Today I want to follow-up on yesterday’s post about finding your why, with a discussion about taking action towards achieving your health and fitness goals. For many, setting a course of action is easier said than done. We get so caught up with the end goal, we often resort to drastic measures to get there. Measures that lead to misery, inconsistency and ultimately failure. And then the vicious cycle repeats throughout the course of the year and the course of our lives. We never really learn the right actions to take to ensure we never get caught in this cycle again.
So back to the topic at hand…ACTION! What actions look like vary person to person, and this is the first mistake most people make. They follow an off-the-shelf diet or fitness plan and expect it to work for them just like it worked for the person who wrote it or someone else they know who had success with it. But what is the usual result? Maybe the scale moved a little in the very beginning, but quickly plateaued, eventually leading to frustration and giving up on the whole thing. We seek instant gratification, which is the biggest enemy of progress. Because we all too often give up on something before we have a chance to reap the benefits. Change takes time. Accept that now and you will save yourself a lot of heartache come six months or a year from now. Strive for progress, over perfection and you will learn to forgive yourself when you start to veer off track and then just as quickly get back on track.
Lets talk about the first step towards taking action towards YOUR goals (side note: if they are not YOUR goals, you have no business trying to attain them. This was the whole purpose of first identifying your why).
Once you have identified your personal why statement, the path towards taking action should look a little something like this:
- Based on your why, list specific goals you are looking to reach. Give deadlines! (Nothing pushes you more than putting something on your calendar to work towards)
- Based on your list of goals, pick out just ONE that you want to target first. Recommend picking something that almost seems too easy. Having success up front will build a little forward momentum that will carry you through the process. Think of this process like stepping stones toward your end goal.
- Based on the ONE goal you chose, create a list of specific actions you can take to reach that goal. Here’s where things can start to get a little tricky. We can often create a long list of actions we can take to reach a goal, and then try to implement them ALL AT ONCE! Making it very difficult to create consistency and sustainable change. I would urge you to pick just ONE action that will get you closer to your goal.
- Make a commitment to consistently practice this action (this is what we will call a skill from here on out). Give yourself a week or, preferably two, to practice this skill and track your consistency.
- If you feel like you have been consistent with that skill (90% compliance is the ultimate goal, because lets face it, it’s pretty lofty to assume you are going to be compliant 100% of the time), add another skill to consistently practice. Give yourself a week or, preferably, two, to practice this skill, along with the previous skill, and track your consistency.
- Repeat until you have crossed all your skills off your list. Building one skill on top of the last.
Now, I know what you are thinking. This process could take FOREVER! But what have I already told you? Change takes time! Learning to accept that this is a journey with a long, drawn out end point, will allow you to stay the course over time. Plus, if you hadn’t noticed, I am asking you to commit to one thing at a time, as to not overburden you, so you stand a better chance of sticking with the process and creating real, lasting change that will impact the rest of your life.
For some, this process feels too daunting and would prefer the actions be spelled out for them so they can better know where to start and which way to steer. If you’re thinking yes, this is totally me! I can never figure out where to start and where to go next and cannot trust myself to be accountable on my own, I will be opening up slots for coaching starting in January. I will work with you personally to craft a plan of action that will not only steer you down the right path, but keep you going when you feel like you want to give up. W0rking one-on-one will look a little something like this:
- Help you identify your why
- Discuss the things that are standing in the way of you reaching your goals and the things you have done in the past that have worked/not worked
- Work with you to eliminate the barriers that have prevented you from success in the past
- Review and guide your wish list of goals based on your why
- Craft your lessons to provide specific skills needed to reach your goals
- Check-in with you frequently (daily, bi-weekly, weekly, monthly – whatever increment suits you best) to discuss your struggles and successes and make any adjustments necessary
- Track your journey and guide next steps along the way
- Enable you to have a healthy relationship with food, resulting in never having to go on another diet (or mention the word) for the rest of your life
If coaching is something that is calling you and is what you feel you need to commit to making lasting change, please reach out to me and we can discuss your options. I would love the opportunity to help you become the strongest version of yourself.
Stronger one step at a time,