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You make the same New Year’s resolutions every year. You really do want to lose weight, exercise more, and eat more veggies and less junk food. Why isn’t it working? In an article titled Why You’re Not in Shape (Yet) from NerdFitness, Steve Kamb goes over the reasons why it hasn’t been working for you and what you need to do to make it happen.
NerdFitness conducted a survey of its members asking for honest answers about what works and what doesn’t. Over 10,000 people responded. One not-so-surprising fact: Everyone knew what they should do. (And you do, too.) But only about 25% of the respondents had actually made the changes they needed to make to reach their goals. The other 75% were still working on it. What is working for the 25%, and what’s getting in the way of the 75%?
A major discovery from the survey about what gets in the way: Thinking that your problems are unique. That thing about snowflakes? Nope. Your problems are not that special. Everyone has time, health, mental, and motivational challenges. These issues (and yours) are very real. Those in the 75% felt overwhelmed and unmotivated by their “special” challenges. Those in the 25% had the same challenges—but didn’t let those issues keep them from getting results. How?
Many of the respondents who made changes were surprised at their success. When they looked back, many said, “It really wasn’t that hard.” Steve summarizes the key chain of events that happened for the 25% like this:
- Something changed, just a little bit.
- They kept going, working with that small change.
- They realized that what they were doing made a difference.
- They stopped making excuses.
- They built momentum from a small victory—and kept going by working on the things they could control that day.
Steve compiled the comments from the successful 25% into these major categories:
- Cultivate a growth mindset: Rather than say to themselves, “Oh, I just can’t do that,” these people changed their perspective. They said, “I might not be able to run on a treadmill for hours each day, but I can eat more veggies and go for a walk.” Small changes led to more small changes that built up to a win.
- Develop daily habits: The view from 10,000 feet can be depressing. All that weight to lose? But breaking things down into what you can do each day, tiny steps in the right direction, give you momentum.
- Forget about “motivation”: Just do it. Stop thinking about how you aren’t motivated. Rely on your momentum to get you through.
- Promote the right environment: Stop buying junk food and make veggies more available. Join a group that will encourage you to workout. Cook healthful food in batches so you don’t have to stop at a fast-food place. Find ways to make your environment help you rather than hurt you.
- Do something! Any kind of action is better than nothing at all. Remember that journey of 10,000 miles? The one that starts with one step? That’s where you begin. Drink one less soda. Take one more flight of stairs. Add one more veggie to one meal. Walk for 5 more minutes. Just a small change starts you down the right path.
What small change will you make today to start you down the path to fitness? You can do it!