If you’ve ever started on a new fitness kick, you’ve most likely at some stage, also given up.
We’ve all experienced this. You’re all excited. You buy new gear, you plan it all out and you stick with it religiously for a few days or maybe a few weeks and then you fall off the horse for whatever reason.
It doesn’t mean your ‘bad’ or ‘hopeless’ or whatever else you’ve labelled yourself. It is hard to start something new and I’ve got lots of ways to make it much more likely that you’ll stick with it and get results.
1. Do Something Other People Are Doing
You probably already know this, but sticking with any new habit is much easier if you’re doing it with someone else.
It could be your partner, your best friend, a work colleague or another relative. It doesn’t really matter. Being part of a community of people working towards similar goals works even better. Having a coach is another way to stick with your new training program. Whether that be a personal trainer/coach online or in person.
This is why we do mostly group training at FitterFaster. All of our groups are small, but just doing your exercise with someone else really helps.
Turning up to train with the same group of people builds a camaraderie and a sense of belonging to something bigger. This is why teams work so successfully. It’s human nature to work in groups/teams towards something bigger
2. Make The Process The Goal
If you make a goal to be able to run 5km non-stop, be able to lift a certain weight or to lose a certain number of kilos by a set date, you really don’t have total control over that outcome.
What you can control, however, is the PROCESS and HABITS you undertake to achieve your outcome goals.
You can control how much time and effort you put in each day and each week.
All goals are achieved by completing a habit or process over and over again every day. Focusing on the outcome and forgetting about the process is a common mistake.
Make process goals such as;
- I will workout for 10 minutes every day,
- I will run 4 times per week,
- I will practice my weight lifting for 30 minutes 3 times each week or
- I will attend FitForce Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays etc.
Fitness results magically happen when you focus on doing what you need to do each day rather than on your larger outcome goal.
Process goals can be related to your training, your fitness, your nutrition or any other lifestyle habits.
3. Make the Process Small Enough So You Are Certain You Can Achieve It
There are almost no process goals that are too small.
Depending on your current fitness level, you could decide to walk for 10 minutes each day and that could be enough to see results if you’ve been very inactive.
More often than not, we simply set out to do more than we realistically may be able to achieve each day or each week.
Promising yourself you’ll run every day is probably unrealistic, especially if you have just started running.
Deciding to attend FitterFaster 5 times per week at the beginning of your fitness journey is unrealistic too.
Even if you’ve rounded up a friend to attend with you and you’re both highly motivated, starting out with such high expectations will most likely result in a failure to complete every session and a high chance you’ll give up quickly.
Not to mention the high risk of injury if you do too much too soon.
Setting process goals you can most likely achieve is the best way to do this. Otherwise you’ll end up giving up, labelling yourself as hopeless and not achieving anything.
Consistency is THE KEY to results
Set small process/habit goals as per the point above.
I want to be able to run for 5km without stopping.
I’ll start out by run/walking for 15-20 minutes 3 times per week and walking for 20 minutes 3 other days. It’s realistic, is less likely to cause injury and because you’re going to be able to achieve it and tick it off, you’re so much more likely to be in the right ‘success’ head space and stay there.
4. Do It Often Enough To Make It A Habit
While you need to set habit/process goals that you know you can achieve, you can’t say something like, I’ll train once per week, surely I can do that.
It’s just not regular enough to become a habit. For something to become a habit, you need to do it as often as possible. Daily is the best way to form new habits.
However, using my example above of attending FitterFaster, expecting yourself to be able to attend 5 times per week at first, is unrealistic, setting a five-times-per-week training schedule is not.
You may decide to attend FitForce 3 days per week and on most other days, go for a walk, or do a short little workout or stretch at home – just 10 minutes is enough to make doing something a habit. The habit of doing something daily at the same time while you build it is key to making it stick.
If you’re starting out on your own at home, you’ll be much more successful in the long term if you decide to workout for 15-20 minutes 5 days per week, than 3 times per week for 60 minutes. Even though it’s less time overall.
Once you’ve built your habit (and by this, I mean it’s automatic and you just ‘do it’) then you can increase the time or frequency to see continued improvements if/as needed.
Remember that being consistent is absolutely the number one key to results when it comes to fitness improvements.
- Get someone to do it with you
- Focus on the process as much if not more than the desired outcome
- Make those process goals achievable
- Do it often till its just ‘something you do’