It’s been over a month since many of you decided to make some changes in your lives. If the stats are accurate, most of you have already fallen off the wagon. Even if you had great intentions, soon the motivation fades and many are doomed to set the same resolutions year after year.
First, if you’ve got off track, don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes it takes many attempts before something clicks and you figure out how to live a healthy and fit lifestyle for the long-term. Just remind yourself that your health is very important, and you can do this, no matter how many tries it takes! Remember exercise is medicine and your health is your most important asset.
The bottom line is that whatever forced you off track last time you attempted these goals, will most likely surface again. To overcome that roadblock, you need to develop a strategy for overcoming obstacles posed by work, kids, fatigue or lack of time.
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Here’s Some Tricks to Make Sure Any Setbacks Don’t Actually Set You Back
Plan for the Struggles
Outline any obstacles that have surfaced in the past or that you expect will surface in the future. Once you have outlined the potential obstacles, then you can determine your strategies for overcoming them. You will be prepared – no surprises.
For example, if you previously found work or family responsibilities got in the way of you achieving your goals, your strategy may be to book your workout appointments into your schedule like you would any other appointment. You will carve that time out for you before some else’s priorities get placed in your schedule. You would not cancel a business appointment with an important client or cancel your yearly physical with your doctor. Likewise, you can’t cancel on your health! Another strategy may be to hire a personal trainer who will force you to stick to your exercise appointment or ask a friend to join you in a commitment to walk every day at lunch.
Another example may be that at about two months into your program, you regularly get bored with what you are doing and eventually give up. So instead, you outline a list of new activities you will try every 2 months.
Set Action-Oriented Goals
Instead of setting weight loss goals, which can often take longer than we want, instead focus on what you need to do to achieve your goals.
So, instead of saying I’m going to lose 10 pounds this month, set a goal that you will do 12 strength workouts and 12 cardio workouts this month and drink 10 glasses of water everyday.
Or set a goal that by the end of the month, you will be able to run for 10 minutes non-stop or you will participate in a local 5K or be able to run or walk a mile in one minute less than your current time.
Action goals you can control directly whereas, weight loss goals can sometimes have you questioning whether the effort is worth the reward when you’re working so hard and not seeing the results as quickly as you like.
If You Hate It, Don’t Do It
If you absolutely detest the activity, it’s not going to be long before you start talking yourself out of your workouts. Find an activity that you enjoy and you’re going to be much more likely to maintain your commitment.
Set goals that you know you can commit to even when life is crazy. You may set a goal to exercise seven days a week and then one week, you only complete four workouts and you feel like a failure. Consider that four workouts are better than what you were doing before, so you should be ecstatic! Instead, set a goal that you know 100% without a doubt, that you can commit to and if you do anything more, it’s a bonus!
Sometimes the outward changes take longer to surface. You need to understand that when you are exercising consistently, you are building an athletic machine that is developing enzymes, capillaries, mitochondria, and the ability to exercise longer and harder without getting fatigued. You are increasing your body’s ability to mobilize and utilize fat as a fuel. These biochemical changes are happening internally and you can’t see them but they are making you a better fat-burning, strong machine. Soon you will overcome plateaus and start achieving results so stick with it!
“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” C. Robert
Yours in health & fitness,