There is only one habit that is going to prevent you from achieving success.
It's ironic really, and while theoretically it makes no sense, we are all guilty of this at one point or another. The habit?
To provide you with an example, we are going to head out on a "Fitness Road Trip". Before we take off, we have a few essential steps to follow.
1. Make a plan
2. Pack your bags
3. Head out on the road.
Picture yourself planning an ideal road trip. Even the most spontaneous individuals would need some essentials; a car, some gas, and at least some toiletries. Those who are prepared will have a plan; they will map out their stops, they will know where they are staying, they will pack their bags, and then they will take off.
Step One: Knowing Where You Want To Go.
Choosing a destination is like setting a goal.
If you don't have a clearly defined goal, you wont know how to get there. Sure, you can drive to Colorado, but you won't get there without a map, or some sort of direction. In terms of your fitness, have you made a plan yet? Have you mapped out where you would like to go? Once you decide on a destination, you must then map it out.
For example, I want to lose 15 pounds. That's great and all, but now what? How will you get there? Will you exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week? Will you strength train, do cardio, or both? Where are you going to exercise?
Knowing what you want is the first step, but knowing how you'll get there is imperative.
Step Two: Pack Your Bags.
Packing your Bags is like preparing for your goal.
Sure you can just head out the door, but you're going to want to pack your bags. In fact, most of us pack far too much when we bring out the suitcase. Why do we do this? We want to be prepared.
Preparation is crucial. If you are not prepared you have to make due with what you have. Before going on a trip, you may check the weather, and do some research to make sure you are prepared to have the best experience you can. Based upon our goals, and educating ourselves, we can predict what we will need to be successful. Unfortunately, the most common downfall to nutrition failure is lack of preparation.
Plan your preparation.
Now that we know how often we will exercise, we will plan WHEN. In terms of nutrition, what will we eat to fuel our body (and not our emotions)? What will we need to be able to achieve this? Do we need to buy groceries, if so, what? Do we need to pre-cook food, if so, what? Do we need to plan and pack for one day, or four days - while we can do laundry on a holiday, we cannot recycle our health - you MUST plan, and pack ahead.
Step Three: Head Out On The Road.
Hitting the road is like putting your plan into action.
Now that you've got your plan, and you're all packed, you're ready to go. Just like we plan and pack before a trip, it can be most helpful to plan and pack before the week begins. Know your schedule, when you are going to exercise, what you are going to eat, and you will be set up for success during the week; just like being prepared on a road trip will prevent you from making many pit-stops along the ways.
Surprisingly, this is where we notice the biggest challenge in the road trip. Nobody, NOBODY, turns around on a road trip just because they have not reached their destination yet. They don't just stop, pull-over, or turn around. So why do we so often do this on our fitness road trip? Sure you'll get lost, sure you'll hit a few bumps in the road, a detour, or some stormy weather. Sure you're bound to overeat, miss a workout or two, or not quite be where you want to be. Does this mean that you're going to throw in the towel, and quit? It shouldn't, but it usually does.
Arriving on a trip is like reaching your initial goal.
Arriving on a road trip is only the first exciting part, then the next adventures begin; the exploring, the touring, the fun ensues. Fitness is similar, while we rarely ever "arrive" at a destination, we simply meet our initial goal and then can begin to expand, explore, and further develop our skills. We can try new things - sign up for a spartan race, participate in fem sport, train for a new PR, or we can simply train for health, maintenance, or for sanity.
Wherever you're going, whatever you're doing, stay on the road.
Stay on the road through the detours, the storms, the construction. Fill up with gas. Fuel your body with good food. Maintain your car. Make sure you're getting adequate sleep, enjoying time with family and friends, and taking time for self care. Documents your journey - take pictures, make memories, and most importantly, keep going.
Often, trips can be easier when we have a travel agent to guide us along. Let us help guide you in your fitness journey; your destination is awaiting!