Last time we visited about the first five (of 10) key lessons that make any program work. Anyone can follow these lessons to achieve progress and transform to a healthier state. Today we will cover the last five of these ten key lessons. Quick review: 1) Put nutrition before exercise 2) Find a big motivator 3) Find something to lose 4) Choose proof over theory and 5) Do one small thing each day.
- Make it a little too easy. This means that many people attempt to change too much at one time. That makes it nearly impossible to change anything at all. Remember the one small thing you decided to do. Be confident that you can do it consistently. A habit doesn’t become a habit by practicing it only a few times. One a scale of 1-10 (1 being not confident and 10 being very confident), how confident are you that you can do this ONE SMALL THING every day? If it is something easy enough to do every day, choose that. It may seem too easy, but that’s perfect. You can always increase the difficulty over time. Make everything you commit to easier until you have 90% confidence you can do it. Stick to this ONE thing every day!
- Find someone to answer to. You need someone in your corner who helps keep you accountable and picks you up when your motivation wanes. My favorite word is “accountabilibuddy”. Who do you know that is willing to check in and ask how you did today? Did you follow through with your workout and “one small thing”? Put someone in your corner to hold you accountable.
- Measure actions, not outcomes. We can’t control outcomes, but we can control our actions that lead to desired outcomes. You cannot focus on losing 20 pounds since this is an outcome out of your control. However, you focus on your actions, the small healthy things you do each day consistently. We turn our attention to what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t have. “I’m going to do my workout today. I’m going to practice my new habit of eating 5 servings of vegetables today. I’m going to check in with my friend.” You are in control of your actions.
- Let your coach track the results. While you are busy with your daily actions, habits and behaviors, you need someone such as a coach, trainer, friend who has made a similar transformation to monitor your progress and make small adjustments if needed. This allows you to focus on the most important thing within your control. Effective coaches offer support and answer questions. They can also make an educated decision to help you make small changes that are effective and get you back on track. They help you see your practices as progress…not perfection.
- Choose a support group. Have you ever heard that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? It really does apply. People who have a strong network of friends, co-workers, family members, or even a connection to complete strangers on the Internet make positive transformations rather than someone who goes it alone. With a good support network, you can connect with people when you’re excited, confused, wondering what to do next, need feedback, guidance or support. Choose wisely who you spend your time with.
Here’s to you using what you already know with a few tips or “key lessons” to make your transformation. Take inventory of the things you have and don’t have and start there. If you haven’t started, getting started is the MOST IMPORTANT lesson of all! You can do this.