Here we are, almost 2 full weeks into 2018. The holiday season is officially over and most of us approached January 1st as a clean slate, feeling motivated to start fresh on the path towards our goals after spending the past 3 months in a nutritional and fitness downward spiral that we haven’t been able to shake since Halloween. We have our resolutions written down and we’re ready to get healthy and fit… this is our year; however, statistics show that over 80% of people fall back to their previous habits by the second week in February, especially with health and fitness goals. Breaking that down… Out of 100 people wanting to get fit and healthy in 2018, 80 of them will fall off by their fifth week. That’s a pretty significant amount and only 3 weeks away! So, what is causing so many people to fall off track?
We approach the first day of the year with so much motivation and determination to make a change, yet there is little practical preparation involved and let’s face it, most don’t really have any idea where to start. We are so excited and want immediate change; therefore, we say “I’m going to work out 5-7 days per week (or as much as possible) and eat chicken, broccoli and brown rice every day” and then guess what happens? We are done within weeks, maybe we lost a few pounds of holiday bloat, but we are burnt out and can’t seem to have an actual breakthrough, year after year. I’m going to shed some insight on effectively breaking down your goal and where to start when it comes to creating (and keeping a rocking, healthy body).
When trying to change your body, you must realize that it is a physical representation of the lifestyle that you live; therefore, if you want to look or feel a certain way then you must live your life as such daily. Many would agree that this makes sense. I mean… you can’t expect to look like a bikini model when you live like a couch potato. Am I right? Therefore, it takes more than just exercising daily to make the change. So how do you change your lifestyle? Your lifestyle is an accumulation of your personal 24 hours every day. What are you doing with your time? Well… the best way to figure that out is by starting a journal and logging your life for 7-14 days. This way you can see exactly what your work week and weekend look like and you can get an accurate idea of what kind of habits you have developed and what areas you need to improve. Some examples of things to keep track of in your journal include, but are not limited to:
- How many hours did you sleep?
- What did you do when you woke up?
- What did you eat all day and at what times?
- How much water did you drink?
- How did your weekend differ from Monday through Friday?
- What are your current stress levels?
- What are your hobbies? Are they sedentary or active?
The more detail you include, and the more honest you are, the more successful you will be in making a change. We live in a very fast paced world and it is so easy to get busy and lose track of all the little pieces that make up our day. Writing it down creates a sense of awareness. It is important to create awareness of exactly where you are starting from; therefore, you know what you are working with and towards. We spend so much time making goals and plans, but how much time are you spending reflecting on where you are at currently and how/why you got there? You cannot make a clear plan until you know exactly where you are starting from. Once you have a solid understanding of where you are at currently with your lifestyle, habits, strengths and weaknesses, you will look at the task of changing your body in a new light.
Now that you have properly assessed the cause and effect, you can begin working on the solution, also known as taking action. This can be a very intimidating step for many people, because they look at the entire mountain, rather than the small steps each day. This mindset leads to many people continually putting it off until “Monday” or “the 1st”. Others try to conquer the whole mountain overnight and do an entire 180 flip with their life which leads them to becoming overwhelmed and ineffective. The best way to create lasting change is to break it into steps and work on one change at a time. I always recommend beginning with the morning habits because your morning is the foundation of your day. For example, if you realized (through your journaling process) that you are rushing out of the house every morning without enough time to have breakfast, so you grab a coffee on the way to work to give you energy and tide you over, but you aren’t putting actual substance into your body until noon, your first focus should not be eating chicken and broccoli for lunch every day. You should be working on creating the discipline to wake up 30 minutes earlier and eat a proper breakfast. Focus on developing only the one habit until it has been ingrained into your lifestyle and you have began to see and feel the benefits. Then, and only then move on to the next portion of your day. Although it feels like it is a slower process, making the changes one step at a time will create new positive habits and a stronger foundation to build from.
“The secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new”
Entrepreneur and Fitness Coach
Lacey M. Byrd