When it comes to our health and fitness, change can mean different things to different people. So, you may just be starting your health and fitness journey and feel like you need to make changes to both your eating and exercise habits, such as making healthier food choices, or committing to training 2-3 times per week.
Or you may have already commenced your health and fitness journey some time ago and have committed to eating well most of the time and training regularly, but you occasionally fall off the bandwagon! So you might feel that you don’t need to make major changes. If this is you, change can mean changing those little unhealthy eating habits you may have, like trying to cut down on having that TimTam biscuit every night with your coffee, or not overeating when you are feeling emotional.
Wherever you are on your journey, there is always room for change. But, there’s no denying it – change can be really difficult.
Why is change so hard at times?
Well there are two main reasons:
- It can be intimidating and scary to move outside your comfort zone and make some changes. And when it comes to fitness, gyms can be intimidating, filled with complicated equipment and muscly clients! Fitness classes can also be nerve wracking as everyone seems fitter than you!
- We are often our own worst enemy and love to self-sabotage any good intentions. We’ve all done it, particularly when it comes to our fitness – we come up with excuses like ““I don’t have time”, or “I have to work, look after the kids, cook dinner and I’m exhausted”, or “I can’t do that exercise” or “I am so unfit and don’t want to look silly in a fitness class”, or “Its cold outside and its so much warmer in bed – I can’t be bothered getting up!”, or “It’s been a busy week and I don’t feel up to it so I’ll start next week”, or “I trained really hard today so I think I deserve that extra chocolate biscuit”.
If this is you, you are not alone. Everyone goes through it but you need to start somewhere if you want to make changes. It might not seem easy at first, but it will get easier the more you stick with it.
4 Tips to help you on your journey of change
Here are some tips to help you start making some changes:
1. Look at what might motivate you to make change. Ask yourself:
- What are some of the things that you want or need to change?
- Why might you want or need to make a change? For example, what benefits will addressing your health and fitness do for you? Is it that you want to have more energy so you can play more often with your kids? Or do you want to feel healthier within yourself to improve your overall wellbeing and self worth?
- What would it take for you to start making positive changes?
- What personal strengths can you use to help you make changes?
2. Examine your thoughts about change as these can have a huge impact on our motivation towards health and fitness – it can make or break us. You might say to yourself – “I hate working out in a gym”. If this is you, you might want to pick the right fitness classes to attend or the right instructor who understands your fitness journey. Or you might find yourself saying “I don’t have time to myself and have no one to look after the kids” so in this case you might need to find a class where you can bring the kids along. Whatever the case, ask yourself:
- What could stop you from making changes?
- What can help you get around these obstacles to change?
3. Enlist some help from others, as we can’t always make changes by ourselves. This might mean bringing a friend along to your fitness sessions – it’s a lot more fun and you can catch up at the same time! Or it might mean asking your partner to help you get rid of all the treats in the house! So ask yourself:
- Who else can help you make some changes?
4. Finally, believe in yourself. You might struggle at first and have some setbacks but if you keep at it, and take those first few steps towards a healthier you, you will be so glad you did and you won’t look back!! Celebrate even the smallest of wins, like squeezing in that 20 min power walk when you could have easily did chores around the house or watched netflix, or pat yourself on the back for making better food choices this week.
At the end of the day, don’t let fear and intimidation get in the way of making a start on change. You just have to simply make a start and do what you can, when you can. Eventually you will gain momentum and motivation and reap the rewards!