Lets face it, if we are not willing to put in the work, we know we cannot experience change. We simply decide to accept the status quo and go about our day, business as usual. But how many of us want to make a change, we just don’t know where to start? In the realm of heath and fitness transformation, making the necessary changes to elicit change oftentimes feel daunting or downright impossible. But what if they didn’t have to be? What if we made the conscious decision to make the pursuit of being stronger in body and mind a priority? As soon as we decide something is important we allow a mindset shift to occur and start the process of #forwardmomentum. If we start from nowhere, we have nowhere to go.  But if we start from somewhere, anywhere really, we have nowhere to go but forward. So what does it take to allow this mindset shift to occur?

DETERMINATION. And lots of it.

I’m sure many of us know people in our lives that display determination on a daily basis, in everything from their relationships to their career, from their health to their fitness. And what do you think these people all have in common? They have made these things important in their lives, arguably above other things they deem less important. It is these people we often wish we could steal a little mojo from right? They make it look so easy and effortless. But I can tell you this, there is nothing easy or effortless about choosing to make things important. It actually requires an intense amount of work and effort. The only difference between people with determination and those without is the love of putting in the work. Lets call it passion.

Passion for our pursuits allows us to carry on, even on the days where we really feel a lack of motivation. It’s as if we have elevated certain things to a point that they are bigger than ourselves, therefore we owe it to ourselves to see these things through. Yes, we can find ourselves in the Excuse Trap, like I discussed last week, but when we are determined, excuses don’t get in the way of progress. Excuses actually fuel the fire of determination. We are boldly stating that we will not allow excuses to get in the way of our progress. We will actively and relentlessly put effort towards the things we want, because we know they cannot be achieved any other way.

Now, if you’re reading this and thinking, man I could use a little of that mojo! A little more desire to be determined! Just start to shift your mind, even if only a little, today. Right now actually. Think about something you are determined to achieve. Now start honing in on what you think it would take to achieve it. Before you get all overwhelmed with the 5 billion things you think you need to do to achieve it, start stripping it back. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Strip it back to a core set of actions or beliefs. Maybe even one action or belief you think you can do RIGHT NOW, to help better position you to reach your goal. Now that you have the few things or that one thing, start putting a plan into action about how you can incorporate these actions into your life. Lastly, start acting!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed already, it’s ok. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, but IS worth doing well.  So let me help you out with a couple positive action steps you can take if you are determined to change your body.

1 – Take a closer look at the food you put into your body. This requires total honesty with yourself. Change does not occur from lying to yourself, the status quo does. So put your honesty cap on and see where your nutrition lies.  Are you making good food choices (whole, minimally processed foods, balance of  healthy proteins, carbs and fats, etc.)? Are your portions in alignment with your activity levels (portion control is a topic I could write an entire post on, and will one day, but something very critical to body composition change)? Take a look at this helpful infographic from Precision Nutrition on what healthy portion sizes look like for men and women.

Portion Control Guide
Portion Control Guide

2 – Are you moving enough? When I say movement, that does not just mean exercise (even though I am a HUGE advocate for exercise).  I literally mean MOVING.  Getting up, walking around. Not just sitting on your butt all day. This is another big one for most of us who find ourselves working a desk job. We become so used to sitting that we develop a whole host of issues related to our inactivity, from back pain to weight gain and more. It’s as simple as training yourself to move at more frequent intervals. Set an alarm every hour that reminds you, get a fitbit, anything that allows you to add more movement to your day and make you aware of your rate of movement. And if that doesn’t motivate you enough there’s always this:

sitting is the new smoking

3 – Are you getting enough quality sleep? if you find your energy levels are out of whack and you feel more tired than energized, taking a look at your sleep is a great place to start. Our bodies and minds go through the largest amount of recovery during our deepest periods of sleep and if you are not regularly allowing your body to reach this state, you are missing out on a host of benefits, including optimal brain function, human growth hormone production (yes your muscles build from sleep), mood regulation and more. However, if you feel like your sleep is in a good state, yet you are feeling some of these negative side effects (brain fog, muscle loss, erratic moods, lack of energy), it may be time to take a closer look at your diet and exercise regimen, as these can have huge impacts on all these things.

4 – How are your stress levels? Our body responds negatively to lengthy periods of stress. So much so, stress is said to be a major contributor to illness, weight gain, insomnia, depression and more. Finding ways to help eliminate stress therefore become crucial to maintaining a healthy and happy life. Start taking time to do things that help reduce stress such as taking long walks, getting a massage, exercising, spending time laughing (yes, laughter can be the best medicine). Whatever it is that takes you to your happy place, do that! Your mind and your body will thank you immensely.

sleep and laugh

So with all that said, use this week to take a look at your goals and how you can shift your mind to become a little more determined to reach your goals. Don’t let your mind become cluttered with a list of a billion things you think you need to do to reach them. Instead focus on the few things or the one thing, you can do RIGHT NOW, that will build #forwardmomentum and get you closer to reaching your goals.

Determined to be a stronger me!