First things first, I would like to thank you for joining me!
Nothing excites me more than someone realising they want something and being ready to take their first steps in order to achieve it! In life, the first steps are often the very hardest ones, with 25% of people giving up within a week of trying something new. The basic principle remains the same, whether it’s giving up a vice like chocolate or cigarettes, or even something as straightforward as trying to read more. So what can we do to make sure that we are not part of the 25%, and make sure we smash our goals no matter what they are?
“Psycho-Cybernetics,” a popular self-help book by Maxwell Maltz, suggests that it takes 21 days to successfully form a new habit. While this probably holds true, the idea of committing to something for 21 days solid, then hoping it is part of our habitual routines, can be a daunting task to look at head on.
So what else can we do to help kick-start our fitness goals/journey or reignite our potentially fleeting New Year’s resolutions? Good question! It is one I want to answer here with what I think is one of the biggest things holding people back!
Be prepared to make yourself accountable!
This is a hard one, to be honest, and is potentially one of the most destructive mentalities with regards to lifestyle change. Let me outline a conversation you have all probably heard over a lunch break around this time of the year.
“How is the New Year’s Resolution going? Still hitting the gym up?”
“Aww, not too good, to be honest. The kids are still at home so I have to shoot off home straight away after work, then there’s so much hard work I haven’t had the chance to get to the shops. We’ve used JustEat every other day this week! I was originally going to the gym with (X) from Accounts, but they stopped going in January so I haven’t got anyone to go with and I don’t think I can go on my own. I haven’t got a clue what to do! I’m probably going to cancel my membership later on this week, if I’m honest!”
While this person has been dealt a few bad cards, that doesn’t make it a completely unplayable hand! Rather then look at problems as obstacles and turn back, let’s look at how we can work around them – or better yet, smash through them!
In this scenario, our friend has stopped going to the gym completely due to the kids being at home. While I can 100% appreciate that kids at home require a huge amount of extra work, I would propose that instead of forgoing visiting the gym entirely, our friend could wake up an hour early to train in the morning before work.
While this sounds daunting, this is something I have done many times before. I would highly suggest that anyone that has never gone to the gym in the morning, then completed all their morning ablutions at the gym, gives it a go. The boost to mood, productivity and overall feel-good factor are absolutely amazing!
If that is out of reach, then I would suggest attending a couple of exercise classes during the week. Classes often get painted as cheesy, awkward encounters (often due to their portrayal in movies or sitcoms), but after visiting and hosting a few I can confidently say that this definitely isn’t true! These classes often squeeze an hour or more’s worth of intensity into much a much smaller time package. Now, are classes going to get you into the same kind of shape as a proper structured training schedule? Probably not. However, they are an absolute light year away from putting the feet up and watching Netflix all evening!
Food preparation is another time sink that people are quick to say they don’t have time to do. Believe me, I am well-versed in all aspects of JustEat! With that in mind, I also fully understand how to give it the boot and eat decently – however, unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as uninstalling it! Take the hour, whether it’s after work or on the weekend, to make sure you have at least a week’s worth of food in the house that is not only good for you, but enjoyable too! Keep it in the house and prepare it at least a day beforehand – temptation completely disappears when you have your next meal all ready to go!
As for flaky gym companions, this again is an awfully common problem.
In our scenario, the lack of a person to train with has caused the speaker to not want to go to the gym anymore. Having a programme built for you is great for people who struggle to find people to train with. This will provide you with a clear-cut plan to carry out every time you step in the gym, regardless of who you are with!
Most gyms will have personal trainers (such as myself) who can tailor these to your specific needs – or, you can find many free ones across the internet, on websites like Tigerfitness.com or Bodybuilding.com.
Classes are also a fantastic suggestion here. You will not only get a good workout regardless of who you are with, and you will be in a room with like-minded individuals who, moving forwards, might be future training partners!
Making yourself accountable and stopping yourself from being a victim of circumstance will not only keep you constantly moving forward; it will also help cement good habits that will last a lifetime!
And that concludes my first post! Hope it helped to get you thinking about your journey and how to make it a reality!