What is your definition of commitment? What words would you associate with it?
According to the dictionary, or at least the definition that Google gave is “Commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, or anything else.” In the case of your body and health, it’s about a commitment to yourself, and that can be a hard thing to do mentally. It almost sounds selfish to dedicate resources like time or money to something all about you. And while it probably is, it is the best form of being selfish. It’s about taking care of yourself, and making yourself & your health a priority.
How many of us have put ourselves low on the totem pole? I know I have.
How do we start this commitment to ourselves?
By getting quality sleep, following a solid nutrition plan, and maintaining an exercise program that yields results.
One of the biggest issues towards building a lasting commitment is that we get so wrapped up in attaining our short term goals that we lose focus on the long term goals of maintaining our health and staying injury free. There’s a saying that goes, “Are you exercising for now, or for longevity?” This can equally be attributed to any nutrition program as well. If you’re aiming for longevity, there are smarter ways to train and eat.
It’s a Journey
Lasting commitment to health and fitness means understanding that it’s a lifelong journey that begins with a single step. It means understanding that a lasting commitment is more than a week or a month or some secret, magical number of days. How many 30 day shreds, 21 day fixes, etc have you heard of?
It’s even more than a year. It’s plural. Its years, decades even. It is most certainly not a sprint. Realize that each and every day is going to bring you closer to your goal.
Avoid Quick Fixes
Time and time again we try to look for that next thing, that one key object that will magically transform your life. Whether it’s a new shake, or a new supplement, or a new exercise program, we’re looking for the secret. We go to great lengths to find the quickest and easiest way to get results, to find that one “magic pill” that will make our lives easier and/or better. Here is something to remember:
If there is no physiological reason as to why something will work,
then it’s most likely a gimmick that won’t have long lasting results.
Looking for such answers never leads to building a lifelong commitment to your health. It’s a band-aid solution.
Take time to analyze what you’re doing and determine if it is actually healthy for you. Is it a solid exercise program that focuses on results, strength training, and conditioning? Is it a solid nutrition program that doesn’t demonize certain nutrients, or tells you to avoid this or that?
A lasting commitment to you is all about better choices.
One Step at a Time
Avoid the temptation to go balls to the wall right off the bat. Starting a new program or a new lifestyle typically results in jumping in 100%. We go full force, changing just about everything about our lives at once. There’s only one problem with that. Statistically it always fails. Changing too many things at one time pulls you in too many directions, with too many things to concentrate on. What is more important, and thus more successful over time is developing habits, making small changes every few days, weeks, or even months.
Picking the Correct Goals
How many times have you told yourself or someone else, “I have to lose such and such weight by ___?” Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
- Why that specific number of pounds?
- Why that date?
or other questions like:
- What happens after that date?
- What happens after you lose that amount of weight?
It solely focuses on an end outcome with no connection to behavior. Yes, it is important to have short term goals, but it is also, for the sake of a lifelong commitment to have long term goals, such as maintaining that weight.
Since we’re talking about long term goals, its important to set up a framework in order to get there. This is where we take our long term goal and break it up into chunks. Chunks are smaller goals that we can set that make up a shorter time frame. Then set up even smaller goals, daily goals that have an actionable step to them. This can come in form of daily behavior or habit goals of drinking more water, or eating vegetables at every meal. Picking behaviors that you can modify and adapt over the course of the rest of your life sets you up for that commitment we talked about earlier. Over the course of time, hitting those daily targets creates lasting commitment.
How many of us over analyze every food choice or rest day? There is unwarranted guilt associated with eating something less than healthy or skipping a day of exercise, or just being human. That’s an issue. Too often we get feelings of disgust with ourselves if we miss a workout or have a bad day or a bad meal. Look, one bad day or one bad meal won’t ruin your progress, just like one good day or one good meal will not make your progress.
Having that guilty feeling for enjoying yourself is just silly. We’re all human. We do things that make us feel good, whether its eating something that we know isn’t great for our health or skipping out on a workout do something else. Life is short and if you’re not enjoying it, then what’s the point. It means not always being perfect in our pursuit of health, fitness, and nutrition. Lifelong commitment to those things means allowing yourself some wiggle room to veer off course, if you’re following sound principles and behaviors, it’s easy to get back on track.
So have that beer and burger
Building something that lasts over a lifetime means making smart decisions about your health. It means not putting so much pressure on yourself and over analyzing every little decision. It means enjoying your life because it’s the only one you get to live.
“Most people are focused on the result, I look at the results as a bonus.
Sure I have specific goals that I’m working towards but I think the process of getting there is much more important than the end result.
It’s the work that transcends, the work builds character and sharpens you. The work teaches you humility and aggression.
The work strengthens you physically and mentally.
The process is really what it is all about….the results…they will take care of themselves.”