This article is your call to action. Pen, paper, notepad, iPad, HabFit site, word processing document or whatever you like to use at the ready. Brain in full creative mode and please o please bring your positive mind with you. Not too much though or you’ll think you were high when you made your list – then you’ll discard it and crack open an extra packet of kettle chips. But a little can-do attitude would be delightful. This is how I suggest you start when you decide you want a better body…
HOW TO START YOUR FRESH START – BRAINSTORM THE POSSIBLE HABITS
Here’s how I like to start. Write down, as many healthy habits as you can think of that you think that you COULD enjoy doing ONE DAY. Enjoy doing I said. Don’t commit yet, just make a list.
We need :
– Inspiration hunting habits.
Yes I just listed this first for a reason. Motivation comes first, knowledge comes second and actually moving comes third. Make a priority of motivating yourself actively, consciously. If you haven’t done that before – and you haven’t been consistent with your training….maybe, just maybe that’s a big deal. Start with something…just add one inspiring habit, whether you want to or not!
– Wisdom building habits
As I will type repeatedly thinking I’m clever: There is too much ‘just do it’ in the fitness industry. Not enough ‘learn to do it’. As a result, people think it’s just a mindless slog. As a result, they don’t get anywhere, they get bored and they fail. I want you to take a different approach. Learn all you can. Use it as an outlet for your creativity and intelligence. Make a craft of crafting your body with great technique and efficiency. As a pre cursor to that, you have to get some knowledge.
Start with reading articles. Or simply collecting & You tubing technique vids. Make a habit of watching and learning everything in the HabFit members area and recognising the patterns and themes.
Don’t be overly ambitious at first. With a little knowledge hopefully your curiosity will build. As a first task, just set yourself up on the habit of learning. That’s all.
– actual movement / training habits
Just because I’m not some macho hardcore trainer who says you have to train for 1-2 hours per day or there’s no point, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some work! One of your first habits should probably some kind of movement training! Even if it’s a simple glute lock or leg swing. But to feel your body move makes this whole thing seem a little more realistic. Just don’t go mad. Make sure you feel a little insulted. The – ‘is that all?’ – Question should be in your head after your first workout. We are installing then improving life long habits here, step slowly.
– practical habits to make things easier
The sort of silly thing that makes the difference. You know, have the right food in the fridge. Know how to defrost meat in a hurry, know what to eat in advance before you eat out. Make sure you have a nice fresh pair of socks. Leave out a few reminders to do what you planned. Hire someone to be there waiting for you at the gym, ….that sort of stuff. Your environment is gonna effect you. However strong you think you’ll be, if things are inconvenient, you’re wasting will power. Use your willpower to set your environment up for success, not for an evening long duel with chocolate – you’ll lose.
– Habits to improve the experience
This is as important as anything. If you only listen to your latest favourite song when you’re working out, you’re a little more likely to work out. If you go to a gym where everybody stares at the floor and doesn’t look at you unless you dare take their weights by mistake, you’re training may be a miserable experience. If you love to keep your sitcoms on at home and do your exercises while you unwind after work, then you’re better off doing that then being macho and pretending you need to do it elsewhere. You’re muscles sense the stimulus, they don’t care where you are or what you use.
——- Stuck for Habit ideas?? See the idea jukebox in the members area.
NOW GO THROUGH THE LIST AGAIN AND ITERATE IT
Making a list isn’t enough. You have to make working on it a passion. One of those things you love to do when you get a spare half hour to yourself. Now, for each habit, you have to think and make sure it’s practical, make sure you know how you’d do it, know that it fits your personality. So, to start with, add two ways you could make it more enjoyable & 2 things that could get in your way…and what you will do to prevent yourself from getting distracted by them.
Did you do it? Of course not. You were mid flow reading my article. If you didn’t, do it for just one thing now. Just pause a minute & think. THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES. (sorry for yelling, I write this in a note app which makes block capitals one of my only options for emphasising a point).
……done just one? If you’re going to be truly successful with this, you need to get the best strategies to make the most difference from the least amount of pain & inconvenience. This comes from investing time into your planning.
PICK 3 HABITS TO TEST
Next order of business: you need to do a little work.
Whether that’s mainly mental or physical at this stage isn’t that important. It depends on you really. What you’re used to, what you’re not.
Our goal isn’t to commit yet. No no. Calm down for a moment. It’s all well and good thinking something is a splendid idea, but you need to actually do it, actually feel it before you really know. We don’t want to vow to do 10 squats per day and then find you can’t move after three days. This is the sort of dumbass manoeuvre that causes many folks to give up before they’ve even got started.
How do know if you got the right 3? You don’t. You’re just testing. There’s no pressure here just yet, just a bit of practical research.
However, as a little push, I’d like you to choose habits that are ridiculously small but scale-able. Habits that change the way you think. Habits that have the potential to spark your interest or habits that will stand you in good stead down the line. Have a think about which habits will be the easiest to install, but make the most difference to the way you think.
So pick three & test them a few times each, make a few notes on how you can remember to do them, how you could do them better & how you can enjoy them more. Then…..
PICK YOUR FIRST ‘KEY LIFE OR DEATH HABIT’ – PLAN it DEEP – MAKE A COMMITMENT – AND DO IT
Researchers, popular bloggers, my experiences working with clients, my personal battles to change, reading notes about change from various other sources and my own experiences have all taught me this:
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN MAKE A CHANGE, YOU ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO SUCCEED.
Our goal, for now at least, is to change ONE thing at a time, to build total confidence in yourself BEFORE you take on something else.
It’s OK to dabble at other habits as well, just to test them out, but don’t commit to them. Just test.
Then, when we decide something is going to happen, when we actually commit to a new habit, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. That one habit becomes your current KEY LIFE OR DEATH habit and YOU WILL NOT FAIL AT IT. Commit, tell people you’re doing it and make it matter more. Get a picture of your dream body and place it’s entire success to nailing this habit this month.
Once you prove that to yourself, getting and keeping a six pack lean body is only a matter of time & scale. How far you go, and how hard it is – that’s up to you and your genetics.
So, pick one thing, one small thing and plan how to make it happen. Plan everything that could go wrong, whatever it is that could stop you and plan in advance how to deal with it. Write it down (on your HabFit site!) – make a promise to yourself, make it matter. Then, and only when your extensive plan is ready – do it.
Do it for a one month trial.
Don’t let anything get in the way. Succeed at this, however small and silly it seems and you will be on your way to fitness success. You will be in control of your future physique.
You can do more at times, try some new habits, but never at the expense of your current key habit.
MEANWHILE – TEST A FEW MORE HABITS AND LINE THEM UP READY
Once you have picked your key habit, it’s important to keep coming up with new ones. Ideas, improvements, exercises, meals, environmental tweaks, psychological skills, technique improvements etc etc
Can you imagine doing this? Often? How could you have made it easier, more fun? How can you remember to do it? Before you commit to the habits, it’s best to trial them. No one wants to suffer for a month of committing to a habit you just hate.
Try the habit you think strikes the perfect balance for your next habit. It needs to be a combination of the habit idea that you think will make the biggest positive difference to your physique and health, while being 100% sure that if you commit, you will succeed. This is why you test before you commit.
CONTINUE. REFINE. ITERATE. RE-MOTIVATE.
Once you have that habit absolutely nailed down, ABSOLUTELY NAILED DOWN, commit to a second, or expand your first if appropriate. Keep it small still. You’re allowed to dabble with a few extras but not commit until you are certain of success.
Once you have built some momentum, you can take on bigger challenges. But nothing you are not absolutely certain you can commit to. This is how you build the absolute consistency. Get tempted & skip ahead and you’re more likely to crash out and fail – like most people do most of the time. Don’t be most people, you want a great body.
Picture your dream body, now and in 5-10 years time. Build habits for that person.
BUT I WANNA GO FAST! – MY RULE FOR THOSE WHO ARE IMPATIENT
As a closing point, I would like to suggest a little rule for those who think they can do more:
If you fail at installing a new habit, you must never quit. Rather, you must re-plan more intelligently. You must downscale the habit and increase the pain of another failure – do something to make it matter more.
Remember, my relentless suggestions for mini routines and just getting started with small steps are just to help you get moving and stay moving when times get hard and the novelty of training has worn off. Just because you are only focusing on one or two things at a time, it doesn’t mean you can’t become the complete athlete…it’s just for now. It’s easier to maintain good performance and strength than it is to build it in the first place. One you’ve got good at your current focus, you can rotate, put it on the back burner and focus on something else for a while.
Enjoy your journey………..Otherwise, what’s the point?
MORE FROM THE HABFIT BLOG
THE FIRST BLOG: This is the first blog I wrote. A little intro into what’s to come and some thoughts on how you can use HabFit.Press here and you’ll see it.
REINVENTION: Some ideas on how you can make a fresh start and completly reinvent & redesign your physical body. clicky.