This article is inspired by Tony Schober’s article at CoachCalorie.com. Find it here.
If you are one of those people who has tried and failed to get in shape and achieve your fitness goals multiple times, you have to read this.
We often think that the root of the problem is that we are not following the right program, not trying hard enough, or not eating healthily enough. However, maybe you are trying too hard…
STOP TRYING TO RUN STRAIGHT UP THE MOUNTAIN
Let me put this into context…
Imagine your goal is to climb a mountain; a big mountain. Are you going to try and run straight up it? NO. You are going to take the longer and less steep route around the mountain because that is the logical way to reach the top.
Even if you could run up the mountain, it is going to take so much out of you that you are not going to enjoy it one bit and will hate the whole process. On the other hand, you could gently walk up the mountain whilst chatting with friends, enjoying the scenery, and even stopping to have a picnic; you could love the whole journey and want to do it again.
Your fitness goal is the mountain, and should be approached in the same way:
Make changes you know you can keep
As Tony states in his article ‘Follow This 1 Rule Before Making Any Changes to Your Diet‘, he tells you to ask yourself two questions when making changes to your diet:
- Is the decision I’m about to make going to make me healthier and happier in the long run?
- Is the decision I’m about to make going to be around for the rest of my life?
Of course you are not going to be losing weight forever, but these questions are great indicators to see if your decision is right for you.
When we are climbing our fitness mountain, sprinting straight up it is likely not going to make you as happy as taking it slowly, having fun with friends, and enjoying the process. This is the real-life equivalent of trying to go on a raw vegan diet and cutting out alcohol completely when you love meat and going out to bars with friends on a Friday night. Also, the chances that you are actually able to dive in and commit to something like that and see it through is very rare, which is why most of us fail to get in shape.
Loving the process is essential to achieving your goals as fitness is for life; you can’t just get a six pack then go back to your old eating habits and expect your six pack to stay; you have to be able to stick with your changes. This is why I am a strong believer of slow, gradual and consistent change, as this is key to slowly build up your momentum whilst maintaining consistency.
Another point which I feel is often overlooked is that people tend to have an all or nothing approach; either you eat chocolate or you don’t or you exercise or you don’t… change does not have to happen like that.
Instead of cutting out chocolate, why don’t you focus on binning one square once in a while? This will satisfy both our questions; you will feel good as we are taking a step to becoming healthier, yet it is such an easy thing to do that you could maintain doing that for life.
Slowly we can build up on this when the change becomes a habit, and we can continue to accumulate positive habits whilst feeling good about them. We will not be resenting fitness as we are not cutting anything out, but just controlling ourselves a little bit more.
The same applies to exercise; instead of starting to work out for an hour 7 days a week, why don’t you just do 5 minutes of walking once every few days?
If you want a step-by-step guide to slowly and gradually achieve your goals, click here.
I hope this gave you some insight regarding goal setting; it is better for your fitness journey to be easy, maintainable and fun, rather than unsustainable overkill.
I would like to extend a big thanks to Tony for the inspiration. Check out coachcalorie.com for great articles.
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