By WOAC Personal Trainer Shannon Roark
In the fitness industry, we tend to see the same trend roll around every January 1st. People come to the gym, ready to go hard 5x/week, cut all carbs out of their diet, get 8 hours sleep a night, mediate, etc. They’ve read their meal prep blogs, they’ve followed all the Instagram trainers, and they’re COMMITTED. Oh, and they expect to accomplish all this right away on top of their already existing commitments such as family and work, forgetting that there are only 24 hours a day.
Slow your roll.
When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, we are automatically setting ourselves up for failure because it’s likely we will never meet ALL of those goals right away. We focus too much on the “big picture” versus the small details needed to achieve said big picture. This tends to trigger the “all or nothing” mindset: “well, I’ve already screwed up, so why even bother?”
Creating new habits or routines isn’t black and white, and we have a lot more success when we take things one step at a time. By focusing on the baby steps versus the end goal, we celebrate each small win along the way, which empowers us to tackle more and more. Keeping our self-confidence high when attempting any sort of lifestyle or habit change should be the primary focus, because it’s the primary driver for success.
People are typically hesitant to start slow because it takes longer, and in a society where we can literally order same day delivery on pretty much anything (thanks AMAZON), we’re not known for our patience. However, isn’t taking the time to do something right that will actually last better than short-term gains? Yeah, it’s great if we hit ALL of those goals for 2 weeks…but if after 2 weeks we return to old habits because we’re burned out, it’s had no lasting effect. Not to mention our self-confidence drops significantly and we’re less empowered to make any sort of change.
Yet this is the pattern a lot of us (myself included!) repeat year after year to no avail. And isn’t this the true definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
This year, be radical. Instead of going for a major overhaul, pick just one thing a week. Maybe it’s going to the gym 2x/week. Maybe it’s cooking breakfast at home instead of buying a muffin on the way to work. Maybe it’s putting electronics away a half hour earlier than usual to catch more ZZ’s. Then the next week, pick another thing. Make each goal SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Over time, these small changes will help build the healthy and well lifestyle that you’re looking for.
To get more ideas on how to be your best self this year, email Shannon Roark.