Every day we are exposed to a number of motivators that inspire us to be healthy, fit and ‘best-self’ individuals. Social media channels, magazines, online advertising and digital media platforms all enable us to explore and pursue the latest trends in physical and mental wellbeing. Sometimes however, the same platforms lead us into unintentionally abandoning our healthy habits in favour of tempting indulgences.
As we can be so easily swayed by influences that may be either helpful motivators or disruptive road blocks, we need to find out what the secret is to staying on track. Where we aren’t lacking in external motivators, it may be that we are lacking the internal discipline required to succeed. Discipline to stick to proposed plans and brush off any distractions that may prevent us achieving our goals. Having a more strategic approach, coupled with a little resilience and a healthy dose of self-control is what will help us in creating a recipe for success.
All good ideas are backed up with a realistic plan of attack.
To start your journey, look at your schedule to identify opportunities to add movement to your day. Whether it be a pre-work run, walking the kids to school or joining a weekend social sports team. Get creative, make it fun and enlist those around you for support and guidance. Make your plan achievable AND adaptable to avoid creating unnecessary stress for yourself. This plan may evolve over the course of your journey to reflect changing needs and circumstances, but as long as you remain committed to your overall objectives, you will be able to manage these changes effectively.
If you continually put your plan first, procrastination will cease to be an issue.
It can be easy to lose sight of what we want when the journey to get there isn’t easy. Staying true to what is going to support your health and fitness goals will mean continual progression, with short term targets reached and ultimate goals realised.
Once you have set your plan and completed preparations, embrace your new routines whole-heartedly. Practice eliminating fleeting thoughts and ignoring passing motives that might encourage you to deviate from your plan. Remind yourself to stay focused with visible affirmations pinned up on your office computer or fridge, maintain a food and exercise diary, or use a pedometer to help yourself stay accountable and on track.
For a lot of us, our discipline to workout and maintain our new routine is easily affected by weather, work commitments or fleeting emotional states. When life threatens your routine, use perspective to gain a reality check on what is important and what requires immediate attention. Hormone imbalances, poor sleep, cold weather, hectic workloads and family life can all wreak havoc on our plans, disrupting the path to our goals. Dwelling on the past and anxiety about the future can compromise precious energy and focus required to keep you on track.
Take a more logical approach. Putting stressful thoughts and circumstances into perspective, allows for more measured decisions and the ability to take control of any pressing situations. Practicing emotional intelligence towards your exercise routine will set you up for success and lead to progression. So, when faced with situations that threaten your routine, accept them for what they are — TEMPORARY and just control what you can, rather than throwing in the (sweat) towel.
Plans take time to implement, require discipline to follow and determination to see through. When the road gets a little bumpy, it is important to dig deep and persevere. Our body will always favour the pathway of least resistance but when we want a change to happen, we must challenge the old and establish a new way to move with repetition, until it becomes habit. Our minds will often follow suit, so for us to create a behavioural change, we must adopt a new way of thinking practiced with repetition until, like our body, it becomes the norm. From change comes adaptation and from adaptation we get results, all from having the patience and tenacity to see the process through.
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