By Bruce and Ryan Burke
How many times have you created fitness/nutrition goals and failed? How often have you set goals, achieved them through sheer force of will, then ended up right back where you started? Unfortunately, this happens too frequently. Our experience has shown that people tend to set goals without giving any serious thought as to why they are doing so, or even how realistic they are in the first place. These individuals not only fail at creating lasting habit change, but often make themselves miserable trying.
What we know is that everyone basically wants the same thing…to be healthy and happy. This is clearly the endgame, but it should also be your starting point. Healthy and happy…as you define it…should become the motivation for every decision you make. At One on One, we guide our clients down this path and get them looking through the “lens” of overall health and happiness. When doing so, goals such as losing weight tend to look a little different. For example, going on a restrictive diet and working out 90 minutes per day will certainly cause you to lose weight, but at what cost? Are you really healthier and happier? Does this happiness have legs? Are you enjoying the process? When taking a measured approach that is more consistent with your desired lifestyle, you will be more likely to answer these questions affirmatively.
Before we get into the X’s and O’s of a fitness/nutrition program, we educate our clients on some basic principles that lend themselves to long-term success.
- Mindset – We must change our perspective from “ugh…I have to work out” to one of gratitude. Without having a mindset of gratitude (gratitude to be able to exercise; gratitude to have choices; gratitude to have food on our tables), we often become negative, sluggish and ultimately unsuccessful.
- Less is More – A successful journey towards health and happiness is a marathon, not a sprint. Set yourself up for success by taking a measured approach to diet and exercise.
- One Day at a Time – When we approach our efforts/goals one day at a time, they become less daunting and more manageable.
- Connecting the Short Term with the Long Term – Just like saving money today in order to fund our retirement tomorrow, we must make fitness/nutrition related decisions today consistent with being healthy and happy later in life.
- We Always Have Choices – We will never be successful if we allow ourselves to be victims and allow “life” to push us around.
- Practicing Acceptance – Lasting health and happiness is elusive until we learn to accept life on life’s terms and people as they are.
Keeping all these principles in mind, it is now time to develop an intelligent exercise/nutrition plan. We do this by using our “Blueprint for Success”. It is a simple formula of identifying attainable goals and creating reasonable strategies/commitments to achieve them. When creating the “blueprint”, nothing is more important than being successful from the outset. This means ensuring that your goals are reasonable and attainable.
If an individual is not following strategies/commitments strictly enough to be successful, we might need to modify those goals/strategies so they can succeed. Succeeding with smaller goals creates a positive cascade of increased motivation and adherence, often leading to new goals and commitments. This experience of “spiraling up” is truly inspiring and the reason why we love doing what we do!
Remember, whatever goals you are working towards, make sure they are moving you closer to what is really important…being healthy and happy for the long term.