When Curtis Post tipped the scale at 205 pounds early last year, he wasn’t happy about it. There always seemed to be something standing in the way of working out and eating right.
It felt like every attempt at being consistent was sidelined by long work days, family matters, and other stuff.
But it was really just a long list of excuses. And he was tired of packing on pounds, feeling exhausted, and unhappy about his weight.
Sound familiar? If you’ve heard that voice inside your head nudge you to do something about your health, your diet, your exercise habits, your lifestyle, have you done anything about it?
Improve your body, improve your life
Maybe you want to. Maybe you’re ready to change. But you’re not sure how to take that first step forward to commit. That’s normal for just about everybody.
But if you stick with sitting around thinking about what you could accomplish (shred fat, build lean muscle, transform your body), instead of actually doing anything about it, where will you be a month from now? Six months from now? A year? Not any closer to your goal.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s what happened to Chris:
He reached a tipping point in early 2017 that motivated him to change, take action, and ultimately transform his body.
- He gave up fast food.
- He cut back on alcohol.
- He improved his diet by eating more whole foods, prepping meals, cooking at home, and tracking calories and macros.
- He set a goal to drink more water.
- He started lifting weights and doing more cardio workouts.
- He lost about 30 pounds in a year, while gaining lean muscle.
- And his wife joined him on this fitness journey, and achieved a transformation of her own.
“We’re going to keep working at this,” says Curtis. “It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle now. I’m not sure what 2018 will hold for us, but I’m excited.”
Want to know what it takes to commit to achieve your goals? Here are 6 ways to be successful in 2018.
If you’ve been spinning your wheels for weeks, months, or even years about building a better body, getting in shape, losing weight, or improving your health, thinking about it isn’t enough.
You have to do something. You have to take action. You have to get started.
There’s a good chance you have at least some idea of what you should be doing, but you’re just not doing it. For example:
- Lift weights, and do cardio workouts.
- Wake up early to workout. Or set up a time to workout daily, and stick to it.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains
- Prep your meals and cook at home more often
- Drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night
- Follow a calorie-controlled diet, and track your eating habits.
If you’re serious about making a change, pick just one of these things and do it. Master one of these healthy habits, and then add another. Taking action, even if it’s just a baby step, will motivate you to keep going once you get started.
2. Set goals and create a plan
When you reach the tipping point that helps you recognize you’re motivated and ready to change, define your goals and create a plan.
Be specific about what you want to accomplish. For example, lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks, drop body fat by 5 percent in 3 months, or add 5 pounds of lean muscle in 12 weeks.
Then break down the path to success into things you can do every day. If you’re not sure how to do this, or you need a little help, check out my customized training and nutrition plans:
- 8-Week Shred Transformation
- 8-Week Mass Gain Transformation
- 12-Week Fat Loss Shred Plan
- 12-Week Lean Muscle Plan
3. Anticipate challenges
This was a big shift for Chris when he got serious about losing weight, building muscle, and creating a healthier lifestyle in 2017.
For him, fast food was a convenient way to handle hunger. Booze was a big source of empty calories. And work and family matters always trumped exercise and healthy eating.
What’s keeping you from achieving your goals? What weakness is standing in the way of losing weight, building muscle, and transforming your body? Maybe its:
- Junk food
- Poor sleep habits
- Cheat-meal weekends
- Lack of knowledge about training and nutrition
- Access to a gym or weights for training
- An extended vacation
- Late-night snacking
Figure out what your weaknesses are. Acknowledge them, and take action to preempt every opportunity you may have to lose your focus.
It’s not going to be easy, at first, to resist those temptations when they arise. But you’ll be better prepared to deal with them when you recognize what might derail your plans to get fit and healthy.
4. Make sacrifices
“You can’t take who you are right now with you if you want a brand-new chiseled body or sexy-toned lean muscle,” says mindset coach Mark Pescetti. “It's absolutely true. You can't take who you are right now with you.”
And that means you have to make sacrifices. You have to be willing to give up old habits that don’t align with your new goals.
Maybe that’s watching less TV so you can workout. Maybe that’s drinking more water and less booze and sugary sodas. Or maybe it’s a matter of changing negative self-talk into positive affirmations that help you move forward.
Start with making small sacrifices to get closer to your goal, and those decisions will start to add up. And you’ll notice when you look in the mirror, step on the scale, or set a PR during a workout.
5. Be accountable
What are you going to have for dinner if no one is around? Broccoli, rice and chicken, or the combo meal from the drive-thru.
If you’re feeling lazy, do you sleep in a skip a workout, or get to the gym and crank out your reps and sets anyways.
If you’re highly motivated, maybe you’ve got the self discipline to always make the right choice. But for most of us, being accountable can be a powerful force to help you change behaviors.
It’s why everyone on my Facebook page is encouraged to post progress pics, ask questions, share updates, and motivate others to keep going.
And it’s why my customized training and nutrition plans include regular check-ins to help you stay on track.
When you’re accountable, you’re more likely to make the right choice that’s going to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, or transform your body.