How many of us started this year by saying something like “THIS year will be the one where I finally get in shape!” or “I’m going to lose weight this year, I’m going to get strong”?
It’s now June. What happened?
How many of us have started? How many are still waiting to start? If you haven’t started don’t panic, and don’t get down on yourself. It’s not too late.
Right now, in June, is the time where you will make or break this goal. By following a few simple steps, you can set yourself up to have a great, productive and rewarding year. Here’s how it works:
- Choose a goal that you can achieve. Sit down with the biggest marker or crayon you can find and write it down. By all means set a lofty end goal – but as a wise man once put to me (when I felt that there was no way I could possibly handle everything I’d taken on): “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. It’s no good going from completely sedentary, eating pies and icecream to saying “I’m going to train 7 days a week and eat meat, sprouts and leafy green things”. You’ll last two days, maybe, and when the sugar withdrawals hit – hate yourself, and quit. Instead, try making 3 days of activity and incorporating your initial goal. Once you’ve managed that consistently for 4-6 weeks, start to think about increasing. I should make the point here that it is VITAL that you combine a positive change in the way that you eat, with an increase in physical activity. You will need the good energy that comes from eating meat, fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and NO SUGAR. The best, most efficient way to optimise your performance is to adhere to this way of eating for the first 30 days – if you haven’t changed at this point, and you genuinely ate this way, you can go back to your way. Remember that it takes time to cultivate your new habit – between 3 to 6 months.
- Find Support. Use your partner, family, friends, co-workers, a personal trainer – any group of motivated people. Group Fitness classes (Body Pump, Step, Combat etc) work great here also – once you turn up and become part of the class, you’ve got to stick with it until the end. Not only do you derive energy from the group, you also become responsible to contributing to that energy. The Gym constantly runs 12week transformation programs, comprising of good nutrition, small group sessions, development of training habits, and constant contact and assessment. Find the support that works best for you
- Make Yourself Accountable. If you think you won’t be accountable to yourself, find yourself someone who will make you accountable. I have both a JiuJitsu coach and a Business partner, both of which call me and kick my ass if I haven’t fronted at training, or haven’t submitted my report for the month. A personal trainer works great here, or any program where you get called every week if you miss a session.
- Reward Yourself. No, not with cake! Reward yourself with something positive that will help you reach your goal: a new pair of shoes (trust me, they make you feel amazing), a massage, haircut, special socks (the next best thing to new shoes).
- It’s not so daunting and it begins with taking the first step. Jacqueline Gareau, the 1980 Boston Marathon champ once said “The body does not want you to do this. As you run,it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”