Before I get started with this first post of a three-part series, I would like to explain that I rarely use the word diet. When I do, I use it in the literal sense. As in, what you are consuming for energy. I use instead, an all-encompassing word, for the lifestyle that comes from eating well, resting, and exercising properly. The term I use for this is “Fitness Lifestyle.”
Now, let’s get started.
Why is it that so many people begin a fitness plan and so quickly lose their footing? No matter how determined and passionate we feel about it, in the beginning, many of us find ourselves postponing our plans. We do this by making exceptions that disrupt our flow of action. We eventually let go of the idea altogether. Nearly anyone who has gone on a diet or tried to begin an exercise plan has experienced this.
The answer may come down to many factors, but one of the most common mistakes is a lack of planning.
Why making a plan and sticking with it really works
One of the biggest pitfalls people make when beginning an exercise program is that they do not plan for their success. A true plan involves thinking through any potential obstacles, setting realistic, achievable and measurable goals and preparing oneself to follow through. It takes quite a bit of thought in the beginning to plan a truly successful fitness plan, complete with a meal plan, exercise schedule, and daily/weekly/monthly goals.
Plans become achievable when they are broken down into “bite-sized” goals which can be easily achieved or attained. Why does this work so well? It’s simple when you come down to the psychology of it.
If you make your daily goals easy enough to where you can’t give yourself a good excuse to not follow through, you will follow your planned actions. As you continue to follow through with those small goals, you will be building momentum towards your larger goal of a lifestyle of fitness.
It happens right before your eyes without you even realizing it! While you are simply focused on achieving your day to day fitness goals, you are actually preparing yourself. You are already turning yourself into the person you want to be with the habits you want to have. It seems like magic when it happens, but the way it works is simple!
A word on self-discipline
Let’s get one thing straight. You won’t be able to magically achieve this without a little self-discipline. You can make your daily goals achievable in the beginning, but you have to follow through with them. If you let yourself make bad choices to not walk that mile or do that thirty-minute exercise, you will break the needed momentum. For this reason, you will not find the success you’re looking for.
It all comes down to a mindset
Want to succeed? You have to drill this into your brain: I have a fit lifestyle. The bottom line is that you have to stop thinking about yourself as being “in the process of getting fit” or “trying to start a fitness lifestyle”. You are subconsciously telling yourself in these cases that you are not fit and that you do not have a fit lifestyle, so you will be more likely to act accordingly. Convince yourself that you are already living a fitness lifestyle, and go out and do it, and your life will change before you know it.