In Part 2 of this article series, we outlined how your mindset and approach is critical for making progress and working toward your goal.
If you haven’t read Part 2 of this series and gone through the exercises, we highly recommend you doing so here.
Now that we’ve gone through how to adopt the proper mindset, we’re going to outline the best approach for you to achieve your dream body.
Are you ready to find out what it is?
The best approach for you to achieve your dream body is a habit-based curriculum. One where we change who you are from the inside out.
If this sounds intimidating, we get it. You’ve been who you are now for a while, and change can seem scary at first.
In fact, that resistance to change is potentially what has been holding you back in the first place.
But we don’t want you to worry, because you don’t have to change everything, and you certainly don’t have to change everything right now.
We’re going to show you how to peel back one layer of the onion at a time so that you can change yourself for the better – for life.
The Habit-Based Approach
Over 90% of the actions you make on a daily basis are habitual, meaning you do them without really having to think about it. This is both good news and bad news.
The good news is our brain can save a lot of energy to make decisions that really matter and require us to give some thoughtful consideration.
That’s why elaborate exercise routines and meal plans don’t work. They require us to think about too much all at once. If we have nothing else going on, then great!
But if you’re a real person living in the real world you probably have other things going on that also require your attention. And here’s where the bad news comes in.
Because our nutrition, exercise, and sleep choices aren’t life or death in this particular moment, we tend not to care about them or give them much thought.
After spending a certain amount of time on autopilot, we begin to amass a series of poor nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits. And the more we practice them, the more deeply they become ingrained.
But just as these habits have become learned, we can unlearn them just as easily – one daily practice at a time.
Building the new you
Think back to that diagram we shared with you where we had you identify the particular stage you were in. There were a series of habits associated with each stage.
The higher the stage, the higher quality the habits associated with that stage. But it doesn’t stop there. You don’t just say, “These are the habits I have to implement, so I’m going to start doing them.”
The order in which you implement these habits and how you go about that implementation matters – A LOT. Each habit is broken down into individual skills, and each skill is broken down into a series of practices.
In order to build a habit, you need to improve your skills. And in order to improve your skills, you need to practice those skills daily, purposefully, one at a time.
Again, we only have room in our brain for so many decisions, and in order to make the sustainable change we’re looking for, we need to commit to one purposeful practice at a time.
So where do you start?
No matter what your fitness goal, one thing is clear – in order to be successful, you need to build your exercise habits, your nutrition habits, and your habits for sleep and stress management.
Just like the diagram shows, none of these pieces are mutually exclusive. They all have an equal contribution in building your dream body.
Now here’s the fun part…
Where you start is completely up to you, and it doesn’t really matter which pillar (exercise, nutrition, or sleep and stress management) you choose, because choosing one will initiate action that sparks motivation and creates momentum.
Focus on one and you’ll magically start doing other things without having to put much effort into it. That’s the power of focusing on less.
Here are two things to consider when choosing which pillar to addtress:
- What do you want to implement
- What are you ready to implement
If you’re more of a “grab the bull by the horns” kind of person, then exercise might be the best place to start.
If you’re someone who lacks the time to perform structured exercise right now, then nutrition might be more your speed.
Or if your too tired and overwhelmed to think about either of those things, then maybe some sleep and stress management practices would be your best bet right now.
The important thing to note is that you choose something you WANT to do and will actually look forward to. Not doing something because the “fitness guru” said so.
Again, you’ll need all of the pieces to be successful, and you have to start somewhere. Start at the place where you want to start and…
You’re ready to do it.
Sometimes Plan A ain’t working for us right now, and we need a backup or alternative to get us going. You might be surprised how ready you are for your first option once you get the ball rolling on something else.
Actions sparks motivation and momentum. The goal is not to get finished. The goal is to get started.
Where to start
Below we’ve outlined some of our favorite daily practices to get the ball moving. Keep in mind these are just suggestions and starting points. You can personalize these to yourself to find what best fits you, but we’ve found these practices work well for most people (in no particular order):
- Commit to 2-3 strength based workouts per week
- Go for a brisk walk each day
- Have a serving of protein at each meal
- Hydrate properly throughout the day
- Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full
Sleep and Stress Management
- Make time and plan ahead
- Create a use a bedtime routine 30-60 minutes before bed
- Do a daily mind-body scan
Again, which one you choose will depend on the person and the situation, but all of these practices can be adjusted and scaled to best suit the you and your situation.
In terms of implementing these practices, allow us to offer one last piece of advice – keep it simple.
The goal here is to take action. Any action, no matter how small, is progress forward. And we’re after progress not perfection. The enemy of action is complexity, so keep things simple.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 3 part series on how to achieve your dream body. There’s no big secret or magic program that you have to follow.
In order to be who you’ve never been, you have to do the things you’ve never done…the right way. And the right way is one step at a time.
- Understand where you’re starting from
- know what is realistic for you, for now, for life
- What is realistic for your body type, genetics, age, etc?
- what is realistic for you to accomplish right now, based on where you are and where you’re going in your life?
- what is realistic for you to accomplish and sustain for the rest of your life or for when you’re ready to advance to the next stage?
- Understand the skills needed in each stage and practice them deliberately. Give them the attention, awareness, and focus they deserve. Keep it simple and actionable
If you’d like more help, inquire about our Fitness Coaching services. We work hands on with individuals just like yourself, helping them transform their bodies and lives from the inside out, no matter what life throws at them.