Have you ever taken a moment to look at the quantity of fitness and diet related food products on our supermarket shelves? Entire aisles have been dedicated to eating healthy. In book shops we are inundated with the latest diet fads offering amazing results and an apparently different approach than the next. I mean it’s pretty overwhelming! I haven’t even mentioned online marketing channels. With all this information around us, why are people still suffering from obesity and depression at astounding rates? There must be something more to this, right?
If you look at the message portrayed in some of these books and on the back of some of the products, they aim to draw us in with the promise of ‘quick’ results. Now that doesn’t mean that the authors and producers are incorrect, I do believe you can get results following their systems and consuming their products, but there is a little bit more to it, and for this reason I think their approach is a little flawed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
You see something more important, much more important than exercise and healthy eating is at play here. This important factor is ‘Mindset’. I know, I know, I have spoken about this before. However, having the correct mindset is a perfect marriage between motivation and habit. Incorrect mindset focuses on motivation in order to keep habits alive. Typical examples of this incorrect mindset are the poor retention rates for fitness programs, the new year resolutions (you know who you are), and the ‘sure I’ll try it for the month and see’ mentality.
The reason so many of these books and products fly off the shelves is because of this incorrect mindset. We are in constant search for something new that will hopefully have a solution other than hard work, consistency, up/down cycle and habits to create results. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but there is no substitute for hard work and consistency. Often, we are excited to learn about a new diet or workout, so we eagerly get on a program, stick to it for a few weeks and lose some weight. Eventually, typically within a couple of months, our motivation waivers, we fall off the bandwagon of calorie counting and consistent exercise and gain the weight back (sometimes even more). This is a viscous cycle, primarily caused by solely looking to motivation to get you results.
You’re probably wondering what I mean by up/down cycle which I mentioned in the previous paragraph. You see, you are never going to have a direct path to achieving your fitness goals. You are going to have good days and bad days, days when motivation is lacking and days when you don’t really care about what you put in your mouth. This is normal, you are only human!! However, what do most people do in these situations…they beat themselves up, they call themselves a failure and look for motivation which is not there. A healthy mind is essential for a healthy body and also for riding these waves or cycles. Therefore building a mindset which focuses more so on long term habit creation rather than short-term motivation is essential to you achieving your fitness goals.
If you think about your daily routine for a moment. For most of us it goes something like this…you wake up, get a shower, grab a bite to eat, brush your teeth and go to work. You work approximately 8 hours a day, come home, get some food, watch some TV, go to bed and then repeat the same process the following day. We have been doing this for so long now that it has become a habit, we don’t even have to think about it! We might not necessarily want to wake up early and go to work (think motivation here) but we do so because it is necessary for us to survive.
A fitness routine does not have to be as mundane as this, it is one thing that we all can control the outcome to. It can be incredibly empowering when we see our hard work paying off. But it comes down to making it an integral part of your daily routine and lifestyle. Yes, use motivation to get you started, but develop a higher mindset to keep you going long-term.
So, as we begin yet another year, I urge you to take a moment to think about the message in this blog and how it relates to you. I have no doubt that this year just like previous years, the bookshelves will be full of the latest ‘diet related’ books, and fitness influencer’s will be blowing up your social media.
Step back from all of this, take a deep breadth and look at some positive mindset changes you can make which will lead to your fitness success in the form of new habits.
PS: I have added two short videos for you to really reiterate this message.
The first one shows the fastest man of all time, Usain Bolt winning medals and achieving new world records (Plenty of motivational triggers here and you can clearly see the end result…success)
The second video shows the reality…what goes on in the background (No motivational music, only hard work and daily habits all of which are mentioned by the great man himself)
To your health and fitness,