As we head into the last stretch of January, some of you may well be feeling frustrated and fed up with yourself for not making the kind of progress that you wished for. Maybe you have set some goals regarding improving your food intake or getting more exercise in, but things haven’t worked out quite the way you wanted.
If this sounds like you, and it seems to be a repeating pattern year after year, don’t be quick to stick the ‘lazy’ or ‘demotivated’ label on your forehead. It’s likely that like many others, you’ve set the bar too high when it comes to making permanent changes to your weight, health and body.
Most people in the new year set themselves up for failure. I’m going to eat clean, cut out sugar, run three times a week, drink 3 litres of water and cut out booze etc.… These are all very common ‘things’ that people try to force themselves to do. And after a week or so, they give up, wonder why they even bothered and resort back to the unhealthy habits that got them into poor health or a body they aren’t happy with.
To build momentum, you need to start with one or two habits that you know you can do, and that will move you towards your goal. If you’re someone who doesn’t sleep, lives of coffee and wine eat fast food every day and live a sedentary lifestyle; it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to turn all of that around right from the offset.
Now, to get the ball rolling, you could focus on two things. Let’s choose hydration and walking. You can set up a reminder on your phone that reminds you to hit the required amount of water per day. If you’re not keen on water, you could add some low sugar cordial, fresh lime or lemon or just go for the low calorie flavoured waters. Doing this will be better for your body than being dehydrated.
Being more hydrated means, you’ll probably snack less, which will bring your calorie intake down. And you’ll likely have more energy throughout the day, which you can use for your second commitment. If you commit to walking an extra 30 minutes per day, no matter what, you are going to start feeling better. You’ll get the extra calorie burn that walking delivers, which will help you lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health. As you lose some weight each week, you will have more energy and maybe will feel the urge to do some additional exercise.
Bothe the habits stacked together will bring down the stress that was being placed on your body by being dehydrated and inactive. When you experience less stress in your life, you’ll be better equipped to live a healthier lifestyle, following a decent diet and keep active.
If we were to publish a body-transforming book that told you to drink more water and walk more, we wouldn’t shift millions of copies! But as opposed to getting overwhelmed with all the things that you think you ‘should’ be doing, drinking more water and walking more is doable for most.
And when you take away all of the overwhelm that surrounds diet and exercise, you start to know that you can change. You’ve got momentum and naturally will want to begin adding better habits to speed up your progress.
Please let me know if you have any questions and keep me posted on your progress.