Many people resist making any effort to change their lives. Why? They believe it will take years of difficult work. Lose weight, get in shape? It’s going to be hard, so why even try?

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see
when you take your eyes off your goal.”
-Henry Ford

In reality, it takes just a moment to change your life. That moment when you decide to commit and follow through on your vision of a more compelling future. Your vision and commitment are the foundation that will lead to a better quality of life. But like any foundation, this is not enough. You need structures in place that will enable you to change your behavior day to day. What kind of structures? The right resources, the right people, and the right attitude.

And here’s a great start: Customized exercise and meal planning; and your own persistence and determination.

Changing your life is not about wish fulfillment, and it requires more than positive thinking. Motivation might get you started, but you must keep yourself on track, which is a lot easier when you have your personal trainer in your corner. It also helps to be a realist who recognizes that anything worthwhile is not easy. Despite all your determination and perseverance, you are going to have setbacks. You’re going to make mistakes, and have failures. There will be days when you just don’t feel like it. What, besides the force of your
willpower, is going to help you push through? The structures you put in place.

Here are some things you can do to clear the hurdles you are bound to face on your way to better fitness:

Define your goals

Lose five pounds? Please. Make it a little harder than you think you can attain, and then go for it. Develop strength? Let’s get a little more detailed. Talk to your trainer about your goals and how to measure your progress going forward.

Develop a detailed plan and stick to it

Are you going to do push muscles on Monday, pull muscles Tuesday, cardio on Wednesday? What are you going to eat and when are you going to eat it? How hard is hard enough? How much rest do you need? Consult your fitness/wellness expert and develop plans of attack for exercise, eating, rest and so on.

Manage your time

Align your day to get your most important things done. Eat, sleep, work, exercise, family time, down time. Obsessive-compulsive? You bet. The way to achieve your goals is to get obsessed and stay obsessed.

Take control

Are Doritos a trigger? Banish them from the house. Be just as scrupulous about what you tolerate in your mental environment: Pay attention to the self-talk that guides your focus. Are you labeling yourself unfairly?  Ignoring the positives and dwelling on the negatives? Being aware of your mental habits is the first step to changing them.

Celebrate your wins

Develop a ritual celebration for when you reach an important milestone.  A trip to Starbucks? A dessert cheat? Your favorite craft beer? In the meantime you have daily milestones to celebrate along the way. The feeling you get after a hard workout is its own reward. Get in the habit of giving yourself a well-earned pat on the back.

Commit to constant improvement

As you get stronger and more fit, you become more capable, and your progress accelerates. Now you are taking control of your destiny and living the life you want. Trust your program to get you on the right track, and then follow the daily habits that are going to reward you with the outcomes you want. This is about developing new life habits, which is not always easy. If it was, everyone would do it, right? The fact is, everyone has a quitter inside, and a bad-ass inside too. Which one are you going to identify with?

Create a vision, and put structures in place to achieve it.

Be ready to adjust, adapt and overcome. As trite as it sounds, you must seize the day, every day. Starting today!

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