A: Like you, many people are thinking about fitness goals for the new year, and it can be challenging when there is so much information out there. First you need to listen to your compass versus your culture. Many people fail at achieving their goals, because it’s not really want they want to do. They listen to the culture tell them what might be best for them. We’ll discuss your compass in a minute, but it’s always exciting to be motivated and I applaud you for wanting to better yourself physically. Here are a few ideas that will help you sort through all those techniques to find what works best for you.
First of all, your compass is your gut, and your gut is like the mothership that disseminates information based on what is best for your true self. So, what does your gut say about the new fitness tips and tricks? Do any spark joy and motivation, and do any sound down right excruciating? Keep that in mind as you do the following.
GET ORGANIZED - Make a list of all the techniques in the book.
USE YOUR COMPASS - Go through each technique, envisioning yourself doing that activity. Really think about how your body looks doing it, where will you do it, what you are wearing, etc. The point is to try and experience it as much as possible. Then circle it if seems exciting and cross it out if you just aren’t feeling it. There is no right or wrong answer, but I have a feeling that you will know. Your compass is never wrong.
IDENTIFY FEELING STATES - Relying on your gut is all about feeling states. When you are in touch with your body, you are in touch with how you feel, and that can be a useful guide when trying something new. When you think about your fit body…
1. How does it/would it feel when you are in shape? (i.e. strong, confident, energetic, etc.)
2. How would the feelings from question 1 affect your relationships, work, spiritual life, and community? (more positive, empowered, helpful, etc.)
PRIORITIZE - After identifying how “fit” feels to you and how it will affect your life, go back through your list of circled techniques and prioritize them with the first technique on your list being the one that will bring you the closest to your feeling states.
TRY IT FOR FOUR DAYS - Studies show that the first three days of anything new are always the hardest. However, on day four, your brain starts to rewire itself to reflect the “new normal.” That's neurology working in your favor. Starting with only technique #1, try it for four days in a row. Make time for it, do it. On day five, reward yourself with something that is of value to you, but doesn’t cost more than your lunch. Then, up the ante and add technique #2 for the next four days. If you reached your goal, reward yourself again with the same parameters.
With this method you should be able to get through about 8 techniques in the next 32 days, which is a great amount of time to start a habit. If you find that one doesn’t work for you, trust your gut and scratch it from you new routine. Just keep building one by one. Slow and steady leads to success.
Keep me posted!
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