Have you ever given up on exercise or a diet because it was overwhelming or didn’t see the results quickly enough? Me too, and it can feel frustrating to keep grinding out activities if you don’t feel like you’re moving the needle toward your goals.
Speaking of goals, that’s something we ought to get clear about before even thinking about picking up a dumbbell or hitting the walking trail. Chances are as a working adult you face job performance-based goals that are set each year. At the end of the 12-months, you are evaluated on whether you hit your targets.
So why do we set weight loss goals that are too outcome-focused, too soon? At work, we take a whole year to reach our objective. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds (which is common), and you work out for six weeks and aren’t even halfway there, self-doubting thoughts come up and make you want to quit.
Why am I even doing this?
What a waste of time and money!
No wonder I took so long to get started!
If negative thoughts continue to come up for you, that’s completely normal. But to be frank, those are surface-level thoughts.
Don’t live and die by a number on the scale
If we keep our eyes and goals set to the scale, we will miss the long-term lifestyle benefits of starting a weight loss or health improvement journey. I’ve seen people experience more success in my ten-year coaching career when goals are habit-focused, and benefits are long-term focused. Here is what I mean:
When starting a health improvement journey, there are “to-do’s” that we must accomplish every week to see actual progress. These tasks can be anything from drinking more water, going for a walk, signing up for an exercise class, cooking meals at home, etc. Additionally, you have to keep up with your normal day-to-day life. Between work demands, the on-call, family Uber driver, and the “go-to” friend, it is not that easy to manage the 24/7 world we live in today.
Here’s some practical advice from a guy who is just like you. I struggle with the demands of life and living a healthy lifestyle. I recommend passing on picking that big, audacious weight loss goal or deciding that you need to fit back into your college jeans to feel good about yourself. My suggestion is to start with some simple daily, non-negotiable goals.
Daily & weekly non-negotiable goals can be:
- Cooking breakfast that includes a protein source, fresh fruit, & whole grains
- Packing your lunch instead of eating fast food
- Drinking a minimum of 10 8 oz glasses of water per day
- Completing two planned exercise sessions per week
- Avoid eating after 8 pm.
- Walking a minimum of 8k steps per day
Shrug off old opinions think about a healthier lifestyle
These non-negotiables need to be personalized to fit your fitness level and bandwidth. They should also be simple enough to execute daily without too much effort or disruption to your current schedule. If you can pick two or three from the list above (or create your own) and stick to them on more days than you don’t, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of the people who focus their goal setting on numbers and pants sizes.
Then, instead of the benefits of your health goals being wrapped up in other people’s opinion of your appearance, or how you perceive yourself today, you can shift the focus to long term benefits of a healthier lifestyle like:
- Reducing the chance of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
- Frees you from aches and pains as you get older
- Fewer work absences due to illness
- Ability to play with kids and grandkids
- Reducing need for expensive medications
- Ability to travel and enjoy retirement without limitation
Let’s be honest; if health improvements were something you could do just some of the time, the gym industry would not be a hundred billion dollar industry. This stuff will only work when you stay consistent and pick activities you can achieve today.
Set reminders – use digital or go old school
Work your non-negotiables into a planner, add them to your calendar, and set reminders. I have a friend that leaves post-it notes around the house to remind her to get out and exercise. Look at this cute pic she sent me. Her dog posing with a reminder.
My point is keep the actions simple, and in no time, they will be habits you do daily without thinking about it. Strength training will become something you look forward to if you start small today and focus on your health. This journey is for you. It’s about making your life better, so it’s time to start. Today, I challenge to do one simple thing. I know you can do it!
Your partner in health,
P.S. If you’d like to learn how I can help you or your organization improve your health on a more personal level, email me at Drew@teamupaz.com