You see all those that posts their workout programs on social media for a few weeks, it dies down and then you never see them again. What happened? The initial getting started (described by most as the “hardest” part of success) is really not the toughest part. The hardest thing to do is maintain it for life. How do we do that? How can we choose an activity that we know we will stick to for the long haul? Don’t think that you will get in the best shape of your life and then quit because you have achieved your goal. Goals take maintenance too. The first thing to be aware of is choose an activity that is realistic to long term. Your body requires balance. You can’t constantly beat it up and think it will not breakdown eventually. Don’t forget about flexibility and rest along with your workouts. This is the thing most people neglect because they focus on cardio and strength to look better. Remember your body needs rest and flexibility training to support all that you do in your tough workouts.
- Get 7-8 hours a sleep per night
- Eat a balanced diet to help your body recover from your workouts. Protein within 30 minutes after your workout is absorbed the best.
- Participate in a yoga class at least one time per week
- Avoid processed foods and sugar as it increases inflammation in the body
- Create a balanced workout routine. Never do the same body part two days in a row and combine cardio with weights to work on endurance and strength.
- Rest at least one day per week
- Stay on a consistent schedule (exercise the same days and times if possible) to help your body adapt to your new lifestyle. You may notice with a random workout schedule you may not see results as quickly and you sore more frequently.
The dreaded alarm!! It goes off at 4:30am for your 5am workout everyday. Do you press snooze? Do you jump out of bed ready to kick this workouts butt? Your day immediately begins with a decision. The benefits of getting up to start your day outweighs the extra hour of sleep you get, but why do we still press snooze and fall back asleep? Immediate satisfaction. Every “bad” decision we make is because it’s easier and we want that immediate pleasure. It’s easy to stay in bed, it’s easy to grab a burger at the drive through, and it’s easy to not plan your meals and eat on the go. However, the easy road does not lead to success in anything we do in life. Every decision we make cost us something.
In sports, the team that wins is the team that makes the least amount of mistakes right? In life, we have these decisions we face everyday (millions of them). The more right choices we make, the more successful we will be at hitting our goals. So think about when you make a bad decision by missing your workout Thursday. Do you chalk it up and say you will restart on Monday? Do you know how many little decisions lie between Thursday and Monday? It will take you on this roller coaster and you will never create the mindset to live that healthy lifestyle you desire. When you want to succeed in sports practice makes perfect right? The more you practice something you are not good at, the faster you will create a habit that no longer requires so much of your attention. So don’t just expect waking up early for one or even 10 boot camps will do it. Wake up at the alarm multiple times until it is no longer difficult. Make the decision to prep your food multiple times until it becomes second nature. After all you are not going going to become a master at a sport by playing only 10 games right?
Repetition is key! Do it until you don’t think about it anymore.
Did you know you had one of these switched where you can turn off your in the head negotiator? That voice that tells you not to eat healthy and to go back to sleep when your workout alarm goes off. It’s up to you whether it even appears or not. How cool is that?! When you “decide” to set a goal and do whatever it takes to achieve it, the negotiator is not even a factor. Think about it. When you have to work at 6am are you more likely to show up for that then a 6am workout? Of course you are because there is something at stake (your income). But what if we viewed our health and bodies the same way. What if you could see where you will end up in 10 years if you don’t start taking care of your body and keep pushing it off? Would you be happy with where you ended up or would you have wished to live life a little more different? There is a price for everything. So if you decide to make a change, turn off the “negotiator” switch and do what needs to be done no questions asked. Successful people don’t give themselves a choice, they JUST DO IT.
We have all been there at the peak of our decisions. We are all excited and motivated to start working out and eating healthy. Week one we roll into our workout with this new found determination that helps us get out of bed. After week one we are super sore, but still plugging through because you have been challenged (and you refuse to back down and look like a punk). Halfway through your 30 day challenge, you start hearing voices in your head….
“you deserve a break, you have worked so hard these past two weeks.”
“You’ve already missed Monday, so just start over next week.”
“You didn’t have time to get to the grocery store this weekend so just eat what you have in the house and you can get all the fruits and veggies tomorrow.”
Did you know all these “excuses” push your goals back further and further away? I know it is hard to change your habits because it takes consistency. It also requires you to think (or rewire your thinking). We typically have a pattern of the way we do things everyday. Changing habits require us to change our patterns. It takes practice, but it can be done. It starts with your brain. If we “assume” that exercise is part of our everyday routine than it will get done. If you give yourself the option, it most likely will be brushed off to the side because it messes with your “routine”.
Think of your new way of living like road construction. It is a lot of work initially to construct, but once the road is paved it is so much easier to get to where you are going. Lifestyle change is the “construction” process. Stick through it and put the work in initially to create and easy journey when it is finished. Know that the construction phase will be hard, expect it, push through it, and make it to the finish. Roadblocks will come (no pun intended) but expect those and keep your eyes on the prize. You got this!
Happy Hump Day!