Aside from those rare, horrific, life-changing, hugely impactful experiences that to be frank are not something many of us would welcoming experiencing regularly – about from those instances where perhaps your mindset might shift in an instant, more often:
Mindset is a gradual refining, a series of steps, a new improved way of thinking that initially means fighting your old way of thinking every single day.
The good news as I shared in Part 1 of todays show on:
16 Guidelines For A Fit, Healthy Happy Year (Part 2)
is that, Each day you (I!) persist in muscling on through consciously looking to improve our thought process is one day closer to the point when that new, more effective thought process and the results it will deliver happens at an unconscious level… naturally, easily, sustainably.
With the goal of natural, easy, sustainable Body Gain, Health, Fitness and Happiness in mind let’s rock on into the final 8 guidelines!
Nine: Cultivate Gratitude Daily.
So far as the Happy component of a Fit, Healthy Happy life I’d say cultivating Gratitude is the most impactful thing you can do.
You’ve seen the reverse I’m sure? That person who appears to have it all – yet also has zero appreciation and seems to live a needlessly joyous existence. Always focusing on more. On what they haven’t got yet. On what might go wrong.
Which brings me to the surprise-SUPER-awesome-side-effect of gratitude…
For sure it rocks to appreciate the little things. You feel happier when you’re grateful for what you’ve got. And as we covered in guideline 8 what you focus on expands… however beyond all that, an attitude of gratitude means you experience less fear.
That’s got to a fairly-HUGELY-compelling reason to make gratitude a daily habit right?
I go into more detail in show #011 on Gratitude however the short of it is it’s really not possible to experience both fear and gratitude at one time so which emotion will you choose to feed?
How to work this into your routine: I’m a fan of journaling 3-4 nightly gratitudes. It’s important to make them unique and it can help to have categories to prompt you (credit to Tim Ferriss for that upgrade which I’m loving). So perhaps: an old relationship you value / something that happened today / an opportunity tomorrow / something small and close.
Ten: Consistency Beats Best.
I had a new client recently ask me about what body sculpting competitions I’ve done. The short answer is zero. The slightly extended version is I trained for one about 6 years ago when it was mandatory for all owners in the franchise I was a part of to either compete in body sculpting or run a marathon.
The idea was to be an inspiration to our teams and clients. Massive respect to the people who compete however for me I’m always going to choose consistency over best.
It stuck me as strange that a trainer who carried 10 extra kilos of fat for years and then lost it for a competition before piling it straight back on again was more inspirational than the trainer who committed to staying in great shape always.
I don’t want to hate my life for months (and that level of food deprivation and training and even more so… posing practice (!) did make me hate my life) to peak for a day and then see my hard fought for results disappear faster than you can say entirely-excessive-beautiful-bakery-deliciousness.
The training plan that is not so crazy-daunting and hugely-time-consuming that you can stick with happily and consistently will always deliver superior long term results. In the same way that the eating approach that is not all-consuming and that allows for your fav foods, fav drinks and meals out (!) will always deliver superior long term results.
I don’t want to be the strongest. Or the fastest. Or the fetters. Or the fanciest.
I want to be the most consistent. The one who gets the enjoy the results for my consistent effort 24/7 365 days.
How to work this into your routine: When deciding on the training and eating plan you will stick to this year imagine your non-ideal week. The time poor, week. The wet weather, week. The sick kids or stressful work, week. Aim for realistic in non-ideal and stick to that as a start. You can always throw in extra on your good weeks… It’s a whole lot more motivating to throw in extra rather than feel like you’ve let yourself down.
In short, lower the bar of your expectations and then be ruthlessly, non-negotiable consistent in sticking to that.
Eleven: Say Yes With Volition and No Without Guilt.
If you were to do a time audit of your Yesterday – looking at that break down of how you spent your time and energy – are you satisfied with your Yes’s?
Are they propelling you towards your most important goals? Are they making you happy?
Equally, what did you say No to Yesterday? Regularly I see the people who struggle to achieve their body gain goal are saying No to themselves. To exercise. To meal shopping, planning and cooking.
It generally comes from a beautiful place of contribution and wanting to serve other people however if you’re a lovely generous people pleaser in the habit of saying No to YOU, please remember: The Oxygen Mask principle. To look after others best – to be able to serve effectively long term – you first need to look after you.
How to work this into your routine: Start with 3 things you’d like to Stop doing: 3 things to say No to and also 3 things you’d like to Start doing: 3 things to say Yes to.
Perhaps you stop: evening TV, Stop social media checking in bed and STOP accepting the home baking your colleague brings to work?
That means you could start, working on your side biz/hobbie in the evening, Start getting an extra bit of quality sleep each night and get up that little bit earlier to meditate in the morning and finally, START or say Yes to a zero refined carb approach to eating Monday – Friday.
Twelve: Embrace Contrary.
I train a gentleman who’s on the board of several huge companies. When asking him about his lunch the previous day he shared that “Unfortunately we were served sandwiches at the board meeting and I didn’t want to ask for something else.”
Now perhaps you’re thinking this is the exact type of situation where it’s best to just quietly consume those refined carbs rather than making a fuss and being “That picky one.” However, a fellow board member was certainly not of that opinion.
As my clients described to me “Kate, she looked just like you – fit, lean, not an ounce of fat on her AND she asked for a salad!”
My client now asks for salad too. I imagine he’s always been fairly comfortable with contrary given the degree of success he’s achieved however he just needed a little prompt to make contrary applicable to his nutrition.
Unless you want to experience unhappy, unhealthy and unfit which sadly in todays society is normal then you’ve got to be ok with standing out.
How to work this into your routine: I have 8 options stolen from show #018 on: Why You Need To Be Proud To Be Contrary.
And they are in acronym format! How to make C.O.N.T.R.A.R.Y. work for you:
1) Cut the connection with nighttime TV. Get to bed by 10pm. Rise by 6am.
2) Order an off-the-menu option that’s aligned with your goal. It’s not fussy. It’s committed.
3) Never allow your training to slip too much. Most people need massive pain before they ‘get back on track’…let your signal be ‘slightly’ tighter clothes.
4) Train heavy but safe. With big compound movements that use multiple joints and multiple muscles…YES, ladies you too (only if you want to be tight & lean though)
5) Rain or shine a scheduled exercise session stands.
6) Avoid hating or being jealous of anyone. It’s a waste of your energy….AND that energy is better put towards achieving your goal.
7) Remember your goal on Public holidays: it’s a day off work NOT off exercise and great nutrition.
8) YES to your exercise and nutrition as a priority is not selfish. If you want to take care of your family and friends first you must take care of Yourself.
Thirteen: Choose Your Beliefs.
For the first half of my life I thought beliefs were set in stone. I never thought to question my beliefs – how I came to adapt them, like did I do my research and decide on my own? Or did I take on my parents beliefs? A mentors beliefs? Society’s beliefs?
Most importantly I didn’t think to ask: How is that belief working for you?
The only thing that matters so far as your beliefs is: Are they getting you the result you want?
Imagine if you were to believe: “I’m naturally lazy, with a slow metabolism. Exercise is really hard for me, I hate healthy food and I’m obviously destined to be overweight and unhealthy.”
Or in comparison: “I’m a person who will do whatever it takes to get and keep a fit, lean, healthy body I love.”
Whatever the belief you have that is not making it easier for you to take the steps you need to take to get the results you want to enjoy you can choose a different more effective belief. Here are a few more of my ineffective limiting old beliefs:
=> All cardio is hard, tedious and hateful.
=> All salads are bland, boring and unsatisfying.
=> I LOVE bread, hot chips, pizza, pasta, muffins and scones sooooo much I could never try let alone enjoy an approach to eating that wasn’t based around process-carb-deliciousness.
How to work this into your routine: Let’s start with 2 global beliefs and see what comes up for you and if you could benefit from choosing new beliefs. So to be clear, how you answer each of these questions will let you know if that current belief is serving or sabotaging you:
1). Exercise is…
2). Healthy Eating is…
Fourteen: Take Responsibility.
There are a couple of vastly differing common connotations to the idea of Responsibility.
When you hear Responsibility what comes up for you?
Does it feel all heavy and restrictive or even scary?
Or does it feel more like Freedom and control and opportunity?
For a fit, happy, healthy year and life Responsibility means you are in control. You get to take ownership of how you’re going to act and what you’re going to do rather than languish at the mercy of other peoples actions and choices.
Here are a couple of analogies… your choice is to lie in B.E.D. full of Blame, Excuses and Denial OR,
To jump outta bed, grab an O.A.R. – that’s Ownership Accountability Responsibility – and take control of the direction you’re steering your boat in!
Ownership = I created this.
Accountability = I can fix it.
Responsibility = I will fix it.
How to work this into your routine: What’s the ONE most impactful habit or attitude which you’re yet to accept 100% responsibility? One thing where from today on: to Blame, to make an Excuse, to Deny (even those each of us are skilled at all of these crafty get-out-of-success clauses) is not an option.
Your only option is: Ownership Accountability Responsibility.
Fifteen: Ditch The Comparison Game.
When I was growing up there were a handful of girls at school that I thought were really stunningly beautiful. A handful (mostly different) that had absolutely amazing bodies. A handful that were super intelligent. And so on…
Of course there were celebrities and models and T.V. and magazines… however there was enough separation or perhaps more of a disconnection that those genetically gifted, uber successful were the lucky, privileged few and really not people I compared myself too.
I’m certain that was a much easier way for a super self conscious teenager with low self esteem to grow up.
For all it’s amazing opportunities (and I do believe the pro’s outweigh the cons) the world today with the internet and social media means we get 24/7 connection to the highlight reels of EVERYONE else lives.
It’s really easy to take all those inputs: the marriage, the book deal, the new baby, the huge launch, the new house – the anything and everything as long as it’s a highlight and play the comparison game with everything good, bad and AVERAGE about your life.
It’s also really easy to come up lacking.
How to work this into your routine: First step to ditching the comparison game is to recognize the habits you’ve picked up that make you feel rubbish. For me it’s mindless Facebook or Instagram surfing. Next step is to commit to minimize or eradicate these habits. Instead, I’d recommend actually spending time with the people who inspire you. For some reason, when you pick those people well and they are genuine, spending time with them leaves you motivated rather than deflated. Perhaps that’s because you’re more likely to get a glimpse of their struggles and faults as well as their highlights.
Sixteen: Never Start Making Excuses.
Never start making excuses because then where would you stop?
Excuses build on each and eat away at your belief in you. The easiest approach is to simply not start with those excuses that have previously held you back.
Now of course you’re not chasing an unattainable 100% excuse free diet. It’s more about choosing a few of the most high value actions and even values and beliefs that will not fall victim to excuses.
To make it easiest on yourself schedule those important things that you’ve made excuses about previously into your most high discipline time. For most of us that’s first thing in the morning. When you wake up fresh with a full daily discipline quota.
How to work this into your routine: I’m hoping guidelines #4 Win Your Mornings and #5 Lock and Load Your Key Stone Habits have helped so far as maximizing your early am discipline quota so let’s approach Never Start Making Excuses from a different angle. Decide on ONE thing that you’ve previously made excuses about and utilize the power of both pleasure and pain to make No Excuses stick.
For example: Walking to and from work. This is a non-negotiable for me.
=> the Pleasure I focus on is that walking to and from work means I only have to spend 5 minutes of additonal cardio time doing intervals a week.
The pleasure that I get to listen to fab podcasts as I walk.
The pleasure that I never have to wait on unreliable public transport or hunt to find a carpark… I’m in control of my leaving, my traveling and my arriving times completely. That may sound small however it’s pretty compelling to a control freak like me!
=> the Pain I focus on is the boring, time inefficient cardio I’d have to inflict on myself if I didn’t walk to and from work each day.
The incongruency I’d feel getting my clients to do any cardio or incidental exercise if I didn’t walk the talk.
The fact that each walk I skip makes the next walk that much easier to skip.
That’s probably a great place to finish – the law of recency – which states that the action you’ve most recently taken will very-supremely-more-likely be the action you take again… So which is it going to be: Skipping the walk or taking the walk?
To get actionable, as in Part 1 I’d love you to choose the ONE guideline from today that most resonates with you and work it into your routine.
That brings us to the end of this week in Healthification. Super huge thanks to you for your support and for sharing this week with me.
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If you liked this you’ll also like: Reckless Weekend Eating: How Much Is It Costing YOU?
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