10-step motivational program
Introduction - It’s Your Mind
We are all human, which means we all have the same opportunities and the same struggles. So why is it, some people flourish under adversity, while others crumble. How you react to any situation, or challenge, comes down to that voice inside your head. What you believe determines how we will act and how your life will unfold.
When it comes to self-motivation, far too many people are their own worst enemy, particularly when it comes to their fitness program and eating right. How many times have you heard people say, “I’d love be in better shape, but I just don’t have the self-discipline to exercise or any spare time”. And when it comes to proper nutrition, the most common excuses you hear are, “It’s too hard to eat right, cost too much money, and I just don’t have any self-control”. It is exactly this type of thinking that makes living healthy impossible before you even try.
Our thoughts can give us real power. If you believe that everything will work out for the best and that you will succeed, those outcomes will become a reality. You have to have faith that things will be good. Once you have learned how to replace negative thoughts with positive energy, you begin to experience completely new outcomes, no more so than when it comes to being healthy.
At gabbyandlaird.com we have developed a simple 10 step program to help you begin the process of controlling the way you think, and successfully overcoming traditional obstacles to an effective fitness program. The ability to have unwavering personal motivation to live healthy is within each of us, it’s just a matter of applying a few key tactics. Your journey and transformation to a healthier you has already started with the decision to take action, now you just need to employ a few fundamental principles that will help you along the way.
Step 1 - Identify Your “Driving Want”
When it comes to living healthy, the strongest single tool to self-motivation is to identify your “driving want”. Why is it truly important to you to make a positive lifestyle change? When you are absolutely honest with yourself, what is that inner reason you want to live a better life. Forget about the scale, or the way you look in the mirror, get in touch with the deeper truth. How do you see the way people treat you changing? What about your family and close friends, how will your positive lifestyle changes influence them? More importantly, how will living healthy change the way you feel about yourself.
Identifying the “driving want” for making a permanent adjustment to your lifestyle is not always an easy process. It may force you to look at some self-destructive behaviors, and how those actions which are negatively effecting your life and the lives of those people around you. For some people, comparing the life they want to live to the one they are actually experiencing is a harsh look in the mirror, but honestly facing the truth of why you want to make a positive change in your lifestyle is the biggest and most important tool you have to staying self-motivated. Once you get in touch with what you want and why you truly want it, it’s just a matter of reminding yourself every day. Keeping your “driving want” top of mind will dramatically change the way you think and feel. Your priorities will start to change, and those actions that get you closer to your personal fitness goals will start to come much easier. Then personal satisfaction will start to take hold, and the journey to a healthier you will start to become the natural way of living.
Step 2 - Visualize Success
Whatever you want to achieve, however you want to change yourself, imagine it in every detail. Picture yourself living the healthy lifestyle you have always wanted. See yourself enjoying life with your friends and family, doing those things you have always wanted to do. Let your imagination run, then give those images life and make them a reality.
Your imagination is a powerful tool. Medical experts have started to confirm that how you dream affects conscious function. So teaching yourself to visualize a healthier you, is an important step in the process. Your dreams can become a reality, everything starts with visualization. So you need to begin to change the way you see yourself and the life you are living. Picture yourself fit, exercising regularly and eating healthy.
When negative thoughts crop-up in your mind, and they will, force them back. Go do something constructive, and give life to the positive images you want to experience. Your mind has 100% control over your reality. What you believe is what you are going to cultivate. No more thinking “I can’t do it”, instead start thinking “I’m getting better, I’m getting stronger”, and your visions of a healthier you will become a reality.
Step 3 – Set Specific Goals and Objectives
If you chart your destination, you have a much better chance of getting there. It’s very unlikely that unconsciously you are going to achieve a meaningful life transformation. If you have a specific ambition, like optimizing your health, then goal setting is mandatory. These goals give you tangible targets you can use to gage your progress, and verify your success.
For many people, one of the most frequent measurements they use to evaluate their success with their fitness program is body weight. Certainly, if you are overweight, then losing weight is an obvious goal. Go ahead a set a weight loss goal for yourself, but keep it realistic and in bite-size pieces. For most individuals, the recommended rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. While that may seem small compared to some of the extreme weight loss testimonials you read about or see on television, by just losing 1 to 2 pounds per week you can lose 12 to 24 pounds in just 90 days, which is a very significant change for most people.
But weight loss should not by any means be your only goal; your personal performance should also be a key measure of your progress. For example, how much does your activity level increase. At gabbyandlaird.com we would like to see you extend the duration and frequency of your workouts. So if you are a beginner, and starting with 30 minute workouts 3 times per week (6 minute warm-up, 18 minutes of conditioning, and 6 minute cool-down), your goal should be to extend your workouts to 40 minutes by the end of 30 days (8 minute warm-up, 24 minutes of conditioning, and 8 minute cool-down), and to exercise 4 times per week, with the ultimate goal being to increase your workouts to at least 1 hour of exercise per day. How your body performs is the true measure of fitness, and working towards an hour of exercise per day will lead to a far healthier, and much more active you.
Step 4 – Prioritize Desired Results
The old adage is “one step at a time”, and when it comes to your fitness results, there is a lot of truth in that saying. For most people, it is impossible to go from inactive, or just starting a fitness program for the first time, to extreme sports performance training. While we want you to set your goals high, and strive to achieve the highest levels of personal performance, you should prioritize your results, and attack one or two goals at a time.
For most first timers, their initial goals should be to solely develop proper exercise habits and to eat healthier. Their first priority should be to simply establish a routine of working-out consistently every week, and (for example) eating less junk food and drinking less pop. Once proper exercise and nutrition habits are formed, the appearance and weight loss changes will automatically begin to follow.
The next goal should be to increase strength and endurance. Once you are exercising regularly, you will learn what feels comfortable to you. Then start to slowly push yourself, by increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts. Start to demand more from yourself, each workout should start to become slightly more challenging than the last. When you follow our 90 day program, we will automatically increase the intensity and duration of your functionally training workouts over time.
As your fitness level progresses, you should also set new nutrition goals as well, like eating 2 to 3 servings of fruit and vegetables each day, plus avoiding late night snacks. Achieving your nutrition goals are just as important as improving your fitness (maybe more so). Healthy eating is totally transformative, it effects the way you think and feel, as well as how your body performs. For most people, it only takes small adjustments in their diet to make a huge difference. When you reduce or eliminate those one or two things you are consuming that are most unhealthy (like French fries and pop), the dividends can be extremely high yielding.
Step 5 - Establish a Personal Fitness Goal
Once you are exercising regularly, and eating healthier, it becomes time to really challenge yourself. A highly effective way to increase your self-motivation, and reach an all new level of personal fitness is to try something physically demanding that is totally new. Make your goal to participate in a new sport, or plan an adventure related vacation, even register for a competition. Set your sites on something you have always thought about trying, but never taken the plunge. Then go for it.
Most people underestimate themselves, it’s part of human nature. The good news is that if you really put your mind to something, you will go much farther than you originally thought. So go ahead and challenge yourself to do something totally new. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner, it will force you to engage your body and your mind. Most importantly, it gives you a reason to keep progressing, to stay focused and committed to improving yourself. Plus nothing is better for your self-esteem than setting a goal that’s a stretch and conquering it.
Step 6 - Develop a Game Plan
So many people say they don’t have enough time for fitness. What they are really saying is that they haven’t made taking care of themselves a priority. Living healthy is all about proprieties. You have to plan out how you can rearrange your life in a way that allows you squeeze in some time just for you. Research has proven that proper nutrition and exercise actually improves your productivity over the long-term. So while you may not think you have the time for fitness today, the opposite is the truth, you can’t afford not to. If you want to function at your highest possible level, you’ve got to move.
Either the night before or at the start of every work day, make a plan for when you are going to do something physical, and how you are going to eat right. Don’t say, “I’m too busy”. That’s a cop-out. If you can’t do an hour workout, that’s fine. Just find 30 minutes, and then be sure to grab something healthy like a protein shake. How about 15 minutes twice a day, who couldn’t fit that in. Research has shown that mid-day exercise is highly effective at improving work productivity and performance, so make it an unwavering routine to squeeze some physical activity into every work day. Then on the weekends increase your activity level, take a few hours to go do something physically challenging like hiking or biking. That routine of a long workout on the weekends will become one of the most pleasurable parts of your life.
Step 7 - Replicate Positive Behaviors
We are all unique in some way, so each of us will need to travel a slightly different path to living healthy. Discovering what works for you will take a little experimentation, so don’t be rigid about how you are going to get there. Don’t be afraid to improvise if you feel you need to. Then once you discover what works best for you, stay the course and replicate those behaviors. Take a moment to savor what you have done. The first few positive lifestyle improvements you make are a big achievement; you have now turned your life in the right direction. So celebrate your success, and then get back at it in an even bigger way.
Once in a while, step back and take a fresh look at your plan. Make sure you are applying most your time and energy to what makes the most positive impact on your life. If things are going well, then fine tune your routine. If things aren’t go well, switch things up. In some cases, it may just a matter of giving things a little more time. For most people, changing your lifestyle and living healthy will not be something that happens overnight. So remain consistent with the basics of doing something physical every day, and eliminate the one or two unhealthiest foods you eat. Eventually you will begin to feel and see the results, and your path to healthy living will become clear to you.
Step 8 - Dealing with Setbacks
Living healthy is a way of life, but not necessarily something you will do absolutely every day for as long as you live. Even the most dedicated individuals divert from their healthy routine from time to time. We all do. The problem for many people is that one or two days away from their fitness and nutrition program and they are done forever. Consequently, getting back to your healthy habits after taking a break is one of the biggest obstacles people face. There is no avoiding it, setbacks are going to happen.
The solution is simple, don’t be depressed about setbacks. They are going to happen and are an ongoing part of the process. You will certainly take one or two steps backwards now and again, but embrace the set-backs and accept them. Then go back to what you know works for you. Providing the days you exercise and eat right out number your off-days, you are on the right path. Don’t hate yourself for going back to old habits; face the reality that it happens to almost everyone. Then remind yourself again about why living healthy is important to you and visualize yourself as that person you want to be, and get back on the program. Dealing with setbacks is really just that simple.
Step 9 - Tracking and Posting Results
When it comes to living healthy, many people measure their success in pounds lost. Our advice is, “don’t be a slave to the scale”. Far too many people determine their health in terms of what they weigh, and not in terms of what they can do, or how they live. So our recommendation is to track your workouts, and measure your success in terms of your activity level. Keep score regarding how many times you exercise each week, and then share your track record with your friends and relatives.
There is no better way to create accountability for yourself, then getting in the routine of calling or emailing your friends and relatives regarding how many times you exercise each week. We all need a support group to help us achieve our life goals, and no more so that when it comes to making a positive lifestyle change. Some people need daily support, so don’t be timid about reaching out to those people who love and care for you the most. They want to help you succeed.
Once you get in the habit of sharing your fitness routine, you become almost to embarrassed not to, which in turn creates yet another layer of motivation. We don’t want to let our friends and family down, so you will work even harder to follow through with your choice to live healthy. There is no reason to go at your personal transformation on your own, so reach out to the people around you for support. They will enjoy watching your success and benefit from witnessing your personal transformation.
Step 10 - Involve Your Friends and Family
The decision to make a positive lifestyle transformation is a personal one. No one can make the decision for you, or do the work required to achieve your goals. However, almost all the people around you want to enjoy a healthier life, and will welcome the invitation to join you on your journey. At gabbyandlaird.com our team shares a common passion for healthy living, and we share that passion for fitness and proper nutrition with each other every day. In turn, it becomes a community of support for all of us, and makes healthy living fun and something we love to share with everyone we can.
We want you to have that same support group and experience. Once you successfully encourage someone to share your journey, it becomes contagious. More and more people around you will join in, and in turn your personal transformation becomes easier. The support of a community of like-minded thinkers, who share the same vision of living healthier, is the strongest element of motivation you can develop. You learn to feed off each other’s enthusiasm and progress. Then healthy living becomes the norm and not the exception.
Providing you follow the steps we have provided to developing self-motivation, you will become a positive influence and roll model to the people around you. That’s when the real benefit starts to come in. You will find that the rewards of helping others achieve their personal transformation are just as strong as the satisfaction of transforming yourself. Once you become an example of healthy living, you have the power and knowledge to inspire anyone. Remember, healthy living is a gift that never diminishes, and is something you should share with those you love the most.
Enjoy the journey and remember - Life is for living.