As 2020 draws to an end, many of you are probably already thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. If your plans for 2021 include finally building the body you’ve always wanted, then read on. If it doesn't…Well, keep reading anyways because these steps to success can still be used to help you achieve your personal and/or professional goals.
Tip #1 - Do the work (and keep it up).
Yes, this one needs to be said. Many times folks get so caught up in the minutia of their plans that they let perfection get in the way of progress. We've seen it too many times before: some dieters worry about which supplements to take or the timing of their meals down to the exact minute. Once something goes slightly 'wrong' (like a missed workout or unplanned meal), they become distraught and completely abandon their diet.
This "all or nothing" mentality doesn't work because it's too unrealistic and rigid for life's unpredictability. Instead of obsessing over perfection, focus on consistently taking steps towards your goal -- especially after hiccups. Remember, it's better to execute your plan imperfectly then risk not doing it at all. So when in doubt, aim to "get it right" at least 80-90% of the time, and you will always notice progress.
Consistency > perfection!
Tip #2 - Focus on the things that you can control.
This is why we typically advise folks not to diet through the holidays. It can get tough to stay on track with work events and family gatherings, especially if you can't control what foods/drinks are being offered at those gatherings. While you can't control what's being served, you can control what you eat (or the foods you have access to). You can do this by planning around those holiday get-togethers or planning ahead with your own prepared meals.
Use this same approach when you're on the road-- plan your meals around your travel schedule to avoid making hunger-influenced decisions at the airport and always pack healthy snacks like protein bars, nuts, fruits, jerky, etc., just in case your flight gets delayed. Worrying about things you can't control doesn't change anything, but taking control of whatever you can, is a great way to set yourself up for success!
Tip # 3 - Set obtainable goals.
With New Year's around the corner, you can bet that the vast majority of folks out there are feeling rather inspired. Armed with enthusiasm and Instagram-fueled inspiration, many of these resolutioners end up setting pretty lofty fitness goals. There's nothing wrong with setting big goals, but when those goals are outrageous (like losing 30 lbs in 30 days), they're doomed to fail.
If you want to succeed, set realistic and reasonable goals. Start your fitness journey with smaller winnable goals and use those little victories as positive momentum to keep moving towards the bigger ones. By starting small and gaining momentum, you give yourself more self-confidence and hope that you CAN reach your goals.
Tip #4 - Know your why!
Knowing why you are dieting or training is important. So make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.
For example, dieting/training to improve your health, set a positive example for your kids, or prepare for a sporting competition are all good and healthy reasons. But if you're doing it because your significant other told you to or to look like one of your favorite social media influencers, you may want to rethink things. News flash: thanks to timing, posing, etc., influencers only look like their IG photos for about 5 minutes and the rest of the day, they look pretty much like everyone else. So don't get caught up trying to emulate someone else's highlight reel because external motivation is not sustainable.
Tip #5 - Discipline > Motivation.
We all want to have an abundance of motivation -- after all, motivation fuels us. Unfortunately, that's not how things work. Somewhere along the way, everyone finds themselves feeling unmotivated.
Rather than getting discouraged, it's crucial to realize and accept that motivation dips are unavoidable. When your motivation fades after a couple of weeks, it will be tempting to quit. Instead of doing that, use that initial inspiration/motivation to set a proper plan in place and then use your discipline to keep moving towards the finish line. You won't always want to go to the gym or meal prep, but your discipline will help carry you through until those new healthy habits become more automatic.
Tip #6 - Accept that you will mess up.
It's human to make mistakes. Unless you're a robot, you will 'mess up' your diet or training a few times. Rather than let one slip up be your reason to give up, remind yourself that it's ok to make mistakes, so long as you get right back on track. If you can do that, you will be successful. You can be at 80-90% consistency in the RP Diet Coach app and still have great results. You're human, embrace it, and learn from your mistakes.
Tip #7 - Have a plan for after.
Reaching your weight loss goals, while satisfying, is the easy part. Maintaining your results afterward is much more difficult. That's why we spend so much time and effort educating our members about the importance of maintenance. If you can have more obtainable goals that can be reached without being overly aggressive, they will be easier to maintain.
Think of diet maintenance as your "recharge" phase. When you were working towards your fat loss goals, you were draining your batteries while restricting calories, but the maintenance phase afterward is your chance to refuel and set yourself up for LONG-TERM success. That's what we're really after. We want long-term, sustainable results. We aren't interested in fads, gimmicks, or quick fixes.
As you embark on your fitness journey, I want to remind you that success (personal or professional) is never linear. There will always be hiccups and moments where you're tempted to give up; however, these seven tips for success will help you stay on the right track.
To learn more about success habits and how to apply them to your own life, check out my new book on Amazon. Fit for Success combines insights from working with thousands of clients via 1:1 coaching, experiences with world-class athletes, the lessons my family learned from overcoming my wife's cancer diagnosis earlier this year, and years of accumulated knowledge from reading hundreds of books. Click here to get your copy of Fit for Success and start paving your own path.