A quick look back
We are going to focus mainly on what is ahead for you; the past is the past and it is best to leave it there. However, in order to make the best start, we need to take a look at what may have sabotaged your previous efforts.
- Impatience. Because we live in a society that is used to instant gratification, it can come as quite a shock to find that fitness doesn’t happen fast. I don’t care how many infomercials you watch that promise you a 6 pack in 6 weeks, it is not going to happen. There is no shortcut to fitness. If you grew frustrated in the past because results didn’t happen as fast as you would like, prepare yourself now for a different attitude: we will celebrate small results and be patient as the transformation happens.
- Lack of planning. The biggest sabotage in any fitness plan is lack of planning. If you have tried fitness and failed, it is almost certain that you came up short in the area of planning. Without forethought and being intentional, you cannot eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep each night and stick with an exercise routine. This time, plan before you start.
- Support. If you have attempted to get fit with little support, you are not alone. Many people try to change their lifestyle on their own. The trouble with this approach is that those around you will probably not value what you are doing. They will unintentionally or intentionally sabotage your efforts. For example, they may resent the time you take to workout, or they may ridicule you for the radical changes you make to your diet. However, you will have support this time, and that's what will make you successful.
Forward from here
Today you start fresh and leave the past behind. Yes, you may have quit during your previous attempts to be healthy. That doesn’t matter now. What matters is what you do today, tomorrow and next week.
The following tips will help you make a strong start and make this time different.
1. You know what you want; don't be afraid of the work it takes to get there.
This is where patience comes in.
What is your dream or your goal? Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Do you want to run a mile? Do you want to eat a diet that energizes you? Maybe you want to exercise for 6 days a week.
Do not let the magnitude of your goals cause you to give up before you even begin. Recognize that this will take some time. Every single fit person you know started from the beginning. How did they get to their present condition? By taking it one day at a time, celebrating every victory and getting up when they fall down. You can do the same.
2. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” -Alan Lakein
If you don’t have a plan, whatever you're focused on at the time will get attention, to the exclusion of other things. Without a plan, your own health will always take a backseat to what seems the most important at the moment—and that could be as simple as a television show that you want to watch! Having a plan will keep less important things from creeping in and sabotaging your health.
Count on it: if you do not plan for fitness and health, it simply will not happen. This time, make a plan.
Before you even start again, decide:
- When and how you will get your exercise (bootcamp? running in the mornings? crossfit?)
- What foods you will eat and how you will ensure that you have access to those foods (do you have a small cooler that you can take along with you? What will your breakfasts consist of? How much caffeine will you allow yourself?)
- How you will arrange your schedule so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night (do you need to get the kids in bed sooner or prepare your lunches on the weekends to save time in the morning?
Without a strategy, you set yourself up for failure. Plan on succeeding! Take some time right now to jot down some ideas to overcome the obstacles that you know will arise. Be prepared for them, and you will breeze through them.
- No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. -H.E. Luccock
It is no secret that the biggest predictor of whether a person succeeds in their fitness and weight loss efforts is whether or not he has accountability. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: getting fit is not easy. If it were easy, more people would be doing it! In order to make sure you succeed this time, get some support. That support could come from a few friends who are making a new beginning with you, your significant other or your Crossfit coach.