It’s that time of year – a new season is upon us, which usually means that people are re-visiting, re-vamping or dusting off their health & fitness goals. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to get started (or re-started). If you’re looking for some easy, actionable steps to get you going, read on!
It seems as though everyone is short on time these days (in fact, if you’re feeling as though you don’t have the time to commit to reading this, you can check out my Instagram video series or get it on Facebook).
Schedule your workouts and other fitness-related activities like planning, shopping for and preparing healthful foods, journalling and meditating, as well as getting sufficient sleep and time with loved ones. The idea of devoting “blocks” of dedicated time to just one activity is quite popular and effective. The idea of multi-tasking is attractive, but multiple studies have proven that multi-tasking leads to multi-mediocrity! There’s a reason for the expression, “Jack of all trades; master of none.”
Set and schedule devoted blocks of time for all of the activities that important to you. This is actually a great exercise to take stock of your values and priorities and to see if the way in which you spend your time each week actually corresponds with those supposed values and priorities. Remember, our actions speak louder than our words, both to the people around us but also to our own subconscious minds in terms of what is important to us.
Then, stick to your schedule. There will always be external pressures on your time and it’s up to you to stand firm and enforce your boundaries with respect to the time you’ve invested in yourself. When you respect your time boundaries, everyone else will as well. When you disregard your time boundaries…well…guess what everyone else will do?
This might mean shelling out for new workout gear or a gym membership or new class or activity. You might benefit from having some “skin in the game” to get you to take action. We tend to invest in the things that are most important to us.
If you’re not investing in you and your health, it’s time to explore why not. Dig deep. Release feelings of scarcity, as in, “I don’t have enough money to spend on my health and fitness right now.” Really? Really did you just say that? Remember, it’s called an INVESTMENT for a reason, not an expense. When is the right time to invest in your health? When it’s failing? Apparently I’m just a font of pithy sayings today but, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Amazingly, when we decide that something is important to us and worthy of investment, we seem to find a way to come up with the necessary funds. We’d probably all agree that food and shelter are fundamental human needs (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would tell us that this is true – did anyone else just get the shivers of being back in school, or are my references too old for my readership?). We seem to be able to get resourceful in ways to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. That same level of financial success and resourcefulness exists for you when you decide investment in your health and fitness is valuable as well.
Just DO IT
Just do it! You’ve invested your TIME by scheduling your blocks for workouts or meal prep or meditation, etc. You’ve invested your MONEY in terms of new gym gear or a membership or book or audio or video series…now get out of your own way and just DO the things!
Imagine a past or future version of your fit self. If you’re struggling to see yourself as that fit person, take someone else that you know either personally or in the public eye who personifies “fitness to you. Observe your fit self or that fit persona and watch what he or she does. What foods does that person eat? How does it feel to eat those foods? What workouts does that person do? Make choices that make you feel equally good when it comes to your meals and workouts. Release the need for perfection in the details (gosh, did Fit Fiona eat 10 grapes or 12 in my vision?) and simply execute based on feelings.
Consistency beats perfection. Take small actions today and they will snowball into bigger actions tomorrow. Remember, it can take up to 21 days of consistent action to build a sustainable habit. Every massive change is the accumulation of tiny consistent actions.
Hire a Coach
Okay, this might feel like shameless self-promotion on my part – bear with me. The best of the best have coaches – why not you? You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. Making an investment in yourself is a great way to signal this commitment to yourself. We’ve already talked about what happens when you make investments in yourself.
A coach can provide support and motivation and identify blind spots to help you move to the next level. If you really want to get the most out of the time you’ve blocked off and the money you’ve already committed, it just makes sense to get guidance to ensure you are making the most out of your resources, effort and choices.
Enlist a Buddy
Buddy Up! Enlist a partner, friend, enemy…maybe even a coach (as above) to provide support, motivation and accountability. This person should be able to be a cheerleader and also give just that right dose of tough love when needed to keep you on track with what you said you were going to do.
Let’s face it, you’ve already invested TIME by scheduling your workouts and other fitness activities like taking time to plan, prepare and enjoy eating healthful meals (let’s remember the enjoyment part!); you’ve invested MONEY in new gear or a new activity; you’ve decided to JUST DO IT and you may have even hired a COACH. So get an ally to help you make the most out of your investment in your health and happiness!
Have a fit day!