I’m excited to share this guest post with you today. Lisa lives and breathes inspiration and mindset success and she has a lovely down-to-earth way of sharing her great tips. This blog post is all about the important underlying factors for successful goal achievement. We hope you’ll leave it feeling inspired! – Elly xx
So you’ve taken the first steps on your new fitness journey; hooray! I hope you are excited about the new and healthier version of you that is on the way. Starting out on a new fitness journey is exciting and at times, a little daunting. Let me offer you a few tips and considerations to ensure that you will successfully meet all your long-term goals and to keep your path free and clear from those bumps that life offers that can derail even the most dedicated of us.
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Yes, we have all heard Tony Robbin’s chant – “Take Action, take massive action”. I agree, massive action works, but it requires an extraordinary amount of self-discipline and willpower. Getting fitter and healthier is a lifestyle change so any action taken needs to be maintainable so you can achieve your long-term goals.
I don’t know about you but I find continually forcing myself to do something can be exhausting and eventually my willpower runs out, and self-discipline erodes and “oh wait, did I just see my wagon roll past me”? Yes, I’ve fallen off it.
Can you relate? If you can’t then go for it sister, big ups to you, I am in awe of your self-discipline. Please bottle it, others like me would be very keen to purchase it.
If you are like me and are tired of the ongoing power struggle of what you should do and what you want to do, then let me introduce you to a slight alternative to massive action, it’s little known but very interesting cousin – inspired action.
The difference between these action cousins may seem subtle at first. The nutshell version is that massive action is the action you take because you have to and it can often feel like a chore. You will use the words “have to”, “I must” or “should”. Inspired action is the action you take because your intuition tells you it is best for you and you can’t wait to get on with it. It feels good. It is calm and nurturing.
Listen to your body
Now you may be thinking, hmm I never feel inspired action to exercise or to forgo that large slice of chocolate cake. I challenge you to start listening to your body. Your body is made to move; it rewards you with beautiful endorphins when you exercise. Your body enjoys healthy food and rewards you with glowing skin and boundless energy when you provide it with this. What it doesn’t enjoy is doing a cardio exercise on the treadmill because that’s what your trainer told you that you “should” do.
I am not saying you should ignore your trainer’s advice, quite the opposite; I’m just asking you to listen to what your instincts say. Are they telling you that you would get the same benefits from a brisk jog in the local park, rather than inside on a treadmill? If you know you will enjoy this activity more, you will feel excited about doing it because it feels good. That is inspired action, and it will help you on the path toward achieving your long-term goals.
Your body is giving you advice every single day. We have become conditioned to override these signals and listen to outside authorities. It’s time to start listening to your body and acting on its guidance. Yes, your body wants to exercise but what type of exercise does it want? What exercise is fun for you and excites you? Is it time to change up your exercise plan to add more enjoyment to it? What are inspiring actions that are meaningful to you?
Enjoyable and things are easily maintainable. That is inspired action. It is an incredible tool to be able to assist you to achieve your long-term goals and experience some joy in the journey.
Enjoy your Journey
Speaking of joy in the journey, to ensure your long-term success and goal achievement it is important not to be so focused on the outcome that you forget to enjoy your journey.
Road trips are awesome. I love enjoying the scenery as it goes by my window. I love discovering different cafes along the way. Chatting with the townspeople that I meet during my journey is a highlight, and so are scenic detours and discovering new places. I arrive at my destination, tired but happy and fulfilled, looking forward to the return journey.
There is one exception to my love of road trips, and that is when I travel with my partner Rod. Rod is a lovely man who is great company except when you put him behind the wheel of a car and give him a destination. Then the focus is on getting there and getting there as fast as possible. Eyes forward, focus straight ahead, no deviations. He even prides himself on how few bathroom stops we can take. Oh and don’t put the GPS with “time to destination” on, no, no, no, that just gives him a target to beat! Yes, we arrive at our destination quicker. However, we are stressed, harried (with a full bladder), and dreading the return journey.
Which journey sounds more enjoyable to you?
Your fitness journey is the same
It is the same with your fitness journey. We have all seen the serious Simon’s or Simone’s at the gym with great bodies and miserable faces. I love hanging out with the fun Fred’s and Freda’s. The ones who are trying hard and have goals. They are focused on getting there but are having a laugh along the way, and can enjoy the moment.
I strongly encourage you to enjoy your journey towards achieving your long-term goals. Don’t get stressed about detours along the way. Great things can be found in these detours. If you find enjoyment in your exercise program, then you are more likely to stick with it long-term. Long-term commitment equals big rewards.
I should probably confess at this stage that exercising has not always come naturally to me. I chose my gym based on how good the showers were. Yes, when I started my fitness journey, my enjoyment came in the reward of a long hot shower after my workout with all my favorite body products, feeling pleased that I had taken one step closer to better health.
So have a think about the enjoyment factors you can add into a routine, even if you don’t naturally enjoy exercise (it will come); it will help your stickability. Make sure you arrive at your long-term goals feeling happy and fulfilled, looking forward to your next fitness adventure rather than being burnt out and miserable.
Personal accountability is one of the foundation stones of success and goal achievement. No surprises there, we all know that retreating into the warm bed covers on a cold winter’s morning and ignoring your daily exercise is not going to bring you closer to your long-term goals. But this is just one aspect of personal accountability; it has a darker underbelly. It is harsh; some might say mean, it is brutally honest. Are you ready for it? You have been warned.
Personal accountability means that you are where you are because of the choices you made and the actions you took or didn’t take. If you are overweight and unfit, it is because you ate too much and didn’t exercise. Harsh isn’t it. Achieving your long-term goals is not possible without first accepting personal accountability.
Are you avoiding it?
You are avoiding personal accountability if you think you are overweight and unfit because
- “I have a medical problem.”
- “It’s genetic.”
- “My husband would be offended if I didn’t eat the food he cooked.”
- As Garfield says, “I’m not overweight, I’m under tall.”
- Or any other excuse that you may insert here
If you don’t acknowledge that you are where you are as a direct result of your choices and actions, then as soon as you hit a bump on your fitness journey, your default setting is going to be to look for someone else or something else to blame. Deferring blame does not move you closer to achieving your long or short-term goals.
We all make mistakes; no one is perfect. We all have challenging life circumstances at times so own them don’t use them as an excuse escape route. Learn from your circumstances and situation, accept mistakes, and stop beating yourself up about them. Laugh at them but most of all hold yourself accountable for making better decisions going forward. Do not defer ownership to someone else.
When you are ready to yell “the buck stops here baby” you are on the path to goal achievement. You are personally accountable. I’m so proud of you. If you are not quite there yet, perhaps it’s time to seek out some other support to help you move through your excuses.
Stop Doubting Yourself
My final suggestion on success with your long-term goals for improved health relates to mindset.
Did you know that one of the major determiners of whether you will reach your long terms goals or not is more dependent on your mindset than by hours spent working out? As strange as it may sound, your mental beliefs determine your outcome. If you believe you can succeed, then you will. If you are guilty of doubting yourself, well, the outcome can be doubtful as well.
It is therefore extremely important to stop doubting yourself as soon as possible and replace your negative thoughts with positive achievement-focused thoughts. Yes, I know it sounds kookie but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
There are many other principles for success to ensure you reach your long-term goals. I hope this taster article gives you some things to think about.
Read this blog post to check whether your long-term fitness goals are SMART. Looking for an epic goal planner to help you plan and prepare to kick some awesome goals? Check out this review of the ‘Slay your goals’ planner.
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