The beginning of the year is always the MOST exciting time for anyone who has decided that this year they WILL make fitness a priority. For these people, this resolution is probably a longstanding one that has continued to show up for them new year, after new year, after new year. The cycle is usually pretty consistent – rev themselves up quickly and die out just as quickly come the third week of January.
If this is you, I TOTALLY understand. We have the best intentions and we mean it when we say we WANT to change, but we forget that our desire to change has to be disproportionately greater than our habits & subconscious beliefs, otherwise…no go friends. Otherwise, try as you might, want it as you do, you will not create a successful change in your behavior.
So, what CAN we do to help us CREATE this habit? What practices can sustain us and bolster us so that we don’t perpetually fall off our good intentions thereby decreasing our self esteem and sense of personal trust?
Create A Vision For Who You Desire To Become. Like all good goal setting practices, manifesting the kind of fitness relationship you want to have begins with identifying what you WANT. Take a few moments to get clarity on WHY you want to have a steady fitness habit and WHAT you want to see happen as a result of it. Tap into the FEELING sense of becoming the kind of person who has already met the goal you desire. Write it all out in the present tense, i.e. “I wake up every morning at 6 am and prepare for my daily workout by….I enjoy a delicious breakfast of…..I’ve lost 100 lbs and I feel…” Below are some questions to help you tap in!
- How many times a week do you want to workout consistently?
- What do you want your eating habits to be like?
- What time do you want to workout daily?
- Is your goal: 6-pack abs? 10 lb loss? 100 lb loss? Not pulling your back?
- How does it FEEL to have already accomplished this goal?
- Who are you NOW that you’ve accomplished it?
Set A Date For Your Goal & Put It Up Where You Can See It. At this point you’ve established your vision and you should be feeling pretty pumped about it! So, whatever goal you decided for yourself as you were exploring your vision, write it down and pin it up somewhere where you will see it EVER.SINGLE.DAY. I mean it. Do NOT let this vision escape you – write the goal down on a dry erase board, post it on your TV, your fridge, your children – whatever! Just make sure the one goal you identified for your fitness is within reach always.
Set Yourself Up For Success With Planning & Scheduling. This is unsexy work friends, but it matters. Choose one day out of your week (that day is Sunday for me) to sit down and PLAN your upcoming week. That means having a planner – ideally- and going day by day and asking yourself, what do I have to do on this day? Mark out all responsibilities like work, childcare, appointments, etc. THEN, go back into your day and WRITE IN YOUR WORKOUT TIME. Yes. Do it. If it’s on there you are much more likely to actually do it. Your every day may not look the same, so be sure to follow this procedure for each day taking into account your schedule changes. Choose 1-2 days to take COMPLETE rest. This is important when you are starting out so you don’t burn yourself out. Trust me.
After that is done, create a weekly meal plan – doesn’t have to be super fancy, just effective. I use a regular wall calendar, which I keep in my kitchen, and write in the little squares what dinner concept I’d like to have for the week, i.e.”Burgers with X sides”, “Fajitas with X sides”. I go day by day until all 7 days are filled in Monday-Sunday. Now, the anxiety of what to make every night is gone and when I am grocery shopping, I know EXACTLY what to buy which also prevents overspending.
If you’re feeling really fancy, apply this to breakfast, lunch and dinner. But, in my experience dinner is always the MOST vital one to figure out because you can have left overs for lunch which makes two meals very easy.
Use Trackers & Rate Yourself Weekly. I have a REALLY challenging time with sticking to schedules in general. So, I’ve had to devise many different systems to help me stay focused. Two things I created are a “LIFE TRACKER” and a “BUSINESS TRACKER”. These are simple grid-like trackers I made using Google Sheets (free resource! check it out!) and helps me check off when I’ve completed a task.
For me, because my fitness is part of my job as a coach, I’ve included it in the business tracker sheet – every day when I complete my workout and drink my Shakeology, I mark both of those boxes as complete. I keep these trackers pinned up, by my home office, where I can see them and check things off easily. These allow me to stay SUPER focused on what needs to get done each day and prevents me from wasting time. On the Life Tracker I also have included the chores that need to get done every week with a goal for how many times per week.
At the end of the week I look over my trackers and “rate” myself. How did I do? How consistent was I? Where do I need to improve? Rating yourself is the only way to know how you’re doing in business or in life, if you REALLY want to step up your game, this is a MUST.
Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP. The number one reason people fail at anything – financial freedom, business, losing weight, changing eating habits – is because they stop before they see major success. I get it, sometimes when you’re starting it feels like you’re NEVER going to see your vision come true. There can be many weeks, months, and even years of investing and correcting course before you TRULY see what you want come to life. There will be times when you derail – you get sick, injured, family, travel – that’s all normal. That is LIFE. But, you get BACK TO IT IMMEDIATELY.
When these things happen as they inevitably will, you decide that once you’ve dealt with the situation you will refocus and get back out there in the GAME! This single concept is what divides masters from amateurs. Masters don’t have it all figured out, and they certainly aren’t perfect. Masters, however, don’t quit. No matter how hard it gets, or how many life events happen, they rest, recoup, and GET BACK INTO IT.
The true secret to success is to never allow yourself to quit. If you can sell yourself on this, it’s only a matter of time before you “make it”.
May these guidelines help you get a firm stand on your new fitness (and other) habits and may you now feel better prepared to stick around for the long haul. Your success in fitness, and in anything else, will truly come as a result of the “compound effect”. The longer you are consistent with something, the more result you will reap and at some point it will happen so rapidly it will truly amaze you.
Wishing you an insanely successful year in ALL endeavors.