It’s a familiar story; you set out on achieving your goal of losing weight and getting fit, you joined a gym or started a new diet, it went well for the first few weeks then… every muscle in your body ached, you couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, and you were STARVING!
What’s happened? You were so motivated in the beginning and you still are but it just got so hard. As much as you want to, you always find an excuse. “I’ll do it later”, “I can’t be bothered right now”, and “I’m so busy at work”.
I’ll tell you what happened. You had a great idea, something that would change your life, something that meant a lot to you. You even took action a started on a path that would lead you to your goal. But you forgot something:
When your motivation is gone, your habits takeover
Habits are what will keep you going, when the workouts get tough, when it hurts to walk up the stairs, when you just want to press snooze. That’s when autopilot takes over. And that pilot is a fat lazy bastard. The only way to make him (or her) do what you want is to set a routine and keep it simple.
Reprogramming Your Brain
The idea is simple, make something you find uncomfortable, like exercise, comfortable. We all tend to rationalise why we shouldn’t do something that is outside of our comfort zone. What we are really doing is giving in to automated signals to avoid something we see as painful e.g. a hard workout, people seeing us working out, being criticized, or not being as good as everyone else.
The truth is that most of this insecurities never occur; the workout can always be finished, people aren’t STARING at you working out or criticising you and there is really no expectation to be better than anyone else other than the expectations you placed on yourself.
I know just from the fact that you’re reading this that you work hard, you want to achieve your goal, and you are willing to push yourself. But sometimes you choose to passively succumb to your excuses, procrastinations, and fears. By knowing what these are you can then start to overcome them.
The Daily Grind
I’m not a morning person and one thing I’ve learnt from all the early morning bootcampers is that they drag themselves out of bed instead of waiting til the afternoon; that it’s just as hard for them as it is for everyone else. They don’t bounce out of bed and skip down to the gym, they drag themselves out of bed and wake up during the warm up! It’s the routine that brings them in every day, it’s the idea of “if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it”.
The same goes for fitting something in after work, before you get home to the couch. If the gym isn’t on the way home change your route! If you don’t have time make time! And for those of you using being busy at work as an excuse, give yourself 15 minutes. Go for a walk, a run, do some squats, hell do some burpees! Your work will still be there when you get back and after flooding your body will oxygen and waking up your brain you’ll be MORE productive.
Sometime people say to me “you’ve got it easy being around it all the time”. Need I remind you of the millions of out of shape people who bought a Total Gym, Ab King Pro, or BowFlex. When something is readily available 24/7 or thereabouts it’s very easy to ignore. I can get myself to workout every day because I have a goal and because it’s actually really fun once I get started, sometimes I just pick up an empty barbell and play around until I can be bothered lifting something heavy.
Think of it as building momentum towards working out or reaching your goal, once you start building that momentum it only gets easier. In the beginning it may be easy to stop but the more force you apply the more momentum is created and eventually it becomes near impossible to stop (like when I try to take a rest day).
So stop the fat lazy pilot from taking control by not only having “Plan A: Exercise like a maniac and eat super clean 7 days a week” but build in a contingency plan. Answer these questions:
When I’m tired what can I still do to fit in a workout?
When I forget to pack your lunch what can I quickly grab to still have a healthy meal?
And when I’m just being lazy how can I make myself get off my ass?
If you need any more help with resetting your habits don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org