Have you ever noticed you’ll do everything in your power to avoid doing the one thing you know you need to do?
I’ve been there. I used to hate doing taxes, not only because of the expense, but also because it would consume so much time. I’d come up with all kinds of excuses (some better than others) to avoid it, and would usually put it off until the very last minute.
One way or another, I’d find a way to justify my decision NOT to do my taxes…yet.
“I’ll start them next week, or tomorrow,” I’d say. And then something would come up and I’d keep kicking the can down the road.
Even though it was what I needed to do, and even though I wanted to do it (to get it done), I’d find a way not to. No. I’d move mountains not to. You know that project I’d been putting off for months? Suddenly, that extremely low priority task would take precedence over taxes, and I’d get it done because anything would be better than filling out those darn forms.
Now, here’s the thing. We do the same thing whenever we put off those fitness goals, habits, or actions we know we need to take. We stall, delay, and procrastinate. We kick the can down the road, thinking, “I’ll start tomorrow or next week or after my vacation or when my life isn’t so busy.”
But we’re kidding ourselves.
Here’s the truth. If you aren’t ready to start today and do whatever it takes to succeed (using one of the simple strategies below), you aren’t ready for the “fit life.” Fortunately, you don’t have to change everything at once. Plus, there’s a very simple way to overcome this destructive tendency of putting off your health and fitness goals indefinitely. It’s also about as easy as it gets.
Here it is: The secret to getting started is to begin at once. To take action. And the secret to making this sustainable is daily baby steps.
What? Did you think it was going to be something revolutionary? Well, it could be revolutionary if you actually put it into practice!
Food for thought: what would happen if you used this strategy of taking baby steps to tackle that big goal or project? How would things be different a month from now? How about in a year? Would you regret trying? Can you think of any good reason why you shouldn’t get started today?
So, here’s what you need to do…
Step 1) Decide on the end goal – the outcome or result you desire.
Step 2) Decide on the next step you need to take to achieve your goal.
Step 3) Do it.
That, right there, is a formula for incredible fitness success. Remember, a tiny seed planted under the right conditions, if cultivated, can grow into a huge tree. Similarly, one step in the right direction can lead to a lifetime of abundant health and fitness, if cultivated.
So, here’s how you can make big things happen by starting with a tiny action step:
- Go for a 1 minute walk.
- Floss just one tooth.
- Read just one page.
- Do 1 set of pushups.
- Make just one phone call.
- Do just one nice thing for someone.
- Breathe deeply for just one moment.
- Have just one glass of water instead of ______.
And here’s the key: be 100% committed to taking the next small step in the right direction.
- Go for a 2 minute walk.
- Floss just two teeth.
- Read two pages.
- Do 2 sets of pushups.
- Make another phone call.
- Do something nice for a couple of people.
- Breathe deeply for a couple of minutes.
- Have two glasses of water instead of ______.
You see, there is no secret. You just have to make a decision. Then act on it. And keep acting on it.
If you start small, and stick with it, your practice will grow organically. And it won’t seem like work.
By breaking a goal down into manageable tasks (or micro-goals), suddenly, it doesn’t seem so daunting. And those excuses don’t hold much water either.
Eventually, this new life will become what you do because it’s who you are.
It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks. And this also happens to be the only way to achieve anything – one step at a time.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one. – Mark Twain
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Health-First Fitness Coach