9 approaches you must take to succeed in your fitness plan
I recently read an article by Travis Bradberry who defined grit as the "extra something that separates the most successful people from the rest. It's the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.”
This article resonated with me as I realized we all need to develop and apply this grit into our exercise strategy to be successful. These are my 9 approaches that I have found crucial to follow in order to develop grit in one's exercise routine.
1. Dare yourself to move out of your comfort zone and move through your fears. Facing your fear to go to a crowded gym or admitting you need some guidance from a trainer can be scary. Accepting your fears and working through them takes courage. Taking small steps, by making tangible behavior changes, like enlisting a friend to accompany you to the gym, will bring you closer to your goals one step at a time.
2. Interrupt your internal voice telling yourself you’re worthless, fat and ugly. If you tell yourself these sentiments enough, you will begin to believe it, and if you believe that you probably won’t think you are worth the investment. You are the best thing you can invest in. Try redirecting your negative voice into something more positive like "You deserve to feel better." How you feel about yourself will spill into every aspect of your life.
3. Make being active and maintaining a healthy diet your focus every day for weeks before you expect to see and feel results. We live in a society that makes us believe that gratification should come immediately. Unfortunately, this is not how physical fitness is accomplished. Meeting your goals comes with persistence and patience. You can’t expect yourself to lose weight or get in shape without putting in time and effort.
4. Take care of yourself even when obstacles are present. While it is easier to go to a workout class when your friends are going with you or to stick to a diet when your significant other is on the same page, their absence is not an excuse to halt your progress. The commitment you make to yourself needs to trump any obstacle you may face.
5. Set your goals high, but make a strategic plan. Setting reasonable goals and writing them down in a daily journal will give you a tangible plan you can look to daily to execute. Overtime it will also provide a roadmap to your success which you can look back on and evaluate. Written goals can help you dig into the details. How long has it really been since you started your program? When you put your hand in that bag of chips 10 times this afternoon, how many portions did you really have? Your daily journal will help you to capture this all.
6. Don’t let other people’s negative thoughts become your reality. When others are unsupportive or critical you don’t need to believe them. Sometimes when people tell you that you suck or make you feel unworthy, it’s easy to believe they are right. Has someone told you, “you will always be fat,” or “the gym membership is too expensive, you are not worth it.” You don’t need other people’s support or validation to believe in yourself and know you are worth changing for.
7. Stop blaming other people and your busy schedule. There are only 24 hours in everybody’s day. You need to find the time in your day to make the necessary lifestyle changes and adaptations to make way for your success. Your wife cooks unhealthy meals? Your husband buys junk food? Your parents didn’t teach you how to live a healthy lifestyle? Blaming others is another way to avoid success. You control what you put in your mouth and you control your destiny. There are many things in our lives that are beyond our control. This typically is not one of them.
8. Allow yourself to fail, and in doing so figure out what techniques and approaches you are good at. It's not likely that you are going to go into a Zumba class for the first time and look like Beyoncé or do a complicated lift and look like a professional. Try new things and be ok looking like an idiot. Your self-worth is not connected to these moments of discovery.
9. Do not give up on yourself. Giving up on yourself will lead to disappointment. When you are at your heaviest, or cringe at the thought of seeing yourself in a mirror it is not the time to give up. It's time to dig in and fight for your best self.