fat. If you want rock-hard abs, maybe that 80/20 rule isn’t for you. But if you want a happy and healthy journey to overall fitness, then small, mindful changes are huge.

Being patient is the key to reaching any goal. If you’re consistent and disciplined, results will come over time. When you are patient, goals are earned and you achieve a new healthy lifestyle, rather than just a quick fix. Taking time with your health and fitness journey is the only real way to achieve long-lasting success.

Don’t get too caught up in the fitness “influencers” on Instagram doing back flip burpees or one-handed pullups. Start with the basics. Most of your results come from doing the basics really well. Stick with the old school exercises and you will see results faster than ever. But be sure to mix it up as well. One day do body weight workouts, then another day some strength training, another day bike, swim, run or simply walk. The key is to keep your body guessing.

Having a friend along with you on your fitness journey makes a huge difference. You will push each other till you both reach a goal. You will show progress together. One day they will have more motivation than you and will push you to walk that extra mile or get that extra rep.

The brain is a powerful tool. It can bring you down if you let it, but if you tap into a good, patient, disciplined mindset, it can open up endless possibilities. Be aware that you control everything around you. It’s not an easy thing to do these days, but if you tune into what your mind is telling you, you can accomplish anything. You are your own coach, the strongest voice on your fitness journey.

There was a study on Major League Baseball players vs minor league players. In that study the things that made the difference between both leagues were mental toughness, confidence, dealing with failure, expectations, and positive self-talk. Having an optimistic outlook on life will change how you see the world in general. Thinking positive—having confidence in yourself, getting up off the ground when you’re down, and believing that there are endless opportunities out there for you—is a major game changer in life.

Remember that health and fitness is different for each individual person. This list is what makes me happy in my health and fitness journey. But we all have different goals. Health and fitness can be anything you want it to be. A walk in the park. Playing with your kids. Going on a bike ride with friends. And as far as diet, just being mindful of what you eat each day will make a huge difference. Take it day by day and everything else will follow. Embrace the moment and embark on your own epic journey.

Christian Rivera has been a trainer for nearly seven years at Nantucket Cycling and Fitness. He also works as a personal chef, catering private parties. Follow him on Instagram @cr_fit_food.

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