With any goal or change in life, there is no time like the present. Stop putting things off to tomorrow or Monday. One slip up doesn't mean you've failed entirely or will never achieve what you originally set out to do.
Below are my 4 main points that I use with all my clients no matter what their goal is. If you can implement it and stay consistent you are guaranteed to succeed. Remember to keep re-visiting your goals too. As life changes, so do they.
1. FIND YOUR WHY Make it as realistic and achievable as you can. Break down the steps to achieving that goal so it isn't such a daunting prospect. Here is where a coach or personal trainer can be a great help and guide to you. They will help you find what is realistic for you and show you how to adapt your routine gradually and effectively to reach that goal. They can also help manage your expectations from their professional experience and knowledge. If you struggle through any point in the process they can be there to reassure you and empower you along the way. A good coach will hold you accountable but won’t take ownership over you and your values. They will help cultivate autonomy and act only as a guide. They will educate and support you in making your own choices.
2. IDENTIFY OBSTACLES What are your current core values and priorities? You can make a list if it helps to see it there in front of you. Workouts and movement should work around you rather than you working around it. A new routine will not work if something you already value takes priority over this new change. Identify what might hinder your desire for this change and if it will be realistic to try and confidently do and, most importantly, do consistently. Jumping in to do 5 workouts a week from nothing is hardly going to be sustainable and, chances are, life will certainly get in the way and you will burn out and just lose all motivation. Look at your change on a scale of 1-10 of certainty. 9 or 10/10 means you are very confident you can sustain this new routine. Anything less than 9 and you are unlikely to be successful. You will need to try and incorporate it in a different way. So instead of the 5 workouts, are you more confident that 2 or 3 workouts each week are more realistic? If so then nail that consistently and that will serve you so much more than doing just a couple of weeks of 5 workouts and then ceasing all workouts entirely because you are fed up and tired.
3. CHOOSE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME This is the mistake the ‘all or nothing’ approach and serial ‘yo-yo’ dieters make. Trying to take on too much at once is only going to set you up for a fall. Pick one change, the most realistic and achievable one you can do right now, and smash it. Consistency is key. Take on this change and be successful at it for at least 2-3 weeks before taking on any other changes at all. Also focus on the big “building blocks” of change first. A lot of people skip the basics and the very important foundations of a healthy lifestyle and focus too much attention on exact exercise regimes or specific supplements as being the magic answer to all their woes. Do not neglect the importance of the basics. Don't overlook how much sleep you get, whether you drink enough water, if you need to simply move more each day, if you eat a balanced diet first regardless of supplements, do you eat enough protein or fibre? Those are the big ones which will give you the biggest return on investment.
4. ENJOY IT This is last on the list but probably one of the most important factors. You will not sustain any change if there isn’t enjoyment in the process. There is no point running if you hate it regardless if someone tells you it is the best way to lose weight and get fit. Yes, maybe for them it has been but that certainly doesn’t mean it is the way for you. You need to find an activity that you genuinely enjoy and can keep doing. Be it exercising with friends or groups, doing crazy elaborate dances in your living room to your favourite playlist, yoga, swimming or simply walking. You don’t have to sweat and you don’t have to hurt (physically or mentally).
Lastly, you don’t always have to have a coach or personal trainer to hold you accountable. You can use mobile apps or even create your own habit table where you can tick off all your achievements and track your progress. You can do it with a friend to cheer each other on and have someone to share the process with. Just remember, as they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat...
If you would like some further reading on habit changes, two books I recommend are: - The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you have any questions or wish to enquire about my coaching and personal training, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org