How to Get (and Stay) in Amazing Shape With These 3 Easy Steps

“Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” 
Roy T. Bennett (Tweet This)

You’re psyched!

You’ve just signed up for that new diet and exercise plan at the gym down the street. A photo of your all-new gym pass goes up on Instagram. Your latest Facebook status says, “Time to get into shape… finally!” You stick to your new diet and work hard at the gym for the next couple of weeks. It’s not easy. You’re still on the fence about quinoa and can never seem to get over the soreness from your workouts, but you stick with them anyway.

Fast-forward six months later. You’re back to your drive-thru breakfasts and late-night noshing, and you’ve been skipping your workouts almost daily.

This isn’t the first time that you’ve tried losing weight and fallen off track. What gives?

Here’s how to put these fat-loss ups and downs to a stop once and for all.

1. Get Clear on What You Want

Your goal: To drop 50 pounds. But you’re not sure exactly why. It could be the snide remark a colleague made about your weight. Or maybe it’s those jeans that no longer fit.

You feel like you should lose the 50 pounds.

The bad news? “Should” goals tend to help you build momentum, but quickly fizzle out because they’re not anchored to what you actually want.

The good news? You can turn any “should” goal into a meaningful, compelling one.

Try performing this simple, but powerful exercise. Ask yourself, “What do you want to accomplish on this weight-loss journey?” Now, with whatever answer you come up with, ask, “Why?” to that and so on, five times.

Do this now. Take as much time as you need to come up with your answers. Be honest.

Your answer to the final “Why?” will give you critical insight into your deepest-held values about who you are and how your weight-loss goal will support them.

It’ll also help keep you on course when you’ve had a bad day and you’re tempted to reach for that bucket of fried chicken instead of heading to your workout.

2. Disable Your Overeating Triggers

We are all cognitive misers with short attention spans.

Your brain loves shortcuts. It doesn’t solve new problems all the time. It solves problems once, then commits the solutions to memory.

This is why reaching for that tub of ice cream every time your boss yells at you makes you want to reach for ice cream every other time your boss yells at you.

What happens if, for instance, you replace ice cream with a chat with your colleague to vent your frustrations whenever a blow up with your boss happens? Chances are, you’ll end up calmer, and you’ll divert your attention away from the food.

Got a food-related trigger you can think of? Try breaking it with a new, better habit, and repeat it for as long as it will take to stick.

3. Make Friends With Time

The most commonly used excuse for not working out is, “I don’t have the time.” Here’s some tough love: No one can do the work of exercising or eating right for you.

Start using a time-tracking app or a journal to keep tabs on how much time you spend on everything you do throughout the day. Record everything. You’d be surprised at how much time you spend on mindless, time-sucking activities like browsing your Facebook feed or watching cute puppy videos on YouTube.

Ask yourself: How can you replace these time-suckers with activities that will support your goal into your day? Could it be carving out 15 minutes to plan your next meal or squeezing in 15 minutes of stair-climbing over lunch?

Which of the three steps above can you take right now to get your healthy habits holding up for the long-haul? Share them in the comments section below!

This article on staying in shape by Michele Lian was originally published on FinerMinds. If you liked it, you can like it on Medium, share it on Facebook and Twitter, or follow us!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.