The majority of the time someone shares their health related New Year’s Resolution, or any other plan for a lifestyle change, with me, it involves a few of these:
- Exercise between 3 to 5 days per week
- Complete at least 3 workouts of resistance (weight) training and 2 of cardio per week
- Wake up early to exercise before work or exercise after work
- Cook all meals at home and pack meals for work
- No more eating out(…ever)
- Throw away all unhealthy food at home
It can even get pretty thorough with a set exercise routine like a 3 day split, predetermined cardio (run 2 miles, bike 4 miles), fixed calories and grams of macronutrients per day (X grams of fat, Y grams of protein, Z grams of carbohydrates), etc.
Sometimes, the plan is extremely detailed and thought out that it can scientifically get them to where they want to go.
So, kudos for having an awesome plan!
Unfortunately, you might have already tried something similar to the above plan, with no success.
You might have heard of binge or yo-yo dieting, gaining back the weight you lost and then some, or even following a 30-day challenge only to revert back to your previous lifestyle on day 31.
Having a great plan isn’t the problem, but it isn’t the solution either.
Aiming for perfection from day 1 dooms around 90% of people within a short period of time.
If you are wondering why so many people start resolutions, but fall off, a large factor is that they took on too much, too fast.
What makes humans amazing is that we function through habits. If you practice something over time, it eventually becomes a habit.
That habit can stick with you forever, causing you to go through the same morning routine to get ready for your day, instinctively lock your car when you arrive at work, or sit down on the couch immediately after work and turn the TV on.
Habits can be both powerful and harmful at the same time.
Trying to override and recreate multiple habits at once is the key to failure.
Habits have created the person you are today and they can’t be changed overnight.
I want you to really understand that fighting your unhealthy habits is a waste of time and only causes unneeded stress, frustration, and negativity…
Because today, I want to challenge you to do something unconventional.
This challenge can break your habit of changes that never stick and all the overwhelming emotions and struggles that you go through when trying to change your lifestyle.
Slow down and take only one change on at a time.
Lifestyle change isn’t a race, but if it was, it would be a multiple week marathon.
You can’t sprint a marathon and you certainly can’t train for a marathon overnight either.
So throw away perfection and instead work towards progress each day.
How to Do It In 2 Steps
1. Take your new routine and pick one item to work on.
Pick the change that you will be most proud of accomplishing and that will give you the most health benefit for your time.
If you don’t have a routine already created, then think of that one thing you know you should be doing but haven’t gotten around to, or haven’t succeeded at.
2) Now break that change into smaller pieces.
Break it down into pieces that are guaranteed to give you success and make you feel proud to have accomplished each day.
You should be high-fiving yourself every day.
Each piece should be one that you are 100% confident that you can accomplish, that you are excited to start on, and that will become a habit with minimal effort over time.
Slow down and only focus on your first piece initially. Once you are sure that this piece has become a habit, only then is it time to go to the second piece and repeat.
Going to the gym after work
- Pack and launder: pack workout clothes and gear into a gym bag each day you want to exercise, but leave them at home and throw them into your dirty clothes hamper when you get back from work (in order to create an incentive to use the clothes in the future instead of needlessly laundering them without use)
- Bring workout bag: bring your workout bag to work and keep it at your desk for your coworkers to see (in order to let your coworkers in on your journey and create accountability for yourself to keep making progress), but still put it in the hamper for laundry when you get home
- Drive and park: drive to the gym on your way home and park in the parking lot for a few minutes, working your way up to your workout time (in order to build comfort with the drive there, the parking lot/gym environment, and to enforce a time in your day for exercising)
When you are annoyed at wasting time packing your gym bag, taking it to work, going to the gym parking lot to sit in your car, then laundering your gym clothes, it’s time to go into the gym and start your new journey of what to do when you are inside and ready to workout.
Cooking every meal at home
- Watch: start with watching cooking shows daily at home to build your knowledge and comfort with cooking and create a list of kitchen accessories and ingredients you need to cook meals you like
- Get equipped: use your kitchen accessory wish-list to equip your kitchen for cooking and also visit a grocery store to find ingredients that you are interested in, but don’t buy any perishable food yet
- Stay stocked: every week, make a trip to the grocery store to look for more ingredients and get comfortable with the location of everything and what looks good to you
Once you have a kitchen ready to cook and are used to allocating time during your day to watch cooking shows (later can be used as cooking time), and going to your grocery store, you are ready to start buying the groceries and cooking them.
Note: you may have noticed incentives built into these steps. There are many factors that go into choosing a successful step, which will each have their own articles in the future, but if you want immediate guidance on applying this process to your life and challenges that will ensure consistent progress, leave a comment here, or contact us privately.
Once you have fully grasped the idea of slowing down and taking one step at a time, it is your turn to practice.
Lucky for you, this process uses less time and effort than the traditional methods of perfection overnight.
SO, you shouldn’t have any excuses or risk in giving this a shot.
This method can be your key to finally achieving long-lasting habits that will take you to your goals.
All you have to do is start with a single step.
I know you can do it! So take your step TODAY!
P.S. We would love to provide you with coaching during your journey and guide you to success, so don’t hesitate to comment or contact us privately with any questions or to discuss your process.