You've got a fitness or weight loss goal, so how are you going to get there? What's the plan for achieving it?
I'm thrilled to announce that I'm running a group health coaching program beginning January 3 to give you a great shot at starting 2018 on the road to achieving your goal. In the meantime, want to get a jumpstart on those goals? In my work as a health coach, I've identified 5 traits and actions of my most successful clients:
1. People who achieve their health and fitness goals set a BIG goal and are very clear why they want to achieve it.
Do you want to lose weight because you just don't feel good about yourself at your current weight? Do you want to train to complete a 5K? Do you want to be fit and active well into old age? Do you have a family history of heart disease that you want to avoid? By naming that thing you are working toward, you make it real. Identifying the “why” behind your goal is important to keep you motivated. Be clear about your goal and even clearer on your WHY!
2. Shout your goal from the rooftops.
Nothing happens without internal motivation, but by telling others about your goal, you create external accountability, a huge factor in goal achievement. That's why joining a program like Eat Well can be so effective. But if you keep it a secret, you've got a quiet escape hatch to abandon your goal at any time. I’ve worked with men and women who don’t want to burden their partners, families or friends with the changes that they want to make. So instead of drafting their support, these clients create challenges for themselves as loved ones unknowingly engage in behaviors that counter their goals. Frustrated without a support network, these are frequently my clients who abandon or lower their goals.
3. Honestly assess the habits and environmental triggers that are obstacles to achieving the BIG goal.
Assessing your daily behaviors with brutal honesty can provide some uncomfortable truths: Your beloved daily sugary coffee drinks, your twice-weekly happy hour, the over-indulgent weekly date night with your partner, a consistent habit of late-night snacking, or frequent lunches at your favorite takeout spot could all be preventing you from achieving your fitness goal. Only once you’ve honestly identified these habits can you begin the next step…
4. Create many small actionable behaviors in support of the BIG goal.
Once you’ve identified that BIG goal, and assessed the habits that hold you back, it’s time to identify positive behaviors and actions you can adopt to make progress toward your goal. For example, you may decide to replace that giant coffee drink with a black coffee or plain herbal tea, reserving that special drink for once a month. Committing to bringing lunch every day and including at least one vegetable could make a tremendous difference if you typically rely on takeout. Or you may make a conscious decision to take out your yoga mat in the evening and do some gentle stretching in place of that evening snacking. Small, measurable actions accumulated over time result in a serious lifestyle overhaul, and making commitments to these actions is a key part of the Eat Well program.
5. Seek out expert guidance.
The internet is rife with misinformation and multimarketing schemes promoting supplements, shakes and get-fit-quick schemes. Your friends and their friends’ friends are full of advice that may or may not be scientifically based. If you’re not sure where to begin to adopt a healthier lifestyle, engage the support of an expert. And if an “expert” makes too-good-to-be-true claims, or makes far-out promises about results, keep looking for another expert.
If you're done trying quick fixes and ready to make real, lasting change, I invite you to register for Eat Well! And please be in touch with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.