When you’re down in the dumps in your health and fitness, your tired of looking in the mirror, of wearing the baggy clothing and you’re just tired of being tired, where do you turn to for motivation?
Googling over your fit Facebook friends?
Checking celeb inspiration vids like Kev Hart here?
Of course these kinds of things will put you into superhero mode. You’re ready to take control. Become the hero of your own movie! Get fit finally!
So you decide – THIS TIME, things are going to be different!
You get the gym, the clothes, the food, the workouts. You’re ready to change your results!
And you take the heroes journey, climbing your way to the climax of… wait for it…FITNESS SUCCESS!
But before you begin your montage into transformation, let me ask you this:
What is going to be different this time around?
Because if you start the same way you’ve always started – relying solely on those motivational things above, you’re journey isn’t going to be different.
It will lead you right back to where you are now.
In order to change the outcome, you’ve got change a few things along the way. Because there are 3 big facts that impact our ability to change our future.
- We are creatures of habit.
- We are the product of our environment.
- We are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with.
Not sure why this matters? Here’s what I mean.
Creatures of Habit
It’s our human nature to create habits.
From our hunter-gatherer times, this ‘skill’ became ingrained. Do more of what keeps you alive. And why fix it if it ain’t broken?
We are biologically prone for consistency.
Our bodies like to know how much energy we’ll exert every day so it can plan accordingly for how much food to store.
Our hormones increase and decrease at certain times of the day in accordance with the natural flow of the sun.
We’re programmed to get hungry at specific time lengths in order to keep from starving.
Consistency keeps us alive.
But when food is in abundance and ‘danger’ is more of an emotional threat than a physical one, it’s easy to create habits that do more damage than good.
So in order to shift our habits into healthier ones, it’s going to take some real work.
We know habits aren’t created overnight. You can’t just write it down and ba-bam, it’s in action. You have to be disciplined and you have to put mind over matter for awhile until it becomes easier.
- Create a list of 1-3 daily ‘healthy habits’ that you will implement.
- Put it to a schedule.
- Follow it religiously.
- And then as you get more comfortable, pick a new healthy habit to implement (or negative one to work to eliminate).
Make small changes at a time instead of trying to overhaul your life in one fell swoop. Over time, you’ll get there. But if you have no plan to create habits, you’ll never make them. Because temptation is too easy to sway you off course and away from the gym.
So habits matter for your success.
But keeping those habits progressing isn’t just about discipline or following a plan. It’s also about your environment.
Product of our Environment
Back to our biology – we’re always affected by our environment. As complex beings with strange and twisted thoughts, we can’t live in a vacuum. What happens at work, at home, with friends, in relationships, in the world around us – will always change us.
It might change how you think, move, act, or feel without even realizing. But your environment is affecting you.
The key is to foster an environment that impacts you positively. That keeps you moving forward in the development of your habits.
So what does that mean?
Find ways to control your environment. Cleary, not everything is controllable. But some things are.
- Keep junk food out of the house so you aren’t tempted to eat it.
- Don’t watch the news if it puts you in a frustrated mood (because we all know it’s only full of attention grabbing, negative updates).
- Sleep in your workout clothes if it will help you get into the gym in the morning.
- Change your drive home so you don’t pass your favorite donut shop filled with afternoon sweet temptations.
You CAN control some parts of your environment. And when that’s possible, do it.
The goal is to make it one step easier to keeping healthy habits (like sleeping in your workout clothes) and making it one step harder to maintain unhealthy ones (like driving by that dang donut shop daily).
Now even if you change your environment, there’s one last thing that’s hugely important in keeping to your goals and getting different results this time around. And that’s the people. Your army. Your tribe. The folks you let into your inner circle.
Sum of our Tribe
We are the sum of the 5 people we surround ourselves with most. So the question is – is your inner circle helping you make progress or keeping you back?
Are they helping your meal prep or do they give you crap for bringing your chicken and rice Tupperware to work?
Do they encourage you to get up at the butt crack of dawn to workout or do they tempt you stay in bed and skip and the sweat sesh?
Your army is that – your supporters. But what are they supporting you to do?
I’m not advocating you ditch your tribe. We need people in our lives for fun and fulfillment. But I do think you should maximize the time you spend with those championing your forward. And take a long evaluation of those people that hold you back.
Change your Results
If this time around is going to be different – then make sure you set yourself up for the different.
After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. So if change is going to happen in your health and fitness, what change has to come first in your life?
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