If you’re struggling to get back into the exercise groove then this is the one fitness hack you really need
What a world we live in. We’re the tech generation. Anything, and everything, we need to know is at our fingertips. We’ve got more information available to us than ever before. Therefore, we should be the healthiest generation yet. We should be amazing physical specimens. We should be performing at our best and feeling great. Yet so many of us struggle to even lose a few pounds, despite knowing it would improve our health. Why is that? What are we not doing right? What’s the one fitness hack you really need?
For many people there’s one fundamental reason they’re not improving their health; they’re not taking action. Transformation lies in the doing. Action over words. Transformation lies not in the information, but in the application of the information. Think about that old phrase knowledge is power. It’s not really. Knowledge is only knowledge. What you choose to do with it is power.
Streamline your social media feed
Sometimes I believe we can take on too much information. The fitness industry, in particular, has grown enormously over the last few years. With that comes more and more information. Every second person on social media seems to be a PT. Then there’s you, the person who just wants to lose a little bit of weight and improve your health. You’re following all of these people online, consuming more and more information, but there’s so much and it’s conflicting. You’re drowning in information. It’s confusing. You don’t know what information is right, and what’s wrong. And so you do nothing. Analysis Paralysis. And therein lies the problem. Until you take action, nothing about your reality is going to change. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
Inspo: Trisha Lewis Q&A
As far as the online issue goes I’d start by having a clearout. Unfollow those who don’t inspire you. I actually believe you’re better following a handful of people that you admire, people who inspire you and bring you value, rather than following hundreds who are bringing very little to you. Ultimately, the ones that inspire you to take action are the ones that are of service to you.
Step into action
What next? I’d encourage you to take a pen and paper and start getting honest with yourself. What’s not working in your life? Why is it not working? What are the things you want to do, be and create? How are you going to do that? What are the obstacles and challenges you’re going to face? How are you going to face those challenges? It’s highly likely you’ve tried to accomplish this goal before and failed, so what will you do differently this time? When we’ve got a plan we greatly increase our chances of success. Then we act on the plan.
Stepping into action is often the most challenging part of the whole journey. Just getting started. Remember, knowledge means very little until you do something with it. You can know 50 different variations of a press-up but until you get on the floor and start nothing is going to change. One of the reasons people never start is because they’re overwhelmed. They’re so fixated on a certain target they don’t know where to start. But what actually needs to happen is that you focus on the process. The small, daily, actionable steps. Concentrate on the small weekly wins and forget about everything else. That’s how you create momentum and self-belief. This can only happen by taking action.
The motivation myth
If I had a Euro for every time I heard somebody say “I need motivation”, or “I’m not motivated” I’d be a very wealthy man. The truth is you don’t need motivation. In fact, if you’re relying on motivation to achieve your goals you won’t succeed. Motivation is lovely when it’s there, but the problem is that it’s not always there. So if you’re only going to do the work when you’re motivated, we’ve got a problem.
The percentage of people who won’t get started until they’re motivated is not insignificant. Allow me to propose a strategy that may be a little more productive for you. Just take action, commit to doing the work for two weeks, every single day. A result will follow. Then motivation will come, you’ll feel good and want more. That breeds consistency. Consistency brings long term change. The cycle is Action – Result – Motivation – Consistency – Change. Note that it starts with Action, not Motivation.
Let’s look at another common reason people don’t take action; it’s uncomfortable. Weight loss works as an excellent example here. For somebody who has never trained, it’s very understandable that they’re not going to like it very much when they start. Heart rate will be high, palms will be sweaty, your muscles will probably ache and it will possibly feel very uncomfortable. Of course, you won’t like it, why would you? It’s hard. The question you need to ask yourself is this. Will the reward on the other side be worth it?
The fitness hack
I’ve got some good news too; it does get easier. Fitness is a great analogy for life. The more you put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, and do the hard thing, the easier it gets. It’s probably wrong to say it gets easier because the challenge is still the same but you adapt. You get stronger, more resilient and you learn how to handle those challenges. I believe the first few weeks are the toughest part of any training journey. It’s the time when most people give up. If you can prepare yourself mentally to stick it out beyond that initial phase you’ll soon start to see the benefits. You’ll see your mental and physical health improve. Your energy levels will improve. You’ll find yourself sleeping better. Your self-confidence will improve every time you move out of that comfort zone.
It’s important to understand that everything in life comes at a cost. If you go to the shop to buy milk you’re going to have to pay something for it. The cost of being in better shape and improving your health is that you’re going to have to get uncomfortable. I’d suggest making peace with that fact as a starting point. Then you’re putting yourself in a strong position to move forward. Every one of us is more than capable of doing it. Take that first step today. Take action.
Alan Williams is a coach, trainer, motivator and expert in the areas of wellbeing and lifestyle, fitness and confidence building. For more information visit alanwilliamscoaching.com