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Successfully Achieving Those Health & Fitness Resolutions

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Successfully Achieving Those Health & Fitness Resolutions

Posted by: Chip

The new year is fast approaching, and, once again, millions of people will make resolutions they will never achieve.    It’s time to break that cycle and accomplish those resolutions with some techniques that work.


Know Your “Why?”


Goals that have intrinsic satisfaction are often more powerful than ones that rely on external motivation.  Too often people set resolutions because they feel pressure by others (spouse, friends, society, etc.) to set a resolution.  I once had a boss who quit smoking…multiple times, often after pressure from his wife.  The problem was he wasn’t internally motivated about quitting as he perceived more satisfaction from smoking (taking breaks from work and hanging out with his friends or networking with other employees in the smoking area, the pleasure from that addictive habit, etc.) than the health risks.  So, he would quit…and then re-start a few weeks later.


On the other hand, I have known several people who ended the cycle of losing and re-gaining weight and lost the unwanted body fat once and for all.  When I asked them what finally “clicked” with them to start again, consistently work at losing weight, and then maintaining the weight loss, one replied that a heart attack caused his spark.  Another replied his spark came when he became so overweight that he had to sit and watch his kids play in the park because he was too out of shape to chase after them.  Another realized her children were growing up overweight with bad habits because they watched her.  As children often observe what their parents do rather than say, she wanted to be a better role model.


Find your specific “why,” your spark, or your “light bulb moment” on why you want to accomplish a resolution.


Habits, Not Motivation


Motivation can be a powerful force to help you work on a goal.  Unfortunately, it ebbs and flows.  So, planning on being motivated all the time is often not a great plan.   The most successful athletes and people have days or even weeks when their motivation disappears…but they still keep after their goals.  A lot of people will watch motivational videos on YouTube or go to a motivational speaker’s talk, get pumped up and excited to get going on a goal, only to find that motivation gone the next day.


A better way is to build habits.  James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” is a great book on how to build habits and worth a read.  Too often people hope motivation will result in action.  As he points out in his book, it’s really the other way around: motivation is often the result of action through habits, not the cause of it.  



Trust The Process, Because It Is All About The Process


Focusing on the goals or resolutions does nothing towards making them happen.   It is all about the processes needed to achieve a goal or resolution, such as the diet and workout plan your trainer gives you, for example.  Focus on the process, and that will help you move towards your goal.


Focusing on the process also allows planning on how to handle setbacks, plateaus, etc.  Weight loss progress is never linear.   It is often having a setback where people quit, but having a process to handle those bumps in the road is a way to keep moving forward.



Identify With Who You Want To Be


When you ask someone what kind of training they do, some might answer “I run a few times a week,” while others might answer “I am a runner.”  Similarly, some people might answer “I lift weights at the gym,” while others might answer “I am a bodybuilder.”  The answers in those scenarios are similar, but there is a powerful difference.  People who take on the identify of what they want to be tend to be far more consistent and successful, because it affects the choices they make throughout the day.  For example, someone who identifies themselves as a bodybuilder thinks about the options when presented with situations like missing a workout, someone offering them a sugary snack not on their diet, etc. more so than someone who just likes to lift weights during the week.


If you are trying to lose a lot of weight, identifying as “someone who is healthy and fit” drives all sorts of behavior vs someone who is just trying to lose weight.



Find Reasons To Succeed, Not Fail


Attitude is often another key to successfully achieving goals.  Too often people come up with excuses and reasons to give up.  Rather, find reasons to succeed.  For example, many parents find it hard to find time to exercise with children.  These days, some gyms – including Legends Fit – have day care on site.  As well, we have martial arts classes for children, so we have parents working out in the gym while their children are in their classes as another option.  It’s a win-win as the parents are getting their workout in and the children are getting healthy exercise as well as building confidence and discipline.



Any other tips you find that works for you?  Post them in the comments.

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