Ugh.. you’re tired of being out of shape.
You stumble across that new popular fitness plan, and decided to commit.
This time it’s no sugar, low carbs, and an hour of exercise a day.
Everything goes great on day one. You have the veggie platter for lunch, chicken and veggies for dinner, and you nail your workout. You’re pumped.
A few days later, you begin craving sweets. You tell yourself, “just once won’t hurt.” Next, you crave something greasy. You skip your next workout, order fast food, and binge eat in front of the TV.
Soon, you begin feeling guilty.
You wonder how you’ll stick to your plan, and just like that, you’re back into your old habits.
This is one of the four most common ways that people sabotage their fitness goals. Learn to tackle this challenge, as well as three others, to set yourself up for success.
1. Expecting perfection
That one sweet? Not so bad.
The fast food binge? Not great, but manageable.
Letting a few setbacks ruin your fitness plans? Definitely bad.
Don’t expect perfection in following your new diet or workout plan.
Instead, we suggest that you look for progress and allow yourself one cheat meal a week while you learn to create new habits.
2. Expecting too much too soon
Everywhere you turn, fitness ads claim instant success. Results now. One-week weight loss.
In reality, these promises are too good to be true.
If you are unhappy with your current fitness, it likely results from years of bad habits. How can you expect to turn it around quickly?
Start your fitness journey with the right expectations.
There is no instant gratification.
Fitness is a process that takes time, goal setting, and commitment.
3. Focusing on that single big goal
Goals are a tricky thing.
Setting fitness goals is great, but focusing on a single big goal can be paralyzing.
To avoid being paralyzed by your goal, break it down into smaller goals.
Create attainable goals for each day, week, and month.
Then focus on one goal at a time, and create a plan for attaining the goal.
What will your actions be? How often will you take these actions? How will you measure your goal?
When you accomplish a single smaller goal, then set your sights on the next one.
For example, if my overall goal is to lose 30 pounds, my first goal might be to lose one pound a week.
This is a trackable, attainable goal.
To achieve that I plan on working out 3 days a week. After sticking with this plan for two months I might increase my commitment by following the nutrition plan and adding a 4th workout each week.
4. Fixating on what you can’t have
When you begin a new diet, it is easy to focus on the things you can’t have: cookies, chocolate, fast food, and sugar.
The problem is this often makes you want them even more. To counteract this, quit focusing on what you can’t have, and start focusing on what you can have.
At first, you might fell limited by all of your dietary restrictions. However, while searching for tasty, healthy foods, you will soon realize that the list is actually endless. Options include chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and more.
There are so many possibilities!
Healthy eating can taste great, and isn’t as hard as it seems.
Just experiment with healthy recipes to find the foods and spices that work for you.
Combine healthy grains, spices, meats, fruits, and veggies for tasty meals that don’t take hours to make and give you great nutritious meals.
How to achieve your fitness goals
OK, enough about sabotaging yourself.
Just like that last point, we don’t want to focus on what not to do. We want to focus on what you should be doing. To wrap things up, here are four ways to think about your fitness goals that improve your chances of success:
- Work on making progress. There is no perfection; only progress (and the occasional setback!).
- Have patience. Change takes time. Fitness is a lifestyle, which takes a lifetime to achieve and maintain.
- Take small steps. Set small achievable goals and tackle them one at a time
- Focus on the cans. Spend your time and effort on what you can have, and what you can do.
Lastly, enjoy the ride and look at this as a new adventure!