Everyone has been there, you start off really motivated and fired up to make a change. The only problem is in the back of your mind you know that you’ve been here before and the outcome is always the same.
You diet, fall off the wagon, restrict and then get back on another diet hoping for a different result.
We both know it’s not going to be any different though.
I heard a coach in the fitness industry named Scott Abel describe this beautifully. He explained two scenarios that relate to health and fitness:
In scenario one you’re taking a trip to a far away destination for a few week vacation and you pack and plan according to what you’ll need for a few weeks on vacation.
In scenario two you’re moving to the same far away destination which requires a lot more packing and planning because this is where you’re traveling to but you’re building a new life there as well.
These two scenarios help to describe the difference between those of you who are looking for the quick fix diet, and those who are looking to develop a new lifestyle.
The problem is that there are too many of you that are expecting to move someplace new permanently, but you’re only packing and planning for a vacation.
Once your vacation is over, you want to stay there but you didn’t plan or pack for any kind of long term trip.
This same concept applies to those of you who are expecting to develop a new lifestyle with your nutrition and health, but are only planning for a 30 day diet.
The takeaway from this is you need to plan for where you want to take your body and health.The forethought and planning that many people neglect is the difference between success and failure.
So how do you go about doing that planning for lifestyle changes ? Let me help you out.
1.) Get Clear On Why Your Goal Matters
The reality is that there are going to be challenges, and at times reaching your goal will not be easy.
“Cool Alex, how does this help me ?” “First off this is my blog, and only I get to be condescending… Let’s continue though.”
When you’ve gotten honest about why your goal matters it has be something that elicits strong emotions or an aspect of your life you’re not comfortable with.
I’ve sat in my office and spoken to clients about seeing their family members get sick and close to death in front of their eyes. Wanting to be able to play with their kids without getting out of breath and seeing them graduate high school.
We’ve discussed the root of their negative self images/confidence issues related to how they feel about how they look.
If you want this to be a lifestyle get brutally honest about why it matters to you otherwise in the face of challenges you will give up.
I use “the 5 why’s” exercise to help peel the layers of the onion back. A simple google search will get you the exact template I use with my clients.
2.) Accept The Mistakes
You learn way more from your mistakes, than successes. They are a natural part of the process and can be a stepping stone to better future decisions if you accept that they happened and learn from them.
3.) Your Environment Matters, A Lot
You make over 200 food related decisions per day and many of them are largely influenced by your environment.
The important thing to consider is that you have a lot more control over your environment than you may consider.
If you’re having a hard time controlling your eating of a certain food look at your relationship with that food, you may need to keep it out of the house for a period of time.
Put the foods that you want to eat more of in clear sight and make them easily accessible like on a prominent countertop.
If you’re having a strong food craving drink a glass of water and go for a walk to entirely change your environment.
Take inventory of your food environment and make small changes to alter it to encourage the behaviors you’d like to do more of. If you’d like help with this click HERE.
4.) Take The Time To Recognize/Celebrate The Wins
The reality is that the number on the scale and the measurements are not going to always be lower than yesterday, and may even be higher.
If these are the only gauges you have for success you will allow your mind to interfere with your long term goals.
By celebrating other wins you will be able to see a whole new realm of progress you hadn’t considered, such as:
Using a new hole in your belt
Less PMS symptoms
Better workouts at the gym
Pants are looser
Feeling better about your food choices
Less food cravings
In a better mood overall
5.) It’s Going To Take Longer Than You Want
There is a reason that very few people actually reach their goals. You know there are a variety of ways to get healthier and lose body fat that work.
Everyone wants the hack or shortcut, but in reality patience and a willingness to do the necessary work to reach your goal is required, not optional.
The reason that you’ll have problems getting to that finish line is that sometimes progress will be slow and there will be plateaus along the way.
When you accept that this process is going to take time, and commit to being in it for the long haul upfront you quickly realize how little fluctuations and fat stalls matter in the bigger picture of getting to your goal.