As a younger man, I fell to the hype. I’d see the latest workout trend and take a shot at it. Often times, I would be underwhelmed with the results I achieved. Largely because, I didn’t know exactly what results I wanted and what it took to get them. I wanted to look like the guy on the cover or perform like a high end athlete but I didn’t want to dig into the details. This shortcut mentally rarely works in fitness and health. Usually it produces the opposite effect, wasted time and minimal results.
Where You Are Going Wrong
I’d hedge my bets that you’ve done the same as me. You get caught up in prescriptions or solutions without identifying the exact problem you want to solve. You want a quick answer to a problem that you haven’t taken time to understand and assess. It’s completely counter-intuitive, but happens all the time.
It usually starts with a vague description of the problem, like “I’m overweight” or “I need to exercise more”. What do you do? You start looking for he latest diet or workout plan from whatever media outlet you have at your disposal. A week later you’ve got a copy of P90X and your trying to crank it out in your basement. This is a mistake – for many reasons, but let’s focus on the logic behind it.
Let’s say “I’m overweight” really meant, “I’d like to lose 5 pounds this month”. You went out and bought that P90x video, which may be complete overkill for this goal. The possibility of burnout is significantly higher. Moreover, your emphasis was on exercise, when weight loss results may have hinged more on your diet. In the end, you spent money on something you didn’t need, invested more effort into exercise, and less than you needed on diet. You didn’t take the shortest or simplest route to your goal.
A Better Approach To Losing Weight
1. Determine what your motivation is.
Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I believe vanity is a poor motivator. Desire and follow through seem stronger if you are motivated to have a healthy and functional body, not just one that looks good. Good news though, a healthy and functional body will usually look solid. The goals aren’t mutually exclusive.
2. Define exactly what you want to accomplish.
No vague BS goals. Think about what your motivation is and create a goal that aligns with. Be as specific as possible. Try, “I want to lose 10 pounds”. Reinforce it with your motivator, “because I know these pounds have a poor effect on my health”.
3. Determine the cause and effect relationship.
Find out what actions have a direct correlation to accomplishing your goals. Then, focus on doing these things. Sounds simple, but that’s not always the case. It REQUIRES leg work. You may have to dig in and research what actions would have the greatest impact. In the end, you’ll save time, I promise.
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