In the past, when you’ve made the decision to improve your health and fitness levels, have you ever thought to yourself…”I just need to wait for the perfect time?”
It’s usually something like trying to find the perfect:
- Time when you don’t have a party or holiday or Christmas on the horizon
- Gym program or home-based HIIT program
- Diet plan filled with all of the foods you love to eat
- Time when you’re not so busy with work
Why do we always try and find the perfect time to start anything? “On Monday” more often than not comes and goes without any action; and “Next week” never comes at all. In reality, waiting for “the perfect time” is just our way of acknowledging how nice it would be to be fitter/stronger/healthier/slimmer without ever having to actually do anything about it.
Why don’t we get started even when we know we should?
If you’ve got weight to lose, you know deep down that it’s going to take time and effort to go from where you are to where you want to be. You know there are going to be times when you’re uncomfortable, a little hungry, feeling alone, left out, and maybe lost and unsure of what to do next.
By saying to yourself “I’ll start next week”, you satisfy the voice inside begging you to get in shape, without ever making the commitment to do so. After all, what if you fail in your attempts to lose weight? What will your friends and family say? How will you feel psychologically and emotionally? By putting off what you know you need to do by making plans you know will never arrive, you safeguard yourself from the pain of failure.
But we all know this is a problematic way of thinking, right? In order to make significant positive change in our lives, we have to get uncomfortable. We have to move away from the path that got us here in the first place, and try something new. Doing something new almost always means venturing out of our comfort zone, but unless you’re willing to go there, you’ll struggle to grow and develop as a person.
‘All or nothing’ usually gets us nowhere
We seem to think we have to get everything right and in place before we can get started.
- The perfect training program
- The perfect diet plan
- At least three months of clear space in front of us to devote every minute to getting in shape
- The right equipment
The problem is, when we make wholesale changes to our lives all at once, it’s virtually impossible to maintain these multiple new directions for long enough to see and maintain long-term positive change.
There are exceptions to every rule, and you may know someone who changed their whole lives overnight and managed to maintain their new body for years since. But that’s rare, and you shouldn’t base your decisions on those freakish feats. Instead, let the reality of society be your guide. Most people try and fail in their pursuit of their ideal body because they try and change everything at once and fail.
Nobody is going to do it for you
There is no perfect moment, so stop waiting for it. And stop waiting for a magic pill, because it’s never going to arrive. If you truly want to change the way you look, feel and behave, then you need to take the necessary action. No-one else is going to do it for you.
Get it in your head that you are going to do whatever it takes to get the body you want. Understand and accept that you’re efforts are probably going to suck on day one. But know that day two will be a little better than day one, day three will be a little better than day two, and so on until you’ve got this weight loss thing figured out.
It may be three, six or 12 months down the track, but eventually you will get there and when that lightbulb moment arrives, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having started sooner. But if you wait for the perfect time to get started, those three, six and 12 months are going to pass, and you’ll still be at square one having made zero progress towards your goals.
Earlier in this article when I said there is no perfect moment, that was a lie. Hopefully, by now you know there actually is a perfect moment to get started. It’s not tomorrow, or “on Monday”, or next week, or when you get back from your holiday.
Seriously, there is no time like the present. If you don’t start now, then tomorrow you’ll be one day behind where you could have been. Next week you’ll be a week behind. Next month you’ll be a month behind. See where this is heading?
Forgive me for getting a little philosophical, but to quote Lao Tzu, the founding father of Taoism, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Until you take that first step, you’ll never be any closer to your goal than you are now. Yes, it may seem daunting, and it’s a step into the great unknown, but surely it’s better than where you are now?
What could that first step look like?
This is the problem. What we think is the first step is often a step three or four miles down the road. We overcomplicate it right from the start. We read too many blog articles, magazines and newspapers because we think we don’t know what to do. But that’s not true. This research is just putting off what we know we need to do.
We all know that real foods, i.e. fruit, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds, are good for us, and that processed foods that come in a box, tin or carton are probably going to be bad for us. So why not start there? Next time you go to the grocery store, write out a shopping list and buy most of your foods from the outer aisles (the perimeter), and leave the central aisles alone. Other actions you could easily take include:
- Swapping drinks high in calories (i.e. soft drink, fruit juice, alcohol, etc.) for water (carbonated water with sliced lemon, lime or berries is a great alternative)
- Eat slower (you’ll be surprised at the results)
- Reduce portion sizes
- Start your day with protein and vegetables instead of cereal and toast
- Ride your bike instead of driving the car
- Take the stairs instead of riding the elevator
Take action, any action, and see where it takes you. Just don’t confuse ‘research’ for action!
And remember, it’s going to get uncomfortable at times. Discomfort does not equal failure, so don’t quit when it gets tough. Don’t let discomfort derail your progress. Push through and you’ll eventually come out the other side wondering what all the fuss was about.
And if you fall off the horse one day and eat 4,000 Calories of chocolate, French fries and milkshakes, just dust yourself off and get back on track. A momentary lapse of concentration isn’t going to make a huge difference in the long run.
While it’s possible to achieve your goals all by yourself, there really is no better motivator than making yourself accountable to someone you know and respect. Having to share your plans, actions and results with someone on a regular basis will almost guarantee that you’ll stay on track for the long haul.
Accountability: You’ve tried diet and exercise, so why aren’t you losing weight?
But be careful who you choose. They need to know when to put an arm around your shoulders and tell you what you want to hear, and when to give you a kick up the bum because you’ve gone away from where you need to be.
What you should do next
Instead of waiting for “the perfect time”, why not try these steps instead:
- Get onboard with the idea that there is no “perfect time”.
- Make looking and feeling better a priority in your life. As I’ve already mentioned, no-one can get in shape for you, so put it near the top of your list of priorities and get started.
- Choose one healthy change you’d like to make, practice every day for two weeks and make it a natural part of your life. After that first two weeks, make another healthy change and practice that for two weeks while continuing to practise the first habit. In a year you’ll have turned 26 healthy practices into lifelong habits that will guide you for the rest of your life. Imagine the extraordinary change you’ll enjoy with those tools in your repertoire.
- Reconcile in your head that there will be tough moments. There will be times when you want to quit. If you recognise that they are inevitable, and plan for them in advance, you’re more likely to get through them and come out the other side.
- Find someone to be accountable to. It’s vital.
Join the Eat For Lean nutrition program, powered by ProCoach
If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Making changes to your life to get the body you want can seem incredibly daunting. That’s where Eat For Lean can help.
The best athletes in the world have coaches, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have mentors. So it stands to reason that to get the results you want, having a coach of your own to guide you through the process will get you there faster than if you did it all on your own. And because of the accountability aspect, you’ll be less likely to quit.
The ProCoach system is part nutrition and change psychology curriculum, part online technology, part real life coach. Every day you’ll receive an email explaining the habit you’ll be practising, and providing information about why it’s important. On your own online dashboard you’ll check-in when you practice your habits, record various measurements, and answer questions about your goals and progress. You’ll also be able to contact your coach at any time, and see your progress throughout your journey.
For more information, watch the video below, and check out the FAQ page. This should give you all of the information you need to make an informed decision. If you still have questions, you can call me (Chris) on (+61) 0435 554 422.
If you decide you’re ready to take that first step and sign up, take a look at the pricing options and choose the one that suits you best.
Good luck and I hope to hear from you soon…