Losing weight, getting in shape, and improving your lifestyle don’t have to be complicated. Yes, change is hard but oftentimes we overcomplicate things. The truth is that the simpler you make your process, the more likely you are to succeed. When it’s complicated, too restrictive, too grand then it’s difficult to follow through. Success becomes unrealistic. The key to success with any lifestyle change is to simplify it.
One of the biggest hurdles to achieving any weight loss or fitness goal is to break it down into small, achievable steps.
Here’s an example, if you want to lose weight a common approach is to embrace a “diet” like the Zone Diet and to join a gym. This approach may, at first, result in a lot of weight loss, but it’s generally not sustainable. You get tired of going to the gym every day and you become exhausted with the restrictiveness of the diet.
A better option is to look at your diet and choose one thing that would make a big impact if you made a change. For example, if you drink sugary drinks then getting those out of your daily diet would likely result losing several pounds of weight each week. And this approach is sustainable. You can stop drinking sugary drinks and never, or rarely, drink them again. You’re making realistic changes that have big results.
So, in the example I just used, I mentioned small changes with big results. This requires an honest look at your current situation. What habits do you have in your life that may be contributing to your weight gain, lack of fitness, fatigue, and so on?
For example, if your goal is to increase your energy you might take a look at the habits you have that may be decreasing your energy. Write them all down and then identify the one thing that may have the biggest impact on your energy levels. Maybe it’s too much sugar, maybe it’s that you stay up late each night and binge watch Stranger Things, or maybe you haven’t taken a vacation or time off from work in more than a year and you need a break.
I used to hear those words a lot. People would say, “get quiet” and the answer will come, or you’ll know what to do, or you’ll find clarity. Things like that. I had no idea what they were talking about and honestly, I find the process a little tricky. Because when you’re emotional and invested in an outcome, it can be difficult to get quiet about something. It’s hard to clear away all thoughts and listen to the answer. So, here’s what I do and maybe it’ll help you too.
If you don’t immediately know what step to take first, for example you don’t know whether to take a vacation or stop binge watching television, then you can try to do something mundane. Don’t think about your goal or problem, wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the house. Often when people are performing mundane tasks, they have aha moments.
If the mundane doesn’t work, you might journal or meditate on it.
You can do what I often resort to which is to narrow the options down to two. Grab a coin and give one option “heads” and the other option “tails.” Flip the coin. The option you get will either give you a sense of “yes” or a sense of “no.” Either way, you have your answer and if you don’t get any feelings about the coin toss result, then go for it and see what happens. Maybe both options are the right answer and once you’ve mastered the first, you can then tackle the second.
Let’s review quickly so that it stays clear, and simple, in your mindset:
- Start small. Set small, achievable goals that you KNOW you can achieve.
- Big impact. Choose small goals that will have the most impact on your life and health.
- Get clear on what path is right for you right now.
Work through this process, achieve your success and repeat the process. This is how you make your life your own, how you live by your own terms, and how you gradually work toward the health and vitality that you desire and deserve.