Get Results with These 3 Things
Being consistent is the most important aspect to creating change; building strength, fitness, losing weight, etc. It cannot be understated that if you want change, you must be consistent in the actions you take.
As true as that is, it does lack some of the nuance you need to truly make progress.
How long should you do something before making a change if you're not seeing results?
Here are 3 suggestions to help you take ownership over your results:
1. Awareness - If you aren't sure where you are, it's hard to create a plan to get somewhere different. For example, when you're lost you either don't know where you currently are or you don't know where you're going. Sometimes it's both. In order to become 'un-lost' you need to figure out both of those things. Until you know where you are, you can't make a plan to get where you want to go. And, if you don't know where you want to go, how do you create a map to get there?
Most of us know either one or the other. So how do we figure out what we don't know? Well, we need some objective information. This can be done easily by asking yourself a few questions;
What are your goals? (do you want to lose weight, get stronger, improve your endurance, get faster, etc.) The more specific you can be here the better.
What are you doing currently or have you done recently to work on these things? Do you have something that will tell you your current fitness level like a hike or bike ride you like to do and how long it takes you to do it? Do you have a pair of pants you want to be able to fit in to?
Do you get a regular physical and are the labs they draw in the normal ranges?
There are more questions you can answer, but an honest reflection of these things will give you a good picture of where you're at and where you want to go. The next piece is to pick a thing to do - an action to take consistently - to work towards what you wrote down.
2. Regular check ins - Have you ever been driving in a city you're unfamiliar with? How often do you check your phone or GPS to make sure you're on the right route?
Your health and fitness journey is no different. If you're not familiar with where you're trying to go, it’s important to check-in to see if you're on the right track.
Body weight, pictures, the way pants fit, waist circumference, are good ways to know if your body composition is changing.
The weights you use on exercises or how long it takes or how long it feels to do a hike, run, or bike ride tell you where your strength and fitness levels are at.
Getting an annual doctors exam with labs drawn will tell you about your general health information.
3. Make adjustments - It’s rare that anything in life is a “set it, and forget it” type of thing. You are going to have to make adjustments. That’s ok; expect it to happen.
An airplane doesn’t take off and travel directly to the airport it’s flying to; it’s aim is in the general direction of its destination and it makes adjustments along the way to make sure it arrives at the right place.
Consider an adjustment as a good thing; you’ve learned something about your journey. Even if you find something isn’t working, that good, you can now try something different that is more likely to be affective.
First, go back to the section on awareness; are you doing the things you set out to do? Are you doing it consistently? It’s really easy to think we are doing the right things, but when we evaluate our actions we realize we weren’t.
If you are doing the things you set out to do, give it time before you make changes. Lasting change doesn’t happen over night. Sure, you can do a 30 day challenge and lose 20lbs; but what do you do on day 31? We’re after long term change, and that requires new habits. Give yourself at the very minimum of 2 weeks of consistently taking action before you make any adjustments. Preferably 3-4 weeks.
The adjustments don’t have to be big; adding in one workout per week or making one of your workouts more longer or a little more intense. Changing what you eat for one meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). Cutting out one food group or decreasing calories consumed by <10%.
Consistency is king. But evaluating those actions we are consistently taking is also important. You don’t need to workout 7 hours a week to make progress. You don’t need a fad diet.
Figure out exactly where you are and exactly where you want to go and create a plan to start your journey. Evaluate how you’re doing; are you being consistent? Is it something you can stick with in the long term? Your actions need to fit into the life you want to live. Make adjustments along the way; nothing is static.
You can make change. You can build consistent habits to get where you want to go. Stick with the process above and you’ll get there!
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