If you have a HUGE weight loss or performance based goal that is very important to you, but also massively overwhelming, the easiest way to start is to break it down in chunks over a year (each year) and keep it as simple as possible.
Start with your WHY. Start with a writing task- find and schedule time for yourself in a peaceful environment to sit down and write your 'why'. I encourage you to write this 5 times- each time explore what you wrote- go deeper and deeper- until you get to the real 'why'. It needs to be strong enough so you stick to your training and nutrition when times get tough, and they will! Then write this down on a mirror, in your daily diary, somewhere you can read it and see it daily, so you don't forget.
While you are writing, take out your diary or phone to look and see where you can schedule your training times in weekly and put it in like an appointment for you. It's easier and better to keep it the same each week and stick to a routine. If you are a morning person- get up and exercise in the morning...it's a great start to the day! If you know you probably will press snooze- don't make it hard for yourself and then feel guilty later, schedule your training straight after work or on your lunch break. Choose the times that work for you the best and utilise the weekends also.
I highly highly recommend getting a coach- especially if it is a HUGE goal. Think of it as an investment in you. 1000% it will be your best investment yet. If 1-1 PT coaching is not in your budget, there are plenty of groups available- excellent value for money. Find a friend to join with you (but not someone who you know will skip out at the last minute and go to the pub instead). Groups are a great way to meet new like-minded friends and most groups are very welcoming and encouraging to beginners- a big support system. I recommend training with a group 2-4 times per week with a focus on strength/resistance training. You just need to show up, do the exercises, and one hour later you are done!
Getting your food right or better plays a bit part in results. Again you may have to do some emotional work around this if food is a comfort or coping mechanism for you. I recommend seeing a psychologist or dietician if you have a lot of weight to lose- to help you initially break the habits and replace them with better habits that are moving you closer towards your goal. Remember you don't have to be perfect, just consistently better- think whole foods and meals over junk foods. Prioritise protein in every main meal, add always vegetables or salad and some carbs. Be mindful of high calorie or high palatability foods- anything fried or any foods that have a combination of fat and sugar- For example ice-cream, milk chocolate or a chocolate thickshake is highly palatable, easy to overeat/drink and leaves you wanting more with minimal nutritional value. Say away from these foods, and if you still are craving this (after eating a proper meal), then have a little-use portion control or find a lower fat/healthier alternative. An easy way to stop this is not to buy it, so it is not staring at you saying 'eat me', when you open the fridge.
If you are struggling getting in enough protein daily I recommend supplementing with a protein shake- they are so many brands out there now that cater for all dietary preferences. If you don't want whey (dairy based), then there are plenty of alternative proteins (pea/rice/peanut or soy based). The Australian brand Muscle Nation has delicious plant based protein that also helps curb a sweet craving. It is a myth that you will get 'big and bulky' drinking protein powder! You need to do a LOT of work for that to happen, so don't be afraid of it. I'm still waiting to get big and bulky nearly 20 years later.
Have a start and end date for your diet cut, around 10-12 weeks. If you have a lot of weight to lose like 15kg-30kg then start with a goal of 10% of your current bodyweight. So if you were 90kg- your first weight loss goal over a 3 month period is 9kg. Then you need to sit in a maintenance phase for around 8 weeks. This is VERY important for 2 reasons:
To continue practising all the good habits you have made over the past 12 weeks while lifting your calories a little.
To let your body know and get used to it's new set-point. If you don't do this (maintenance) then you may likely put back on all the weight you lost again. Keep training this entire time.
When you are mentally ready to start another 'cut' or calorie deficit (deliberate fat loss phase), then again do it with the help of a professional and have an end date. Keep the goal of another 10% of your new current bodyweight. So if you are now 81kg then the goal is around another 8kg loss to get to 73kg in 12 weeks. Repeat the process above. I would do NO MORE than 3 cutting phases in 1 year. Maintenance is the most important part of the weight loss journey- practising the good and new habits that got you there.
Please know and realise the journey will not be easy! But it is a journey- enjoy the process, the ups and downs- and there will be plenty of challenging times. Have a flexible 'can do' mindset and keep your reason why at the forefront of your mind. Remember to celebrate your successes! Any loss is a loss- any amount. If the scale is not moving, this is not a reason to quit- there are so many more measurements of success- your energy levels, your digestive health, your mental health/happiness, how your clothes fit and look on you, your cardiovascular fitness and increase in strength are all measurements of success. Even saying no to a slice of cake or bringing your own food to a BBQ is a win.
I am here to help- I have trained close to one thousand people over the past 18 years to hit their goals and I am also a qualified nutrition coach. Email, or set up a Zoom call with me for coaching if you have specific goals -it works. If I am not able to help you I can recommend someone close your home that can.