I can tell you in three words why your previous attempts at getting fit have failed, and then in four more I can tell you how to make it finally succeed.
Ready? Ok, first why they have failed. You have been telling yourself this for a while:
I’ll start Monday!
In a second, I’ll tell you the four words that will break the cycle, but I have to tell you a story first.
The Longest Weekend Ever
We often make the decision to improve health but say we’ll wait until after the weekend. I had a weekend recently that lasted, oh, about a month and a half.
You see, I had been making great strides in my own personal fitness. I had started 30 day challenges for myself, and even started bringing people from work in. Our most recent 30 day challenge, we had almost half our department playing along. It was fantastic!
But then something amazing happened: I became a dad.
What does that have to do with fitness? I’m sure any parent knows that answer.
The baby took over my life.
Now, it’s reasonable to accept that the first week is going to get you all tossed up and around, and it’s appropriate for a baby to take over your life. The problem is I just dropped everything else. That’s when the longest “weekend” began.
I said during that first week that on the following Monday I’d get back to schedule. The week after that, I “rededicated” myself to it and said the Monday after that. This literally went on for about 6 weeks before I decided I’d had enough.
“Monday” just never came.
The secret to breaking the cycle
I told you at the beginning of the post that I had four words that could break the cycle. Ready?
Don’t wait until Monday!
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? I say this a lot on Finding My Fitness, and I’m positive Maria would agree with me: if you can start on Monday, you can start today. (click here to tweet this)
The problem most people have in saying they’ll start Monday is that they don’t. Something always comes up, and soon you find yourself promising you’ll start on the following Monday.
Pretty soon, you’ve gone a month or more without starting. I know how it is, because I’ve done it myself.
So what can you do about it?
Simply saying “don’t wait until Monday” doesn’t help you. Yeah, it’s tweetable, but it doesn’t give you anything you need to get going.
So I want to end this exhortation with a challenge. I don’t want you to just read it, I want you do actually do it. It’s your first step to breaking the cycle.
You already know the behavior you want to change. Maybe it’s to work out more. Maybe it’s to start a specific diet. Maybe you just want to stop drinking soda or eating candy from your coworker’s bowl (guilty as charged!).
Here’s the challenge: take one step towards that change TODAY. Right now, if you can.
What does that look like? Here are a few ideas of what I’m talking about:
- Take a 15 minute walk as soon as you’re done reading this. If you have to wait until later, decide right now exactly at what time you’ll be able to do it.
- Download Maria’s Office Exercise & Stretch app to help you remember to do some quick exercises at work!
- Tell your coworkers what you want to do. Ask them to help you (some of them will be MORE than happy to call you out when you’re about to cheat…). You might even encourage them to join you.
- Say “NO!” to the next impulse you’re trying to control. For me, that would be when I walk past the bowl of “fun size” candy bars. It works every time, now that I’ve started it.
- Take some time to plan your menu for the next week, or even the next couple days. When you know what you’re going to eat, it’s easier not to cheat
- If that’s too far in advance, decide right now to eat a healthy dinner.
I am 110% confident that when you take one step towards the fitness desires you’ve already started thinking about not only will you reach those goals that much sooner, but you’ll feel better about your ability to get it done this time.
Go forth and rock!
Jason has been overweight his whole life and is on a journey to being healthy and fit. He writes about his 4 Hour Body adventures with tips, encouragement, and advice on FindingMyFitness.com. Subscribe to his newsletter to get some great “slow-carb” recipes!
Photo Credit: Andrew Morrell