“TAKE care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”
There is not a single area of your life that your health and fitness does not affect. A win here can lead to a win everywhere else.
Yet, for so many people, it’s the part of their life that receives the least attention - even compassion.
Good health and fitness requires the right movement and the right nutrition, but all too often the opposite takes place.
We’ve become a stationary species; we spend long periods of time immobile, and when we do move it is with poor form and bad posture. Our nutrition is even worse. We indulge on so many foods that are bad for us, like sugar - it’s not our fault and it is also completely our fault. Most foods contain added sugars, which starts our addiction. We then yield to these cravings, replacing water with sodas, fruit and veg with imitation fruit and veg flavoured junk. It’s a sad state of affairs, and we know it.
We know it enough to make it our main resolution every year. We are going to get fit and eat healthy. But what does that even mean? How does that even look in practice? And where to start?
Step One - ask yourself what do you believe good health and fitness looks like? Is it the way you look outside? The way you feel inside? It’s critical you know what you believe, because your beliefs control your thoughts, your decisions, your behaviours, and ultimately your success. If you have any negative beliefs regarding food or gyms, write them down and ask yourself is this really true. It’s very important you do this, because you have to act consistently with what you believe, and if it’s negative then it’s going to create complete resistance.
Here is an example of a negative health and fitness belief and how it manifests, “Most of my family are overweight, so I’ll probably become overweight too.” If you believe you are doomed, then you are going to act doomed, and chances are you will be doomed.
Step Two - consciously choose new, empowering beliefs and write them down. Examples of empowering beliefs are “I am in control of my health and fitness,” or, “I believe my body was designed to be well.” In some cases, the shift in simply changing what you believe can be instant. The seal breaks, resistance dissipates, and new, positive action commences.
Step Three - design a clear vision of what you want. How can you expect to get what you want in life if you don’t know what you want? Without a clear, detailed vision, the health and fitness you want will never be accessible. You need to know exactly what it looks like and feels like.
Step Four - now you know what you want, you have to get clear on WHY you want it. More than any other factor, WHY you want something will determine whether or not you get it. So why do you want to improve your health and fitness? Your WHY is the key to your success. Choosing a weak WHY like “I want to look better” or “I want to be happy” will not create enough driving force to help you overcome likely obstacles along the way. “I want to look better” will not get you out of bed, when it’s cold or raining. But saying “I’m doing this so I can live a happier, longer life to be around my kids” will. “I want to improve my health and fitness so I can spend more quality time with the people I love” will drive you to overcome obstacles.
A strong purpose can break negative, life long habits. Make your purpose more powerful than your negative daily habits. Science shows that by focusing on something beyond ourselves, we can more easily confront challenges and roadblocks. Create a self-transcending purpose; it’s only when we transcend ourselves that we can break through our self-imposed limits.
Step Five - create a strategy. Now that you are clear on where you want to be, what actions do you need to take in order to get there? A strategy is like a recipe - it is a journey, broken down into daily habits that will accumulate to give you what you want. With regards your health and fitness, you need to create both an exercise plan and a meal plan. There are no two ways around it. These two things are the basis for good health and fitness. If you don’t know how to do this then get in contact with someone who does. Qualified personal trainers are well equipped with the knowledge and wisdom which are going to help you advance.
Good health and fitness is not luck, it’s not down to chance whether or not you achieve your goals. It is completely available to you. So start today.