It’s 2016 and if you’re like most people, you have resolved to lose weight, get in shape, or take your fitness to the next level and sculpt your dream body. Whether you’re just getting started or already have an established baseline of fitness, BeachBody has a program for you. But here’s the thing – no matter what program you choose, it will ONLY work if YOU do! So how do you do that?
You may have heard this saying before but if not, I want you to read that again and REALLY let it sink in. Motivation is what you have right now. It’s why you’re reading this post. It’s what brought you to my site and to me. But what happens when that motivation is gone? Did you know that most New Year’s Resolutions fizzle out by Easter? Why do you think that is?
I can tell you why – because motivation doesn’t last forever. What happens when you get tired of your restrictive diet? What happens when you get sore, tired, or busy and start making excuses about why you can’t work out? You quit, right? Why? Because you were relying on MOTIVATION to keep you going.
So my challenge to you is to NOT make a resolution just to lose weight or work out more. Instead, I want you to resolve to make exercise and healthy eating a HABIT. Did you know it takes just 21 days to build a habit? Did you know that NOT working out is a habit? That poor eating is a habit? You have good habits and bad habits, right? This is no different.
So how do you create a habit? Here are a few tips to get you started!
STEP ONE: Live by your planner
Get out your planner and schedule in time to work out, time to meal plan, time to grocery shop, time to meal prep, and time to eat. Start out by filling in all of January right now. No seriously. I’ll wait.
- Schedule at least 30 minutes to work out each day (first thing in the morning is best since it keeps you from making excuses when you get tired later in the day). You can do a LOT in just 30 minutes and something is always better than nothing!
- Schedule an hour to meal plan. There are a number of services out there that can offer you pre-made meal plans as well if you’re really pressed for time.
- Plan to spend an hour to grocery shop each week, preferably right after you meal plan so it’s all still fresh in your mind.
- Set aside 2-4 hours to meal prep. This is the most VITAL part of being successful with your nutrition. Get the kids involved if you can – make it a family affair! Wash and cut all the veggies and portion them out by meal so all you have to do is grab and go. Cook the meat. Boil the noodles. There are a lot of things you can do to make actually cooking the meals go a lot faster.
- Finally, schedule enough time to cook the planned meal, eat it with your family, and clean up. You will be amazed at how a little scheduling will create a huge amount of peace in your household.
STEP TWO: Track your progress
It has been scientifically proven that journaling increases your probability of success. It helps keep you focused on your goals and makes you more likely to reach those goals. Some things to keep track of include:
- Hours of sleep each night – this can have a profound effect on your mood, energy levels, and choices you make throughout the day. Keeping track of how much sleep you get each night will help you spot trends and figure out ways to improve.
- Mood – your mood can literally make or break you and others around you. Tracking your mood goes hand in hand with tracking your sleep. You will very quickly begin to see patterns emerge.
- Food – what you eat can not only be a reflection of the sleep you got the night before or your mood, but it inversely affect those two things as well. When you eat poorly, your body gets thrown out of whack and can affect your sleep and your mood. For instance, let’s say you were in meetings all day and drank a lot of coffee and ate nothing but fast food all day. By the time you get home, you are grumpy, tired, irritable, and just want to sleep. But you can’t…. because the caffeine is still in your system. So you end up tossing and turning all night and got maybe 5 hours of sleep. So now it’s morning, you’re still tired, you feel like crap, so you don’t care about what you eat, so long as you feed your belly and the cycle repeats. Sometimes all it takes is putting pen to paper to realize what you’re doing to yourself.
- Water – Ahhhh yes, the quintessential foundation for all of life. Without water you cannot survive. Many people try to argue they drink soda, coffee, or tea and that it contains water, so that’s enough. Sorry, but it isn’t. Your body is probably just used to operating (very poorly I might add) in the environment you’ve established. Water flushes toxins out of your system, reduces cravings, makes your hair, skin, and nails healthy, improves your mental state, and so much more. Do not ignore water and get over your excuse of “but I don’t like water!” You NEED it if you are going to be successful. Nothing can replace it!
- Workout – Keep track of what you do and when. You might even include who you worked out with or if you took a group class, or even what the weather was if you’re working out outdoors. Over time, you will see yourself improve and you’ll be able to visually see how far you’ve come. Maybe in week 1 you could barely do 5 pushups but by week 4 you can now do 10 pushups with ease. This will give you confidence and renew your motivation to keep pushing!
If you don’t have a tracker already, here is one I have made for you: Wellness Tracker
STEP THREE: Adopt an if-then mindset
You know those moments where you go, “Aw to heck with it!” Maybe you have been doing great with your plan but then one day you are overly tired and your plan totally derails. When this happens (and it WILL, I promise), don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, understand that setbacks always happen and that every day is a new chance to get back on track. So instead of allowing one slip-up to ruin everything, adopt an if-then mindset.
- Example: Instead of saying, “I will eat healthier,” say, “If it is dinner time, I will eat lean protein, complex carbs, and have fruit for desert.”
- Example: Instead of allowing yourself to skip the gym when you’re tired, say, “If I am tired, I will take a 30 minute nap prior to going to the gym.”
If you have ever set S.M.A.R.T. goals before, then you can probably see how this will help enable you to reach those goals in a more efficient way.
Now it’s your turn!
Post a comment below and tell me what helps you stay on track or what new habits you will be forming in 2016. If you would like to receive more tips, please subscribe to my list. If you are looking for a program (workout or nutrition) to get you started, please contact me directly and I would be happy to help you! Let’s make 2016 the year you reach your goals!