Merry Christmas to all you TotalThrivers out there! I’m sure that like me, many of you ate enough food in the past few days to feed a small army! Some people feel bad after such a spree of overeating, leading them to seek out resources like our ThriveFit page to shed a few pounds and get back into shape. It’s a good idea to work toward better health, but often these resolutions to “do better” fade after a few weeks or months, and instead of looking and feeling better, the person will feel even more like a failure for their lack of follow-through. If you have the desire to live healthier, take advantage of the fire you have now by applying the most significant key to success in fitness or any other area of life: adopting new habits.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Our natural inclination after a week-long (or month-long) spree of overeating and inactivity is to overcorrect. We think that to even out the 1000 calorie dinner yesterday, we should break our year-long fast of jogging by running 5 miles. We take the high enthusiasm to get fit and convert it into a short burst of high activity. But we tend to neglect a few important steps.
The Big Challenge: Change
First, we fail to recognize that adopting a fitness routine involves one of the most difficult things there is: changing a person’s habits. This is particularly difficult to do when the person who needs changing is you! One big mistake at this point is that we try to accomplish this feat alone. Accountability is absolutely essential to get into and stay with the routine of working out regularly, week after week. Find a friend who is passionate about fitness. Preferably, this person already has the habit of keeping fit, but another newbie is ok too if they’re really serious about getting in shape. Decide how often and for what duration you will both commit to working out, and identify the specific times you’ll workout each week and how you’ll communicate your plans and results.
Write it Down
This leads right into the second necessary step for getting and staying fit: setting goals and writing them down. Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. For example, you’d ideally want to sit down with your ThriveFit partner and lay out something like the following:
We’re committing to working out 4 times per week for 30 minutes. We’ll meet on Mondays at 7:00 pm at John’s house, Wednesdays at 7:00 am at Peter’s house, and on Thursdays we’ll meet over lunch for a run or bodyweight-only type workout. Each Friday afternoon, we’ll email each other to figure out a workout to be done Saturday (each on our own) and we’ll send text messages to each other on Saturday to verify when the workout is complete and to share scores.
Between now and January 1, John’s goal is to reduce his one-mile run time below 7:00 minutes and lose 10 pounds. During the same period, Peter’s goal is to increase his 5-rep maximum of deadlifts above 225 pounds and to trim 3 inches from his waist.
Notice how this is a specific plan with set dates and times and clear markers to shoot at. The reason this is such an important step is that it gives you a standard to measure yourself against for immediate feedback should you start to falter. Without this plan, you’ll tend to let your fitness regimen slip little by little as the days go by, until you are left back where you started, and with a vague sense of dissatisfaction with yourself. With clear goals and a specific schedule to reach them, you’ll know immediately when you’re getting off course. In addition to that, the goal or dream that you’ve identified will help motivate you on the days when you don’t feel like working out.
Let Us Help!
Remember, changing habits is hard, and our aim is to create good long-term habits for a fit life. Don’t kill yourself on the first day such that you can’t move tomorrow. Keep your focus on identifying and executing healthy and sustainable habits. To support the new demands on your body, you will also do well to consider your diet and supplement choices. Our ThriveMart store has a wide array of meal bars and shakes, sport drinks, and plant-based vitamins and supplements to promote your health, recovery, and weight-loss as you take the journey to a healthy life. Just comment on our facebook page or send us a message and we’ll help you identify the right product for you.
And as always, be sure to check back with us each week for motivation and encouragement along the way—we’re here to help you thrive!