How To Make All Your Health And Fitness Goals Come True This Year
by James Anderson
Posted: January 18, 2016
What's the secret to sticking to those slippery health and fitness goals? James Anderson, our fitness and personal training expert imparts 4 solid steps to successfully turning your dreams into reality.
I hate to break it to you, but we really don’t need a new year (or even an “I’ll start again on Monday”) to provide us an opportunity to make a fresh start on our health and fitness. Yes, yes, I know - it’s so much easier to think that way, right? I myself have personally done it more times than I would like to admit. And, speaking openly and honestly, I still have my moments. But the fact of the matter is that this is the kind of thinking that only serves as a sugar-coating for the B.S we’re trying to feed ourselves.
“I’ll start tomorrow”
“I’ll start next Monday”
“I’ll start next month”
“I’ll start next year”
We’ve all uttered one or more of these statements at some time or another, right? They’re usually said in a jovial voice - wine or cocktail in hand - or maybe sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a tub of ice-cream and/or packet of chips.
However, the sounds of laughter are soon replaced with the feeling that this joke has lost its humour. Because all those statements really do is allow us to enjoy a period of guilt-free procrastination and over-consumption before we “make a start again”. I know, I know - health and fitness is so annoying sometimes for wanting to improve our lives! With all jokes aside and with all my sincerest hopes for you in 2016, if you’d truly like to achieve great things for your health and fitness levels this year then I hope that I can help with these tips.
Health + fitness goals, [maybe] you’re doing them wrong
I believe that goals require two specific things:
- A decision to improve something in your life.
- Action(s) towards achieving that outcome.
Simple enough, right? Wrong! The first step in the process should be pretty easy. However it’s sadly not the case, because rather than making a firm decision to change, we instead (often unknowingly) poorly construct statements. Although we absolutely love the sound of them (these are generally the big, bold, broad-stroke, last minute statements we make), in our heart-of-hearts we sadly know that we have no strategy, no firmness of purpose and worse, no chance of long-term change. This is simply because although we’ve thought up an idea, we have still not yet made a decision to change. Now, we can’t blame ourselves for trying, after all, it sounded pretty damn good when we said it! However, if we want to build a skyscraper, then we’d need a blueprint, right? Well, we’re building a skyscraper, one that’s high enough to reach our health and fitness dreams!
Health and fitness dreams - how to make them a reality
Step 1: What do you really want?
“Be clear on what you want and then go after it like your life depends on it”
So, with a clear head and an open heart - take the time to ask yourself “what positive changes do I want to bring into my health in 2016?" It’s imperative that you powerfully envision an outcome in your mind, one that fills you with positive emotion, a vision that creates a sense of fulfilment, satisfaction and excitement. Because without it – I’m sorry but you’ve got nothing, nada, zip, zilch.
Step 2: Why do you want it?
"Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get."
Great, you've worked out 'what' you want. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, riddle me this – ‘Why’ do you want it?
Tony Robbins talks about all of our actions and behaviour in life are taken to fulfil one of 6 basic human needs.These being:
- Certainty: Assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure.
- Uncertainty/Variety: The need for the unknown, change, new stimuli.
- Significance: Feeling unique, important, special or needed.
- Connection/Love: A strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something.
- Growth: An expansion of capacity, capability or understanding.
- Contribution: A sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.
So when it comes to setting goals for your health and fitness, it’s of paramount importance that you know which of these needs you are trying to fulfil, and why the outcome is so important for you. Do you want a better body so you feel more significant? Do you want to feel a sense of growth? Do you want to connect better with your kids by having the ability to keep up with them playing in the park? Often times when you find your “why”, the “way” will start to find itself. You can use this as emotional fuel when times get tough.
Step 3: Make It Shine
Now you know “what” you want and more importantly “why” you want it, now it’s time to shine and polish your goals up to make them concise whilst still being powerful to you. It’s a non-negotiable necessity that you write each goal down; play around with emotive words until you come up with something that really resonates with you. It’s even more important that you put it up somewhere you can see and read it, every, single, day. You need to read your goal as many times as possible, because if you’ve written it in the correct way, then you’ll get into the right state of mind each and every time you read it. This is where the power of goal achievement lies.
Step 4: MAP it out
“The devil is in the detail”
For years I had the dream, I even had the why, but where the devil eventually found me was not properly mapping out the details of how I was going to get there. If I’m honest, for many “other” years, I had the dream, I had the why, I even had the map, but gee-wizz did I make that map devilishly confusing for myself - focusing on the wrong things at the worst times. It eventually just became all too hard, leaving me suffering from the dreaded ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome.
So, the final step is to now map out how you’re going to achieve this outcome. Because riding your majestic pink unicorn along the path of pleasure whilst eating all the ice-cream (and never worrying about putting on weight) is easy when you’re dreaming. However, I’m sure we can agree that “dreaming the dream” is not really “living the dream”, is it? The fact of the matter is - all that really needs to happen to make a dream a reality is focus, consistency and action. Take the time to focus on everything that needs to be done to achieve the goal and then be consistent in ticking the boxes.
Don’t stress - the list will most likely be pretty big, but this is where you implement the ‘Pareto Principle’ (also known as the 80/20 rule) to cull down and find the 20% of the list that will return 80% of the results. One quick tip however, the ‘flashy’ things that sound like they would be the most fun to do, generally aren’t the things that you should be focusing on! You may find that you either need to educate yourself further in certain areas or get help from a professional who can help, either way, you must fill the knowledge gaps to ensure you’re making the right decisions. Just remember to keep it simple and start from the beginning. What you should end up with is an action plan with dates and times that you will have achieved each thing by. Then it literally is as simple as ticking off the boxes, because impossible is really only something that requires more steps. I really hoped this has helped to empower you to achieve some really great outcomes this year, but please remember, take your time and make it important to you!
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