We get really good at putting things off, like until tomorrow, next Monday, or January 1st. Actually, usually it’s January 2nd right? January 1st is usually still a day of celebration, food, the holiday season.
I use to get caught up in putting off my next plan and sharpening my procrastination skills. I was committed to start “next week” until I realized that I had some social event or vacation that would interfere with my plan of eating well and getting my workouts in.
It was around that time when it became very clear that I would have to find a way of eating and working out I could do on a regular basis and find ways to adapt, enjoy, and indulge without completely falling off track and without constant guilt or shame.
Part of me was wondering if was even possible to have fun, enjoy life and food without completely derailing myself from my goals?
I have gotten the hang of it though it has been, and still is, a constant practice. It is just not quite as overwhelming now. I have learned how to get better results but working out less and eating in a more balanced and moderate way. No deprivation, no long hours of exercise.
This 100% began with a mindset shift that it really is about committing to do the work forever. It can be really tough in the beginning, breaking habits that don’t serve you anymore and replacing them with new habits that require a lot of extra thought and effort. If just requires you to have a little patience, and to start now.
If you are debating waiting 5 more weeks to get your act into check out 3 reasons why it’s not so bad to start your new years resolution early. As in today.
You do not have to commit to perfection.
I think part of the problem is we worry that if we commit to healthy living we have to commit to perfection. That there is no way health and enjoyment will go hand in hand. There is, and chances are if you have found that way you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t that’s ok too, and it is likely your mindset probably revolves around the thoughts that being healthier is boring, complicated and time consuming.
It all begins with changing your thoughts. The idea that you should comply to a strict diet forever and workout hours on end is absurd and that is why many people are often unsuccessful with diets and consistency with workouts.
Let’s take food for example. At Precision Nutrition they use the 90/10 rule when it comes to eating, that essentially state, if you make healthy choices 90% of the time, you can use that 10% as you like. For example if you eat 5 meals a day, 7 days a week you are consuming 35 meals a week and at least 3 of those can be more indulgent. Perhaps 2 pieces of pizza at one meal or a couple of glasses a wine a week? Allowing yourself to have a little more can actually help you feel more satisfied and make you less likely to overindulge.
This can work in other ways too. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about feeling ravenous at night after getting off work and wanting to eat everything in sight. Turns out she was having oatmeal, lunch meat and veggies throughout the day. I urged her to actually make a sandwich with 2 pieces (yes 2 whole pieces) of bread to give her a little more satisfaction during the day. There was one caveat though. She actually had to try it, not just think about trying it.
Two days later she texted me. “Your advice is actually working!!”
Your expect your future self to do what your present self cannot manage.
We are pretty kind to our future selves because we really, truly believe, that though we don’t want to make healthy choices today, we will next week, next month, perhaps even in 2016. This isn’t so bad, except this ideal vision we have of ourselves saying no to cookies and working out 5 days a week doesn’t often play out and if it does, it is not for very long.
This theory is actually studied in the psychology world and in the fantastic book, The Willpower Instinct, the author Kelly McGonigal says this. “It is one of the most puzzling but predictable mental errors humans make: We think about our futures selves like different people. We often idealize them, expecting our future selves to do what our present selves cannot manage.”
When we view ourselves as different people we think even though we don’t workout now, we will next month or next year 6 days a week. We never really turn inward to find out what is true about ourselves and what is getting in the way of our present self making good decisions. Ask yourself how you can manage fitness and health in your current lifestyle not at some ideal point in your life?
It is not a time issue, it is a priority issue.
People who are successful do the little things even when they don’t feel like doing it. It is not just one little thing, it is lots of little things. Just because you get in one week of good workouts or eat good for one day doesn’t mean you get to let yourself off the hook ongoing.
Find ways to prioritize health into your life and reframe the way you think about healthy living.
Is it the worst thing ever to have to say no to a few foods here and there?
Is it miserable to workout a couple times a week when you don’t feel like it?
Can you learn to enjoy the process even when your daily results are invisible?
The bottom line is this. We know what to do, we just don’t know how to consistently implement it. Or we do, we just don’t do it.
Remind yourself during the holidays, it is possible to celebrate and get your workouts in. It is possible to eat and be social without throwing your health ideals to the bottom of your list and/or feel guilty when you do indulge.
There is no better time than the present to intentionally fight the voice inside your head saying it is not important or you will start in at some future point.
This is exactly why I created my #16to16 holiday workout challenge. Start now. Details here !