Success in any endeavor, including health and fitness, begins with the thought that you want to attain something. Your desire needs to be strong enough and clearly defined before you will begin to take action. Before you begin to successfully lose weight you need to make the necessary changes, and seek out the ways and means to reach your desired goal. You have to adopt a “no excuse” attitude and stay focused on your goals.
Do these excuses sound familiar? “If I just had more time, I would be exercising regularly.” “I tried to eat low-fat today but my kids wanted pizza.” “Every time I plan to exercise or eat healthy, something always comes up.” “Eating healthy is too expensive.” If we continue to blame outside factors, we will continue to get the same results. Many truly believe these excuses are something totally out of our control preventing us from reaching our goals. We think that something, or someone else, is responsible.
The number one and most important step to losing weight successfully is to take 100% responsibility for your actions, which means, you are fully responsible for everything you put into your mouth. Everything you eat is a decision you make. Decisions like whether or not to eat that chocolate cake. Each decision you make you are accountable for. This may sound harsh, but it is a truism.
You’ve heard the buzzword used by motivational speakers, Proactive. It means more than just taking initiative. It means that we have the responsibility (response-ability) for our own lives. Highly proactive people don’t blame others or circumstances for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice and willpower.
Next time you’re faced with an excuse outside of you, change the way you think and develop a strategy to tell yourself that you can do it. Once you realize the power you already have inside of you, overcoming obstacles will be easier. A few successes will build your confidence and help you grow and be able to commit to something you want to do or have. Self-talk can make us or break us. Allow your self-talk to help you be proactive toward your health and fitness goals. You already have, inside of you, what it takes to succeed.
When I work with clients on behavioral modification, we use tools to help them achieve their goals. Two successful tools are a food journal and appointment scheduling.
- The food journal is used to write down everything you eat. You will think twice before you eat knowing you have to write it down. Then you can look at your journal to see how the extra calories sneak up. A weight loss coach is also a good strategy to help you become accountable and learn about healthy eating.
2. Schedule your exercise time just like scheduling a meeting or doctor’s appointment. Many clients are successful with their fitness goals working with a personal trainer because they have the appointment scheduled and are less likely to blow it off because of the appointment. Discipline yourself with regularly scheduled exercise time. This will increase your consistency and help you get to your goal.