Part four: Making it stick
At this point it is a few weeks in to your new years resolution. At this point your excitement might be waning, because let’s be honest here, results come slowly when compared to the immediate gratification that we can get from social media and otherwise these days (like blogging!). This is the point where you need to do what you can to make this a habit that sticks for you. Here are a few tips that I have for making this a long term habit that just becomes part of your life. This will seem a little scattershot as you read through, but I hope that you get something out of this.
Who you are/ Identity
If you are reading this you probably know a thing or two about me. Turns out being a person that frequently works out and lifts weights is something people think I do. This happened to me near the tail end of high school and has stuck with me since. This has a positive effect on the days when I’m not that interested in training in that in the back of my mind is my self-talk of who I am, and that is a guy who trains. Is this stupid self-talk or falling prey to social pressure to live up to other people’s expectations of myself, but it does work.
If you make training or being active part of your lifestyle the momentum of this can carry you through when you are tired. When you are known as the people that always go out hiking, to the gym, or cycling, etc. that is going to help you be more active. This takes a long period of time to accomplish, but you if you make it to this point it is safe to say that you are going to be ok.
Lifestyle not a training program
Monday is a day you squat. All human beings should squat on Monday. I don’t care if it is a holiday, your birthday, or the zombie apocalypse, you squat on Monday. Well at least in my warped view of the world this is true. This is because this is part of my life. Some people get up every morning and then go for a run or hike. No questions asked. Could be rain, sleet, or snow but those folks will be out there getting after it. Think of trying to install your training in to pieces like this. You have the days of the week that you are going to train in one way shape or form. Don’t think of it like your training program, instead just think on Wednesday you deadlift. Take your time and build your program in so it is part of your life.
Lifestyle not a diet
I don’t drink sugary sodas. This is part of my lifestyle. This is not meant to be some weird humble brag, instead take a moment and find what part of your diet is your lifestyle? Do you always eat dessert with each meal? Do you have to have chocolate every day? Do you not eat vegetables because you don’t like the taste? Take and work hard to slowly ingrain a new nutritional habit to your lifestyle slowly and then take away the negative behaviors. Do people get annoyed that you don’t eat fried chicken and live in the south? Yes, but who cares? Eat what you want, but if you want to be healthy you are going to have to make some decisions that involve sensible portions and frequent exclusion of calorie laden foods.
There are an innumerable ways to change your diet. Don’t get lost in the weeds by trying to do everything all at once. Just slowly modify it with time in ways that you can consistently execute it. The same holds true for the way that you train. Pick something you can stick with for the long haul and aim to slowly increase the duration and intensity. If you keep working diligently in with each part of your life you will find that this becomes part of who you simply are. Your goal should be to keep working hard and make this an engrained part of your very being. Good luck on your journey and I hope that you are still on board when I put this up. If you have any questions or comments please do so below.