I posted this quote on my Finding Motivation a Tuesday post, but it is too relevant not to say (or write) again:
“Change the approach but never the goal”
How many new year’s resolutions have you written that are almost identical to the ones you wrote the year before?
How many times have you said “I’ll start when ___” or my personal favorite “diet starts tomorrow”?
I have done and said every single one of these.
This post is not to say that I am the expert on fitness, but it is to point out the three questions that need to be answered before you decide how you will approach your fitness goals. Once you take these three questions into consideration – it will make sustaining your new healthy habits that much easier.
Let’s get started:
The first question: “Do I know myself?”
It’s a deep one. I know. Why do I say this? Let me give an example. I like to go to a lot of social events. So, what makes a social gathering an event? Food. And it’s usually not the healthiest. Knowing this, I used to tell myself that I would eat before I got to an event so that when I got there I wouldn’t eat. That never happened. What ended up happening was I would eat before an event and would still eat when I got there. Every time. It made me realize- for me, eating is a very social activity. If I don’t eat at an event, I feel like I’m insulting the host and am not fully partaking in the experience of the event. Realizing this about myself now, I wait until I arrive at an event to eat. As small of a change as this sounds, it has made a huge difference.
Another example- I have tried several different “diets”- paleo, vegan, gluten-free, eliminating processed foods.. the list goes on. These lifestyles may work perfectly for others! I am not discouraging these ways of eating. I wish I was able to sustain them. However, knowing myself, I know that I will I follow these diets rigidly for a few weeks or months, only to binge on everything I was restricting myself from shortly afterwards.
What I am trying to say is what works for others may not work for you. Know yourself. What can you realistically commit to? Do research and decide whether you’ll feel fulfilled or not with certain eating or exercise habits in the long run. There are healthy habits that are tailored to your lifestyle. Find meaning and purpose in your daily routines, and do it in a way where you feel healthy and most importantly HAPPY!
2. The second question: “What are my priorities?”
Make a list. Rank them.
Example: 1- School, 2- Working out, 3- Hanging out with friends, etc.
Ranking your priorities helps you organize your day. So, if this was my priorities list, I would make sure I got all of my school work done and then the next on my list would be working out. Only if I got all of these done would I hang out with friends. Visualizing what your priorities are everyday will make a difference in keeping track of your daily habits. If it helps, put your priorities list somewhere that you will see them often. This way you will be constantly reminded of what they are.
3. The third question: “Am I actually committed to this?”
Or is this another “diet starts tomorrow” kind of fitness plan?
Find real meaning that will keep you committed to your plan. If your motivation to get in-shape is based on a temporary feeling, then your drive will also be temporary. What is the real reason you want to get in shape?
Write your purpose. Print pictures. Make plans.
You can do this!