Having health and fitness goals as well as high personal standards are very important things to have. What’s even more important though is taking action and actually achieving these goals. So why do so many people get stuck, fall of track or don’t even get started at all? Here are just a few reasons that prevent people from getting started or pushes them off track.
Thanks to technology and the internet we have so much information right at our finger tips, but for some, this can be incredibly confusing. One day you’re supposed to eat a low-fat diet, the next you’re supposed to include more fat, then you’re not supposed to eat carbs, but then it’s okay to eat the “right” kind of carbs, then you’re not supposed to eat gluten or grains or dairy or sugar or GMOs, aahhh! We have medical doctors saying one thing and then alternative doctors saying another. With all of the information out there, who do you trust? What do you believe? Ultimately, you have to make the final decision, do what works best for you as long as it leaves you in the healthiest and happiest state possible.
Most of the time the issue for people isn’t a lack of knowledge (see above) it’s usually due to a problem with their mindset. If you say words like, “I can’t”, “I don’t think I can”, “What if… “, you’re blocking yourself. The only person who can hold you back from doing anything in life is you. Start saying things like, “how can I?”, “I can” and “I will”. Once your mindset is in a good, positive place you can achieve anything.
All Or Nothing Approach
There are many people who think the trick to reaching their goals is to employ an all or nothing approach. This idea either prevents them from doing anything at all, or they are determined for a week (maybe two) and one little slip up has them with their hands up in the air. Making changes and reaching goals takes time, it’s important to have patience or you’ll find yourself back at square one. Think about a baby being born, they don’t come out of the womb writing a thesis… they go through stages of lifting their head, then rolling over, then crawling, then walking, and so on. The best approach is one that is step by step so habits can be formed and then easily maintained.
Now, let’s look at the steps needed to set and achieve your goals.
1. Set The Goal
First we need to set the goal and write it down. This goal needs to be somewhere that you can see and review it daily. Try posting it on your bedroom door, bathroom door, mirror, fridge, etc. Those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
2. Break It Down Into Micro Goals Until You Get a YES!
Your goal is probably quite big and may seem daunting so let’s break that goal down into micro goals until you can agree to get started. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 20lbs. You know you need to watch your diet and exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes each session. You see those 3 days and think, “that’s too much I won’t stick to that”… so let’s break it down some more. How about starting with 2 days per week for 30 minutes? If that still seems like too much then how about 1 day per week for 20 minutes even if it’s just for a walk? If you then think that you can handle that then that’s what you start with. You can build up to 3-4 days down the road. The main thing is to just get started.
3. Set Up The Plan
Having a plan of action and knowing exactly what you need to do will make your life a thousand times easier. Do some research online or hire a coach to set you up in the right direction.
4. Schedule It In
Schedule in your workouts or your meal prep right into your calendar. You can also set reminders on your cellphone. You’d schedule in a dentist appointment so why not make your health and fitness a priority too? Have a no cancellation policy.
5. Take Action!
This is probably the most important step. If you don’t take action nothing will happen. Use step 2 to get you to agree to something then get after it right away! Motivation doesn’t usually last so get on it! Do it now!
6. Stay Consistent
Consistency is key. The results will come with dedicated effort over time. It may feel like your efforts are not paying off while you’re working on your goals, but trust me they are, and one day you will wake up and be in a much healthier and happier place.
7. Get Support
Having a support system will help hold you accountable but also provide you that love and encouragement you need along your journey. There will always be naysayers and those that try to talk you down but just remember, you are doing something positive for yourself. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people and ignore the negativity.
Even though you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels with your health and fitness goals, it truly is possible to achieve them. Set up a plan of action, take action and keep going. Don’t let anyone stop you, not even yourself.