So you’ve decided that you have some fitness goals, or want a healthier lifestyle, or want to lose weight, or want to get into shape and have your body look a certain way, or be able to run a 5k or 5 miles … what’s holding you back? It might just be you.
To often people sabotage their own success before they even start something.
Today – now – you have to eliminate negativity from your mind and from your psyche. It’s very easy to look around and blame your friends, your spouse, your co-workers, your frame, your body type, genetics, the snack food in the vending machine, the fast food restaurants, your busy schedule or any of those things around you – the list could go on and on – seemingly endless.
You could also sabotage yourself mentally and emotionally thinking about past times when you’ve been discouraged or not reached a goal – or about diets that you’ve been on in the past (remember – diets don’t work – change in lifestyle does).
You don’t have the luxury of thinking this way.
Where you are today is the result of all of the thoughts and actions you’ve taken in the past. Remember, that is the past and what you want to focus on is NOW.
As long as you are living and breathing, it is not too late to make a change.
Yesterday is gone, and you don’t have tomorrow yet – but you do have today – you have this moment right now. This is the time to decide who you want to be, what kind of shape you want to be in, what kind of lifestyle you want to have, what state you want your health to be in.
- Decide on your goal. You may want to work with a coach or mentor if you’re not sure what your goal should be – but once you decide on it – right it down and keep it in front of you – literally. You need to constantly remind yourself of where you are headed and what you want for yourself. This is best done once you decide and commit it to paper. Even better is to have a coach or mentor that helps keep you on track. As a part of this, you have to decide what is most important to you. Once you understand your goal, you can start to measure the things you eat and how you spend your time against that goals. Some things will stack up, other things you will have to give up. It won’t seem like much of a loss as long as you keep your goal in mind and before you.
- Don’t be discouraged that it will take some time and effort to reach your goals. You didn’t get to where you are today overnight, and you won’t reach your goals overnight either. You’re in this for the long term and you have to keep your long-term goals in mind. The one exception to the overnight thing is that it’s not a bad idea to have some mini-goals that you can check off as successes along the way. Decide to skip candy for a day, or dessert for a week, or to exercise every day for a month. Checking off these short-term successes can be a great encouragement toward reaching a healthy lifestyle.
- Place reminders of your goal around you. This might be a post-it note on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror – or maybe on the background/desktop of your computer. These reminders help keep you on track and help keep you from getting of track. Just like you wouldn’t head East if you wanted to go West, you need reminders of where you’re headed. Snacks, cookies, cakes, and lying on the couch snacking and watching TV every night are probably not going to help you attain a goal of a healthy lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you can never eat a cookie or watch a TV show – but it should help you weigh out what’s important and whether your actions are moving you in the right direction.
- Change what you need to change to help you reach your goal. If you want to lose weight, don’t go into the donut shop. If you want to get more physically fit, stop lying on the couch all night every night. If you want to quit eating junk food, stop buying it and having it in the house. If you have healthy foods around you – you will eat healthier things. If you regularly spend some time exercising, you will get more physically fit. If you get good regular sleep, you will be more rested and an overall healthier person. Incorporate the good things you want into your lifestyle and remove those negative things that got you to a place where you don’t want to be. Remember that if you want a different outcome, some things will need to change.
- Forget the past. Its gone and over and you can’t go back and change anything about it. You have today and the decisions you make right now will move you toward or away from your goal. Want to lose weight – you will need to change some of the things you’ve done in the past – probably both diet and exercise (see the posts on which is more important). Want to be able to perform better athletically – you are going to have to find some ways to exercise to help you reach your goal. Any goal worth having is worth the work to get there. If you don’t change anything then you won’t change either – that’s what got you to where you are today.
Finally, try to surround yourself with people to can encourage you toward your goal and with things and reminders that will help you get there. The notes and reminders in your daily planner, and on your screen, mirror and refrigerator are all helpful. People around you that encourage you toward your goal are even more helpful. You should create an environment around yourself that helps drive you toward your goal. It’s your life, and you can have a healthy lifestyle if you