Commitment: Sticking to Your Plan Part II

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Commitment: It’s time to commit to be fit

Welcome back! Part 1 we really dove into how we can start to overcome the barriers that have held us back and really allow us to commit! For Part 2 we keep this train moving forward. More awesome tips from great experts!

As they say, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” ….Yeah….what does that even mean in this instance?

It means it’s time we take this advice seriously and start to implement amazing changes in our lives. There is no point in having this incredible knowledge without implementation…start today!

Here’s a few tips:

  1. Only start when they are ready e.g. Never to start before a holiday season, birthdays or other celebration or have any travel or intense work to do in the first 2-3 weeks of their program.
    -JC Niala, Osteopath, Naturopath, Psychologist
  2. The best way to ensure consistency with activity is to enjoy the activity you choose. If you hate running, don’t try to commit yourself to running. You’ll only reinforce the belief that exercise is grueling. Studies show that exercising for the sole purpose of weight loss isn’t effective in terms of longevity. Reframing the way you think about exercise so that you are inspired to do it – like improving your mood…is a great way to appreciate the role exercise plays in your life. There are so many ways to move your body and you’ll be more likely to do it if it feels more like play than work.
    Allison Puryear, LCSW, CEDS
  3. Always create fail-safes to keep you motivated when you hit bottom. One option is the fitness calendar. Grab your 30 day calendar and fill it out as you go through the month. Mark a big black “X” on a days you workout and a red “X” on the days you miss. You NEVER want to get 3 red strikes in a row which tells you to get your butt up and get active, you can do it!
    Josh Anderson, M.S. PT 

A Healthy Dose of Healthy Advice

By Julie Stiles, MA, CHC, Health Counselor, ThetaHealing® Practitioner

How to stay committed:

1. Be public about the commitment: Studies show that even sharing a commitment with a friend increases the chances of following through. To up the odds even more, write it down, check in regularly with someone about how it’s going, or get a coach.

2. Know your internal motivation (and keep it handy): most people fail because they let their in-the-moment feeling (“I don’t want to workout, I’m tired!”) override what they would like in the long run. Reminding oneself of the internal motivation to make the change can help. Not “to lose 10 lbs” but “to feel sexy and confident and to love my body.”

3. Track small changes: If we only focus on the distant future, we might give up because it’s too far away. Often fitness/nutrition commitments result in feeling better, bit by bit. Tracking these changes, and even occasional rewards for them, improves motivation.

4. Make it easy (and unavoidable, if possible): If it’s a nutrition change, remove everything from your surroundings that doesn’t fit the new eating plan, and let people know so they don’t inadvertently tempt you with things you don’t want to be eating. If it’s fitness related, set a regular time, meet with a friend, and it will be much harder to decide not to follow through.


Values Conflicts

By: Jennifer Racioppi, Integrative Health Coach

The biggest obstacle I see to making change last is what we call in the behavior change world — values conflicts. A value conflict happens when competing values deter someone from staying committed to their desires for health, because they value the alternative behavior pattern.

The trick is to help someone understand the value they are honoring when they choose the old behavior.

Until someone decodes their value system, they will stay stuck. The trick is to help them understand the positive in old behavior and find ways to honor that— without sabotaging their new desired way of being.

Commitment requires three things.

1. A strong vision of who they want to become
2. A strong understanding of the values they’ll be honoring as they actualize this vision
3. An understanding of the values they have been honoring with the old behavior that they want to find ways to continue to honor in the future without sabotaging

So say someone skips workouts because they value being home in time to see their kids after school– obviously the main value is their kids, and the competing value is their health.

Until they think through ways to honor their deep desire to spend quality time with their kids and still workout they will always default to the old value.

This is an obvious and straightforward example. Most times the embedded conflict is far more nuanced and takes more work to uncover.


Final Handy Tips

By: Jayde Lovell, certified neuroscientist (BA, BSc, MSc) owner Did Someone Say Science

There’s many reasons why people fail at their commitment to go to the gym – and sometimes it’s just because we were born to be terrible at discipline!

Some tips that might be useful to you:

Commitment1. Make sure you are totally committed. If you don’t REALLY want that awesome toned body, you’re likely to give up your gym routine pretty quickly.

2. Preparation! Reduce instances when you will need to use willpower. Go to sleep in your running gear, commit to meet a friend at the gym – whatever helps you navigate the mental road blocks we put in our way.

3. Write down your goals in clear terms (rather than ‘I want to be skinnier’, write ‘I will lose 5 pounds by February 15th’). These are more likely to be achieved (Wiley et al 2008).

4. Frame your challenges in positive ways. Rather than “Oh no, I have gym after work” think in terms of “Awesome, I get to escape the office on time today and get some fresh air”.


Wrap-Up

Great advice from some great experts! Now it’s your turn (seriously), grab a pen and paper and write down 2 changes you would like to make and get started on them using these tips.

It’s time to put your will power to the test and finally get the results you want and deserve!

The only one holding you back from commitment is yourself!

Josh Anderson
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