“I know what to do, I’m just not doing it” is one of the most common concerns I hear when it comes to nutrition, fitness and weight loss. In fact, I polled my facebook page a few months back and over three quarters of the people who responded agreed with that statement.
Why is it so hard to make change when we know what to do?
One of the biggest reasons is because we fear failure. If we get started, then aren’t able to complete what we started, then we have failed. And fear of failure, at its core, is fear of the shame that we will feel when we fail yet again.
I was messaging with a potential client a few weeks ago, when this exact concern was brought up. She wants to create a change in her life, yet the fear of failing was holding her back. The question I asked next was simple: what if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Today I want to give you my best strategies for never failing again, so that you can feel confident in your own fitness and nutrition journey.
Manage your expectations:
There are a lot of programs, plans, and diets out there promising impossible results. They show you success stories of people losing 10 pounds in a week and tell you “you can do the same thing too…” So when you make changes to your habits and start eating well, yet you don’t see the dramatic changes that fast, you feel like a total failure.
Never mind the fact that the 10 pound weight loss isn’t fat loss. Never mind the fact that it will more likely all come back plus some. All they care about is getting a fast enough success story to provide a testimonial and sell more of whatever they’re selling.
Take a second to think about this: how many people do you know who have shared their incredible weight loss success story with you on facebook, about how happy they are they started this new program, about how fast the weight came off… who are now back to where they started. I can name off a dozen from my friends list already.
The fact is, lasting weight loss takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, or even over a week. The good news is: slow equals permanent. If the fast paced diet hype is making you feel like a failure, remember that!
Move the target closer
Most fitness and nutrition plans are all about perfection, getting it right, going all the way…
But here’s the thing to remember: if you have do it ALL, the chances are good you will instead do NOTHING.
This black and white thinking is the biggest momentum killer of all.
I like to look at our goals like a target… no, not the beloved store that forces me to spend way too much money…. an archery target. And if consistency is the bulls-eye, how can we make it easier to hit the bull’s-eye on tougher days?
Move the target closer.
Once you have a target that feels easy to hit consistently, you can then start moving it back a little farther and stretching a little bit more. If cooking a healthy meal every night seems too difficult, start by cooking once a week. Once that feels easy then add in another day.
If you feel like you’re constantly missing your target, move it closer, make the goal easier so that you can hit it consistently and go from there.
Redefine your struggle
Despite all of our greatest efforts, there will always be difficult days, missed targets, and less than ideal circumstances. While it is easy to jump to conclusions that those days are “failures” the truth of the matter is they actually can be successes no matter what happens.
It is never a failure if you’re learning from it.
If you can learn something from every experience, then you are never failing. Because even if you miss your target you are still making incredible strides by learning what to do the next time instead. Learning from the struggles is more helpful for long term progress than not having any struggles.
The next time you find yourself struggling to get started, take a look at whether or not there may be some fear of failure in your path. These strategies can help you never fail again so you can constantly get closer to your own goals.