If there was a magic pill that had no side effects and turned whoever took it into an elite athlete with an eye-popping physique, every person would take it. Unfortunately, this pill does not exist. There is no quick fix to improve your physical fitness. However, it is quite simple to actually achieve your fitness goals. You just have to follow three simple rules.
1. Just Start
How many times have you told yourself “I am going to start on Monday” or “My plan is to start right after my birthday” or “Once the holidays are over.” Be honest, we have all told ourselves one of these before. The most important step to achieving any goal is taking the first one even if you do not see the exact route to get there.
What happens when the Monday comes around, or its after your birthday, or the holidays finish up? You probably are not feeling the same motivation you had when we said you wanted to get in better shape and then you find another reason to push it out to a later date. The process repeats indefinitely and you never actually get stated.
The sooner you start actually making progress towards your goals, the sooner you will actually achieve it! DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER! JUST START!
2. Do Not Let Mistakes Happen Twice in a Row
If you followed Rule #1 and have actually started, Congratulations! Now be on the lookout for the next place that trips people up. You do not have to be perfect. There will be a day when you miss a workout because something came up. There will be occasions where you will go out to eat and ended up eating way more than you intended. Mistakes will happen, just don’t make the fallacy that if you messed up once, that whole day, week, month, or year is ruined. Get back on track immediately.
The best way to get back on track immediately is to follow Rule #2: Do not let mistakes happen twice in a row. Do not miss two workouts in a row. Do not cheat on your diet two days in a row. If you followed this rule, you would still have at least 182 good days every year. This is probably way more than what you currently are achieving.
3. Track Your Progress to Course Correct
How do you know if what you are doing is actually getting you closer to your goal? By documenting the steps and the results over time, it will show if it is working or not. Based on the results, you may be on the correct path or you may need to make adjustments. You should track your steps in the method that is easiest for you because that is going to be one you will stick with. Some people like a small notebook, others would prefer an app, some prefer a printed piece of paper to filed it at home. To each their own.
Then periodically review your progress. My preference is to review my results every 3 months. This is long enough to make noticeable progress but not so long that you waste a lot of time if it is not working. You can make the necessary adjustments based on the results.
These three simple rules of #1 Just Start, #2 Do Not Let Mistakes Happen Twice in a Row, and #3 Track Your Progress to Course Correct will allow you to become a fitter, healthier, and happier person. At least until someone invents that magic fitness pill.