Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a marathon, or decrease bad habits the key is KISS! Not the old KISS (Keep it simple stupid) but the new KISS: Keep It Simpler & Successful! One of the most difficult tasks of fitness training is motivating clients to workout on their own. Almost equally as difficult is convincing clients to NOT WORKOUT! Confused? The number one reason clients' goals (or almost any goal) is not achieved is that the expectation of commitment is impossible to achieve. It may last a week, it may last a month, it may last a few months but at some point, life gets in the way and we revert back to old habits feeling unsuccessful once again.
How do we then successfully achieve our goals? How have people been able to make permanent life changes? HERE IS THE PART THAT NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR! HERE IS THE PART THAT EVERYONE THINKS APPLIES TO EVERYONE ELSE! You need to create small incremental changes and build on them to achieve the greater goal. There it is. There is the secret. DO LESS TO ACHEIVE MORE!
I know, I have heard it all before: When I first got out of college I lost 25# by running every day and ended up running a half marathon. 7 years ago I lost 15# in two months by eliminating all sugar from my diet. When I turned 40 I was able to bench press the same amount of weight that I did when I played football in high school by powerlifting five days a week. Can you still bench press that much? Have you regained back the lost weight and more? Why? Those were unsustainable goals for most people because they were short term changes which we rely on self discipline to motor us. And that usually will only sustain for so long and then we cant commit as much time, or we sustain an injury, or the kids have a game and we have to eat out. Life gets in the way!
So how do we avoid these very common pitfalls? Commit to less than you think that you can do and create a successful change. Don't expect to exercise every day if you have only been working out once a week. Commit to three days a week for the next month then add a day the next month. If you haven't been eating as clean as you would like (which is really hard during the holidays), allow yourself three cheat days a week and then reduce it to two after a month or two. Want to run that marathon? Don't register for one in March, register for one in October. Start with running or run/walking two miles twice a week and then add a form of cross-training after a month and build out until you are safely able to run 13.1 miles.
Make your goals easy to achieve to create that feeling of success and also to build a habit, which takes a lot of the self discipline out of the equation! It is a hard concept to wrap your head around, I know. I promise you that it is worth trying. Every one of our clients (myself included) that has achieved long term change has used this method. The question is, do you have the self discipline to try it? Can you forgo short term satisfaction for long term results? KISS!