Everybody will benefit from moving more. Period. Our desk-bound and screen-obsessed culture has all of us sitting on our butts way more than humans were ever meant too. Excessive sitting is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and a slow metabolism. Okay, now that I’ve scared you, get moving! You can start small by taking five minute walk breaks every hour, walking after dinner, doing yoga, or at-home bodyweight exercises. Just be consistent and increase your activity weekly.
Accept your starting point, and understand that you can only get better. One of the neatest things about being human is having the ability to create yourself and having the self-awareness needed to make changes. Don’t think about what you’re giving up or the questionable choices of the past, all that matters is what you’ll gain from leading a more healthy, active lifestyle.
Setting a goal allows you to envision your future and creates the short-term motivation needed to accomplish every step that will get you there. Want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months? Great. Map out your plan, day-by-day, week-by-week. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do each day. A focused, consistent plan will create habits and minimize the self-doubt that leads to giving up.
A wise man once said “we are what we repeatedly do.” This is true of all behaviors, both good and bad. Reflect on what you’ve done in the past and envision the changes that are necessary for your future goals. Create a realistic plan that includes small, daily behavior modifications. Schedule your workouts, track your food, set reminders, or devote Sundays to meal planning and prep. Use any tool necessary to ensure your success. If your goal is a 20 minute walk, wake up knowing exactly when you’ll do it. Plans break down the mental barriers and excuses that let you slip back into old habits. Decide what is realistic for you, and just do it.
Own your actions and be able to explain exactly why you do them. This may take some uncomfortable self-reflection, but the end result is a clear mindset. You must take responsibility for everything that you do and all of the outcomes. Knowing that you are in control creates self-empowerment. Your independent decisions will show you what you are capable of and give you the confidence to strive for more. Seriously, stick to a workout plan, and the rest of your life will improve.
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You have to train your mind like it is a muscle. Figure out what distracts you from your goals, and combat it. Notice your self-imposed excuses, and then crush them. Setup little reminders of your long-term goal. If junk food is your weakness, avoid that aisle in the grocery store entirely. Have a plan for any situation where obstacles may deter your from your goal. When your mind is telling you to quit a workout, go for one minute longer. Then two. Your mind is powerful and can easily be used against you. Don’t let it.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone leads to the most amazing experiences in life. You have to take risks. Fear will be present your entire life, so you must learn how to overcome it and move forward. Many of us fall into the trap of our comfort zone and do the same thing at the gym, day after day, simply because it’s familiar. Address what you’re afraid of, and I know I sound like a broken record, but make a plan.
If you’re intimidated by the free weights section of the gym, crowded with sweaty men, then create your exact plan of attack. Study the exercises you’ll be doing, watch youtube videos, and practice the movement at home. Then, when you’re at the gym, you’ll know exactly what you need to do. Hold your head up high, and remember, nobody really cares what you’re doing at the gym. Don’t be embarrassed, be fearless!
Trust your Inner Strength
In the end, you are all you’ve got. Take pride in yourself and your capabilities. If you want something, find a way to make it happen. Believe in yourself. Be courageous and confident. You’ve been through hardships before, so, in reality, a little mental and physical endurance is totally doable. It takes effort, but you’ll slowly become self-reliant and assured. The more you practice believing in yourself and accomplishing your goals, even little ones, the stronger and more confident you’ll become.
This should be your goal everyday, in every way. Stagnation breeds boredom and laziness, and that’s no way to live life. Every little change will add up to big successes.
Repeat after me, “I am fierce.” Say it, believe it, embody it. Life is hard, but here you are, pushing yourself to accomplish more. Hopefully, with a little humility and a huge smile. You should be proud. A positive mindset will be reflected in your physical body, too. So, get out there, envision what you want, make your plan, and run boldly into the open world feeling like the fierce, badass that you are!
Hungry for more motivation? Check out 21 Ways to Hack Your Brain: A Complete How-To Guide to Enhancing Your Brainpower, Creativity, Focus, Motivation, and IQ.
And, if you haven’t found your 2017 workout plan yet, check out my perfect workout plan for 2017.