By Jason Hodge
It doesn’t take long for us to fall off the bandwagon of trying to get in shape. It’s tempting to try, fail, and then give up. After all, we didn’t live up to our own expectations, but your expectations may have been unrealistic. Having goals and working hard to achieve them is a great thing, but often times, our body doesn’t do what we expect it to do.
The Big Picture
Most people tend to look at New Year’s Resolutions as a one-time, succeed or fail type goal. Either we do perfect (never skipping a workout, losing 3 pounds a week, fitting in to our skinny jeans in a month, etc…) or we give up hope. The biggest problem with this mindset is that it never really has a chance to succeed.
It’s the equivalent of two people entering a marriage thinking they will never have an argument. The road to a successful marriage contains good days and bad days too, and achieving a healthy body and lifestyle is not much different. Sometimes you will win, and sometimes you will lose, but the key to success is how many times you are willing to get back up and try again.
When pursuing your ideal body and lifestyle, you simply cannot give up trying. It’s not a choice. The people who achieve the results you are after do not allow “giving up” to be an option. The moment you entertain the idea of quitting, you’ve already lost. The battle you are facing is not physical; it is mental. If you can win this mental battle, the body will eventually be forced to change. You may have an off week, a tragic life circumstance, or maybe even an injury, but when you are relentlessly persistent, you will get back on track the first chance you get. The reason most people give up is because they are heading down a dead end road, but they didn’t realize failure was inevitable. Do not let that prevent you from trying though, because there are some things that you can look for to make sure you are on the right track.
There are thousands of different things that are promoted as “healthy,” so make sure you choose wisely.
Long Term vs. Short Term – Remember that achieving a healthy body and lifestyle is a gradual progression. While things that promise short cuts can be tempting, the reality is that it often leads to failure in the long term. Achieving and then keeping results is as much mental as it is physical. Practicing willpower and learning how to overcome obstacles is just as important as learning how to exercise properly. Without this physical and mental foundation it will be very difficult to achieve the body you want over the long term.
Balance – Your program should have a healthy balance of exercise and nutrition. Any program that promises that you can do just exercise, a pill, or a special diet and not worry about anything else is sure to be a dead end road. Your program should either include exercise and nutrition or prepare you to have both components as a part of your long term strategy. Your program needs balance for long term success.
Structure – People do not accidently get in shape. Any good game plan will be consistently progressive over time. If you are just randomly doing things or jumping from one diet to another, you will never make progress. Any good plan involves something you can stick with for the long term.
If you’ve already burned out from your New Years’ Resolution or have a history of burning out, put this article in a place where you can keep re-reading it. There was a reason you decided to lose weight at first, remember? Don’t give up! This is a daily battle that you can win with persistence.
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