I was speaking with a client just the other day about their new nutrition plan. They responded back saying “Sounds great I am planning on starting that on Monday”. To which I responded, “Wait, today is Wednesday. Why Monday?!” They looked at me with a look of confusion. The fact is they didn’t really know why. It’s just the way their brain works. They think everything has to start on a Monday for a “fresh start”. The interesting thing is that when Monday rolls around and something pops up that prevents them from making their scheduled gym time or hitting their meal plan 100% then they put it off another full week. “I’ll try again on Monday! Fresh start!
For some of us in this world the devil is in the details. It’s there in everything we do, and many times we let the details dictate our lives. If we can’t check off every little box on the checklist in our brain in just the right way we can’t move on to the next step. We need a do over. Then if that do over doesn’t go the way we need it to we need another do over.
There’s good news though. Many people only do this because they just don’t even realize they do it. Once you call their attention to the audacity of their logic all the sudden a light bulb comes on and it all clicks. Today’s post is your call and your light bulb.
This one goes right along with my example above. Forget about the “fresh start”. As a matter of fact just forget what day of the week it is altogether for just a moment. Life is unpredictable at best, and that can be tough for highly detail oriented people like myself. Trust me when I say you will procrastinate your way into the next year and beyond if you allow it to happen. There is no day better than today. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to happen. It doesn’t have to be a perfect day where you wake up well rested, have breakfast, you feel great, and everything falls right in to place according to plan. That’s NOT most days, and if that is your pre-requisite standard for following a plan and taking action your setting yourself up for failure! Forget what day it is, just get to work!
How do I do that Matt? Well you can start by learning not to sweat the little stuff. I’ll speak from experience on this one. I can’t tell you how many workouts I skipped once upon a time because I didn’t get to eat within a certain magical window of opportunity before I worked out. There was no science behind my belief that this just HAD to happen, it was just some belief that had been planted in my brain at some point in my life growing up. So if I didn’t get to eat lunch before my workout, I would think dang I haven’t eaten I guess I’ll have to skip my workout.
Imagine that each of us has a number of different expectations in our mind for what is “ideal” and each time we fail to meet that ideal standard we skip a workout. Guess what? If that’s the case you’re probably skipping a lot of workouts! I had to teach myself that at the end of the day missing a meal is not as bad as missing a meal AND a workout. So if you hit a snag just keep on rolling. Don’t let a slight deviation from the plan completely derail you.
Speaking of deviating from the plan…let’s talk about the plan specifically. I am a planner both literally and figuratively. It’s what I do! I write workout and nutrition plans for my clients and coach them to meet their goals. So if there is anyone around that will tell you the value of having a good plan it’s me. However, what I will never tell anyone is that you have to have a plan in place before you get going on day one. Forget that! Get off your rump, get a gym membership, and just get in there! Jump on the treadmill and just work on getting your heart rate moving a little bit. That will do just fine to start. If you’re comfortable lifting some weights then go for it. You can work on finding a trainer or getting a proper workout and nutrition plan in place as you go. The important thing is just get up and get it going.
Of course next we have the good old workout buddy. Truthfully I am a HUGE advocate of utilizing a workout partner. Workout partners help motivate you. They help commit you to going to the gym and they help push you once your there. Let’s be realistic though for a second. Fitness is something that must be consistent, and you just can’t always count on someone else to be there to be your workout partner on a consistent basis. So you need to learn to be comfortable working in the gym on your own or with a trainer. Having a workout partner must be a luxury NOT a requirement. If you can learn to motivate yourself when working out alone you will be even more effective when you are blessed with a workout partner, but don’t let the absence of a partner keep you out of the gym.
Last, but certainly not least, you are the only thing you need to make this happen. A gym membership is nice. Supplements are great. Snazzy new workout clothes and new shoes are wonderful too! Are they an absolute requirement to improve your fitness? NO! Don’t have a gym membership yet? Is the gym closed or not staffed because it’s a Sunday? Fine! Go for a walk or a run. So you heard a friend is taking a protein supplement, multi-vitamin, fish oils, and a pre-workout shake? That’s really great. Those are all wonderful things that can definitely supplement your progress, but they are supplements. These are not a requirement. You can meet your goals without any of the above mentioned supplements. If you have the means then absolutely you should look into what supplements make the most sense for you and your goals, but don’t make having the “right” supplements a pre-requisite to getting started and staying consistent.
All of these things are extremely common and natural behaviors that I see. Maybe now you recognize some of these behaviors in yourself and if so that’s great. Just remember that while having a plan, supplements, a workout partner, etc is all very helpful, these are things that you will build upon as you go. Until then stop stressing over the little things and just get out there!
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