There is no shortcut on the path to success, at least not long-term success. I have lost count to the number of times that I am asked by both friends and family; “What’s the quickest or easiest way for me to get fit? What’s the one thing I should do to get started?”
While I realize that their intentions are good and they are looking for a simple answer to either of those questions, the reality is that getting and staying fit is a lifestyle, not a quick fix and there isn’t always one simple answer. In fact, the answer I might give to one person could be completely different that I would give to the next person.
There are some habits that you will find are consistent among those of us who have committed to living a healthy lifestyle. I have listed 7 habits that I feel are key for anyone that feels like they are ready to make that commitment themselves. Many of the habits listed below are ones that I have adopted in my own life and I have found to be present in others who live healthy lives have as well.
1. Don’t Buy Junk
The interesting thing about “junk food” is that; if it is in your house, sooner or later it’s going to get eaten. So, it’s best to not even buy any to begin with. Out of sight, out of mind…right? Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.
Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace the above with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other healthy whole foods snacks.
2. Have Priorities
We all have priorities; keeping a job, paying the bills and regular visits to the doctor, etc… Working out on a regular and consistent basis should also be a priority. What I’ve found is that fit people put their workouts before leisure time. Of course, you want to also enjoy leisure, but it is scheduled around their workout time.
Do you schedule your workouts into your day? Most fit people do and they also tend to workout at a similar time of the day. Treat your workout time with the same importance that they would a meeting with your manager or trip to the doctor.
3. Stop When 80% Full
Fit people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed?
- 80% full is when you’re just satisfied.
- No longer hungry. (Or just a teeny tiny bit hungry, which passes after a few minutes.)
- But not full. And definitely not stuffed.
The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating. Yes, even if your plate isn’t empty.
4. Push Yourself
Not only do fit people make time to workout, they challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength. Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.
5. Don’t Eat and Watch
Fit people know that eating in front of the T.V. is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?
Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth.
6. Drink Water
Fit people drink lots of water. And not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories which quickly turn into fat.
There are numerous benefits to drinking water and staying hydrated. Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Consider water your beverage of choice. Drink plenty of it each day and drink other beverages only a few times each week.
7. You Are Supported
Fit people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It is so easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping, out of the equation.
Want instant support?
Join the Fit Men Movement or the Fit Empowered Women groups!
We have a private Facebook groups setup that will allow you to join a community of men that are just like you. We all want to live a healthier life, but need a little extra support and motivation along the way. Connect with me today to get started on your own customized fitness plan. You can use any of the method to reach out to me listed a bit further below.
What’s one thing that you can start doing everyday that will guarantee you will have an awesome day?
I hope that these habits have inspired you to make a change for the fitter in your own life.
If you already do some of these habits then congratulations – you are on your way to a better body. Make an effort to incorporate the rest of the habits to take your results to the next level.
If none, or very few, of these habits describe your lifestyle, then I’ve got good news – you now have 7 effective new habits to start that will get you some awesome results. Don’t try to tackle all 7 at once – pick one or two to add each week and gradually work up to all 7.
A Podcast and a Resource
Recently, the Fit Men Movement Podcast introduced a new, shorter episode format. In the first of what we are calling “Solo Segments”, I share some tips/advice on how the idea of focusing on one simple thing each and everyday can have a profound impact on your day and your long-term progress. I would encourage you to give this episode a listen and download the habit tracker mentioned below!
As always, you are welcome to call or email me with questions or to get started on your own customized fitness plan.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Need a Coach?
If you need to find someone that will hold you accountable, answer your questions, help you, and PUSH YOU for the entire duration of your workout! Luckily for you, that’s what me and my team are here for. If you don’t have a coach yet and want one, I’d love to be your coach and help you through a fitness program. I am available to help you reach your goals!