How to get started:
Quite often people see getting started on any change in their life as such a difficult thought process. I think it’s important to note that simply recognising a change is needed no matter the level; is the ultimate starting point. Already you are in the zone to welcome some adjustments and from that point; simply start to think of some changes. Be honest with yourself; be fair; realistic and practical.
Setting your goals:
To make these goals reality, you need to align them with the lifestyle you wish to lead. No point wishing to be a marathon runner if you hate running. Write them down. There is huge power in writing your goals down and start thinking about your plan of action. Start basic; you might start with something like “I want to run 5 kilometres or I want to feel good in my swim suit! I want to improve my diet; I want to be able to keep up with my kids or lower my cholesterol. I want to lose 10 kilos or I want that girl from the coffee shop to notice me!” Whatever the goal, no matter how eccentric it seems at first; if it’s driving you then go with it. Put pen to paper; because that’s the hardest part.
Keep it practical:
Productivity studies show that you really can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time. Overloading our wish list can lead to losing focus and accomplishing very little. Instead, focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
Make them SMART:
Create a system you can identify with. Although interpreted in various ways; I relate with the below.
Specific: Identify your goal, as simplified and specific as possible. WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, WHICH.
Measurable: You cannot manage what you can’t measure. The result should be something tangible, like a waistline measurement or a weight in kg.
Attainable and achievable: Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable in your given time frame and considered variables.
Relevant: Is the goal worthwhile and what does it mean to you if it’s achieved. Is this goal consistent with other goals? Does this goal fit in with immediate and short term plans? A good goal should test you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
Timely: Every goal should have a time association with it, something to work towards. It will establish the sense of urgency and prompt you to manage your variables better.
Committing to your cause:
Making and marking your commitment to your cause comes from a place that wants to make a change more than anything. Sticking by that can only come from within. It’s you, your goal, and your measurable motivation you have to make it real. Your commitment with define your results. Give 70%, expect 70% results. Give 100%, expect 100% results!
There’s committing and then there is over committing. The saying goes, you have to crawl before you walk; and I absolutely promote this; mastering things bit by bit at a steady pace is vital. Don’t bite off more than you can chew too early. Back in my early days, I regularly threw in the towel; so I know how easy it is to do. Try by starting slow, if weight loss is your goal; a few changes to your diet to begin with best. Start by making a few better food choices then follow on with portions. Going straight for the bare minimum and complete deprivation can compromise the longevity of your actions. Remember we’re looking for something sustainable and you need to have somewhere to go.
Be willing to get uncomfortable:
Keep doing the same thing, expect the same results. If you truly want changes you need to make changes, and getting out of your ‘safe’ zone is the fastest way there. When you start to feel challenged by your steps to your goals that’s where the magic happens. Will power; a target to strive for in itself but if applied correctly in your system you’re in for rewarding results. This might be simply committing to join a gym, invest in a trainer or take part in group fitness classes. Not everyone is naturally comforted by these situations; but when you know they are going to get us closer to our goals it might just be worth jumping in the deep end.
Time and consistency:
Make time your friend. The more time you give yourself to reach a goal the more likely it is you will reach it. On the flip side deadlines are the ideal way to keep you motivated and on track as well; so being realistic here is what will make the difference. It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for others to notice a change and 12 weeks for the world to be praising you and your achievements.
“If you’re persistent you will get it, if you’re consistent you will keep it”
It’s not the things we do occasionally that change us; it’s the things we do every day. It’s being aware of your food choices every day. It’s following a training program. It’s being organised and prepared, and making the best decisions in any given situation! Its life – and it’s about creating a lifestyle that allows you to have freedom of choice while reaching goals. It’s not about giving up everything you love at all. In fact it’s cracking the code to have everything you want in a healthy manner. It’s how I design all my programs -and it works.
Be prepared and get support:
Being prepared for everything is the best frame of mind to have. Be prepared for a bad day – because you won’t have good days every day! And that’s actually fine because some days you conquer, and some days you grow. For example one big night out won’t ruin your progress; it may rock the boat but you need to carry on. Be prepared to leave yesterday behind and start fresh each morning with the best intentions. Be prepared physically – your body will start to change for the better, it may start to need a little extra care from time to time so nurture as you proceed. Warm up accordingly before physical activity, stretch accordingly after physical activity, get more sleep and drink more water. A few simple starters!
Have support; because there will be days that you might want to give it away. Choose selectively, your family, friends, partner, work colleagues, a coach; anyone who you think is going to keep you on track, who doesn’t mind a bit of whinging! Pick someone who perhaps possesses qualities that align with your goals and who know your direction is to better your life. Surround yourself with people who motivate you and encourage you on your journey that will be happy for you and your successes. Distance yourself from temptations or situations/people that may negatively affect your progress. OWN YOUR JOURNEY! After all you’re on a mission to become the best version of yourself.
Positivity, achievement and fun:
Last but nowhere near least, back yourself in. Celebrate all wins big or small and don’t forget to have fun! We don’t know when our time may be up. And whilst taking on a journey to better health I advocate enjoying your life along the way. That means birthday cake and a glass of wine makes it into the menu here and there.
It can be done; you can have it all, and if this has set of any alarm bells to get started on something today; I’d love to hear from you so we can discuss a course of action!