10 simple strategies to get your mind, body, and diet fixed this year. Even if you’ve failed before

If health and fitness is a goal of yours this year I’m sharing 10 simple strategies you can embrace that will make a huge difference. The key is consistency. That’s always the key, isn’t it?

Simple Strategy 1: Create Time for Your Health

Everyone is BUSY. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. When you say you don’t have the time to get healthy what you’re really saying is that it’s not a priority for you.

But here’s the good news. Fitness and nutrition don’t need to be your number 1 priority. It just needs to be made some sort of priority. Instead of treating it like something you do or do not do. An on and off switch if you will. Treat it like a dial. Something you turn up or down based on what is going on in your life.

No one is going to give you more time. You’re going to have to take it.

  • Use the Sunday ritual to plan your fitness and nutrition for the week
  • Use reminders on your phone by using an app, or set alarms on your calendar to remind you of the nutrition habits that you’re practicing and the days and times that you plan on training.

Simple Strategy 2: Get Really Really… Like, Really Good At The Basic

As a society, we love to debate minutia especially when it comes to our health.

  • If I eat a grapefruit every morning I heard it will help me lose fat
  • I read that if I stop eating carbs after 6 pm and only eat protein I will be able to add lean muscle and lose fat
  • I heard that if I run on a treadmill for 7 minutes while rubbing my belly and head at the same time….

Following a weird diet for the next 3 months may help you get in better shape but the odds are you’re going to hate every minute of it, gain all of your weight back after the 3 months, and repeat the process all over again. Instead, protein, veggies, and healthy fat in the right amounts is your best bet.

TRAINING FUNDAMENTALS

  • Move your body in meaningful ways every day. Walk, yoga, box, hike, dance. However, you like to move your body. Do more of that. It doesn’t take motivation because you already enjoy it.
  • When you do workout focus on basic movement patterns regardless of whether you lift weights or not. Squat, lunge, deadlift, press, and pull
  • Use progressive overload: Add a little more weight to your lifts/ Slow down the tempo at which you move your weight or body (try taking 5 seconds to lower your chest to the ground when you do a push-up). Shorten your rest in-between exercises

NUTRITION FUNDAMENTALS

  • Eat slowly and until 80% full
  • Include a serving of protein and veggies with the majority of your meals
  • Cook meals at home as often as you can
  • Use your favorite method to measure serving sizes (track calories, weight and measure, hand servings sizes)
  • Adjust meals based on the feedback you get (weight, girth measurements, body fat). If you’re not losing, you’re most likely eating too much.  Even if you think you’re not.

Simple Strategy 3: There Will Be Ups and Downs

Try holding a water bottle out in front of you without setting it down 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. How hard would that be?

Now pick up that water bottle and hold it up for 30 seconds, put it down for 30 seconds, and repeat that process for the next 24/7/365. Although this might be a pain in the ass it’s possible, right?

You don’t need to be perfect all of the time. Expect plateaus, but commit to showing up and doing the work. 

Simple Strategy 4: You Don’t Need to Change Everything at Once

You’re probably really excited about getting started. But I also bet you’ve felt this way before only to lose the motivation a week or two later. Thus, finding yourself trying to start all over again.

Don’t treat your fitness journey as an all-or-nothing, 30-day rapid results program. We’re talking about making changes that will stick and last a lifetime. 

The biggest problem when trying to make health and fitness changes are consistency and persistence. Most people don’t do what it takes consistently or long enough to actually give themselves a chance to make progress. 

They bounce from one workout to another and from one diet to another diet. Blaming the method for not working for them rather than taking responsibility for not implementing the method the right way.

Make one small change at a time, measure your progress with that change, and adjust based on the results that you’re seeing. This is a journey – it will take some time. Believe in the process.

Simple Strategy 5: Assess and Don’t Guess

If you have specific goals then they must be measured. Otherwise, how will you know if what you’re doing is working or not? Measuring your progress will help you to see what’s happening, what’s working, what’s not working, and allows you to focus on behaviors that you can control rather than the outcome.

Measure how consistently you’re training, how consistently you’re following your diet, and how your body is responding by taking regular measurements. 

– NEW COACHING PROGRAM –

And, just so you know, I’m putting together a brand-new program starting soon. This is specifically for busy yet committed people who want to lose at least 5-10 pounds in 16 weeks. It’s a remote program, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

Interested? Contact me here and let me know.

Simple Strategy 6: Understand What Good Progress Actually Is

When I first meet with coaching clients to discuss goals they often have a very unrealistic view of what constitutes reasonable progress.

Any progress is good progress. If your weight stays the same but you have more energy to play with your kids, are happier, and are more confident then that’s progress. If you’re getting better, stronger physically, stronger mentally, and stronger emotionally then that’s awesome progress!

Progress will be different for everyone However, one pound of fat loss per week is GREAT progress, 1% body fat loss per month is great progress! Adding 1 pound of muscle per month is great progress.

Think about that over the course of a year:

  • 1 pound per week is 52 pounds in a year
  • 1% body fat per month is 12% over a year
  • 1 pound of muscle a month is 12 pounds in a year

We tend to think that change works nice and linear when in reality it’s like the Tasmanian Devil and darts all over the place. If you’re doing the basic things consistently and persistently over an extended period of time you will get results.

success-really-looks-like.png

Six-pack ABS and deadlifting 500 pounds are great. But so are some other things.

  • Not be embarrassed to take your shirt off in public
  • Wearing that little black dress with confidence
  • Tackling that one big thing on your bucket list you keep putting off

At the end of the day, most of us just want a body and life we’re proud of.

Simple Strategy 7: Fall in Love With the Process

When most of us have a goal the only thing we think about is the end result. We get so fixated on what we’re trying to achieve, we forget to fall in love with the process.

Here are some examples James Clear shares with us:

  • Many people see health as an event: “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape.”
  • Many people see entrepreneurship as an event: “If we could get our business featured in the New York Times, then we’d be set.”
  • Many people see art as an event: “If I could just get my work featured in a bigger gallery, then I’d have the credibility I need.”

If you get fixated on only the end product, you may just lose sight of all the magic that’s happening on the journey.

If you want to improve your exercise and eating habits, you have to fall in love with the process of exercising consistently and eating well portioned and healthy meals.

This is something you will have to figure out on your own. For me, music while training and cooking help me to fall in love with the process. 

Fitness outdoors is another way I’ve fallen in love with the process. Some of my favorite outdoor activities include:

  • Hiking
  • Dance classes
  • Walking the dog
  • Rock climbing
  • Biking to the bank or grocery store
  • Playing tennis or some other sport
  • Slacklining

Simple Strategy 8: You Are in Control. Focus on Your Behaviors

Goals should be outcome-based but behavior focused.

What the heck does that mean?

Outcome-based goals center around results. For example, if you wrote down I want to lose 20 pounds you would know when you’ve reached your goal because the scale would tell you that you’re 20 pounds lighter.

  • Outcome-based goals are important but there is one big problem with them – You can’t control them. Your goal might be to lose 20 pounds but you can’t control what the scale is going to tell you. However, you do control the behaviors that might net you that 20-pound loss.
  • Behavior-based goals are actions that you are in control of. You physically or mentally get to decide whether you will do them or not.

A behavior-based goal might be to do a weight training circuit for a minimum of 30 minutes three days a week. You control whether or not you will actually go do that. If you need some help setting goals. Read the goal setting guide.

Simple Strategy 9: Make Nutrition A Big Priority

If weight loss or weight gain is one of your goals then nutrition will be a big part of that. Maybe more so than your training program. There are a number of ways to be successful with your diet. You can track calories or your macros. You can intermittent fast or go, Keto. You and estimate portions size with your hands. 

Whichever method you choose, give it a fair shot. If it doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, cool. Now you know and move on to the next one.

But the most important thing to remember is that calories do matter. If you want to lose weight you’ll need to create a calorie deficit or energy deficit (less than your body needs). If you want to lose weight you need to create a calorie surplus or energy surplus (more than your body needs).

If you’re looking to get a jump start on your nutrition I’ve got a post on the blog you can use.

Simple Strategy 10: Live With These Two Mindsets

Live with these two mindsets.

  • Never two in a row
  • Always something

Never two in a row means this. Miss a workout? Cool, just not two in a row. eat a shitty meal? Cool, just not two in a row.

Always something means to always do something. Can’t get your full workout in? Cool, just get in half (or just do 10 push-ups). Can’t get your healthy meal in? Cool, do the best you can in whatever situation you’re in.

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– NEW COACHING PROGRAM –

And, just so you know, I’m putting together a brand-new program starting soon. This is specifically for busy yet committed people who want to lose at least 5-10 pounds in 16 weeks. It’s a remote program, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

Interested? Contact me here and let me know.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

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