Life hack. Secret sauce. Cheat code. One weird trick … the list goes on.
These are the terms marketers use to grab your attention for their product and often those words are excellent at doing just that.
They pull you in, promising to give you exactly what you are looking for, the easiest way possible to do whatever you are looking for.
Often, there are no true shortcuts for the important stuff. Sure, YouTube and TikTok can show you all kinds of ways to have a cleaner bathroom or a better way to pack your suitcase.
But when it comes to important matters, from your health to financial freedom, there rarely are true magic bullets that do the work for you.
That doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t better ways to do things. My girlfriend recently shared with me a parmesan container top hack for a mason jar as well as a wooden spoon trick to lay on top of a boiling pot to prevent boil over. These are all super cool.
But what about something as important as your health and quality of life?
For instance, just the other day, I was sitting down with someone who asked about a secret weapon when it came to health and fitness. Now, overall, you have to do the work, whether that’s being active and doing a workout or being mindful about nutrition.
But it got me thinking, if there truly is one thing that I have seen firsthand over 23 years of fitness coaching that makes the most impact and change, it has got to be consistency.
Not perfection or perfect consistency, but just keeping at it. Largely, we find that consistency even tops intensity. And this consistency creates momentum.
It doesn’t have to be 22 days in a row or six workouts a week either. Rather, whatever you are doing, keep doing it.
If you want to be successful, find momentum. To help with this, here’s three things you can do to find and keep momentum:
Find A Preceding Event
Often, it’s the thing we do beforehand that matters more. For example, telling a friend we will meet them at the park to go walking. Or booking an appointment at the gym. That preceding event sets the stage for the bigger thing you are trying to do.
Find what often triggers you to do the thing you are aiming for. And keep doing it.
The smaller the habit, the easier it is to build into your life. If you are trying to go to the gym six days a week, that’s a big habit. Especially if you are starting out.
Something we use is a scale of 1-10. Ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how confident do you feel in doing this new habit? If the number is low then there’s a good chance shrinking the habit, or making it easier, could help you stick with it.
This can also be done by shaping your environment to help with your new habit. Adding an accountability buddy for instance, joining a supportive group or hiring a coach can also help with making the new habit more manageable.
Inevitably, we are going to have a lapse or break in momentum. A vacation, life event or limitation/injury at some point will arise.
This is a main reason why finding smart and experienced fitness coaches can be so helpful. The fastest way to lose momentum, and regress, is to get hurt.
Sometimes we do everything we can to set ourselves up for success and we still break the momentum.
Well, good news: you are always only one workout away from being back in the habit and one bite of food away from being back on track with your nutrition. And just like that, you have your momentum back.
I know it sounds a bit simple and even basic, and that’s because it is. But that also doesn’t mean that it’s not powerful; even life changing. Find your momentum and then do what you can to keep at it.
It might not sound as cool as turning your cereal box into its own bowl or making your jeans look more 1980s-like, but if there’s anything we’ve learned these last couple of years, it’s how important our health really is. And anything we can do to invest in our health, and possibly improve it, will pay us the greatest returns.
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