Have you ever gotten some weight loss results but they just don’t stick around for longer than a few weeks?
Just about anyone can get results by going from a sedentary lifestyle full of processed foods to one that is packed with exercise and whole foods. The question isn’t whether you’d get results from doing this. The question is will you be able to maintain these new behaviors, and thus results, for the rest of your life?
If the answer is no to being able to maintain these behaviors, then the answer is no – you won’t be able to maintain your results. After all, results are just the side effect of your daily behaviors.
Instead, you’ll likely feel in-the-zone for a few weeks, existing solely on willpower, hopes, and dreams, followed by a reversion to old behaviors. And by side effect you’ll experience your previous health, happiness, and body composition levels.
This will continue until you’re fed up with the status quo and you feel motivated to take action again. But most people will fall right back into the same trap and then blame themselves for not being able maintain their exercise program, healthy eating, or weight loss.
What’s wrong with me? Am I a hopeless cause? Should I just accept that I’ll never be able to do this?
“This Worked For Me Last Time”
I’ve noticed through the years of working with clients that people have memories of certain things that worked for them. Whether that “thing” was no carbs, a particular program, or weight training 5 days per week, they remember it working for them and so think they should do it again.
But the issue here is that those things really didn’t work. If they had, you wouldn’t be where you are today still struggling to find your way.
For something to truly work it needs to get you results AND you need to be able to maintain those results for the rest of your life. For that to happen you need to focus on two very important habits.
Adherence and Consistency are the Two Most Important Habits
Every decision about your eating and exercise should tie back into those two goals. Don’t set a goal to exercise 6 days per week doing intense cardio for an hour each time if you know you won’t be able to maintain that habit.
Will it “work”? Yes it will work – for as long as you can maintain those lofty behavior goals. But eventually you’ll burn yourself out.
You won’t remember the burnout though. All you’ll remember are the short term results you got. So you’ll proceed to reintegrate what “worked” in the past and continue to repeat that same mistake over and over again.
Transformation is just a side effect of adherence and consistency to a plan you are fully engaged with and enjoy. So make your decisions based on sustainability.
Set Goals You Know You Can Accomplish
We’ve been told to set big goals. Think big! And I do agree that it’s great to dream. But from a results perspective, we need to get in the habit of setting goals we can accomplish.
It’s more important to consistently accomplish your small goals than it is to set the big ones and always fall short.
Setting and reaching your goals is a habit. Setting goals and not reaching them can become a habit too.
So as you approach your lifestyle change, make sure you’re setting behavioral goals that you know you can accomplish, will enjoy, and will be consistent with for the long-term.
That adherence and engagement with the process is what’s going to give you real results – a lifetime of health and happiness, and a healthy body composition as a side effect.
You have to find that baseline level of behaviors that you know you can adhere to and be consistent with. And once you’ve integrated those behaviors into your life and they’ve become habits, you can then challenge yourself to improve your lifestyle even more.
It’s a constant progression that’s rooted in adherence to your plan and consistency with action. So ask yourself – is what I’m doing today going to be doable next week, month, or even year?
If it is, great! Keep following through. If it’s not, set a smaller goal you know you can accomplish and do it – consistently for a long period of time.
Then experience the positive side effects of that consistency.