Patience is not one of my virtues. It’s something I’m working on.
There are some things where I really try and just let go of the oars, stop paddling upstream and go with the flow but health goals isn’t one of them. If your health goals aren’t manifesting themselves fast enough then there are some things that you can do to still get sustainable results.
Here Are My Top 7 Tips To Help You Get There Faster!
1.Track everything – food & workouts
One of the first things I have all my clients do when they join one of my programs is to keep a food and mood diary. I also have them write down all their exercise, did they meditate or catch a yoga class and then how did they feel? How was their digestion? Their mood, were they feeling relaxed and in control or anxious and tired?
Tracking all this information seems tedious, but once you start it really doesn’t take long and there are a number of online templates and apps you can use. For our 30 Day Challenge participants we use an app called Nudge which lets you track all that we have talked about as well as message your coach any time you need a little extra support.
There are a number of reasons why this can be so beneficial to reaching your goals faster.
Firstly what you focus on improves.
Writing all this down will make you more conscious of what you are eating, how much are you actually moving, how many times did you actually meditate this week?
Secondly writing everything down, especially how you feel really helps you work out faster what is going to work for you.
You can experiment with different workouts or eating styles and quickly figure out if they are going to work for your unique body. Gaining the awareness that comes from a food and mood diary can help you make the changes you need quickly by helping you meet your health goals faster!
2. Schedule it in
Ok so you have figured out the health activities that make you feel the best. Maybe its meal planning, hitting the gym or going for a walk, or it’s a daily yoga practice.
The fastest way to get to your goals is to schedule these activities in first.
Make them non negotiable in your calendar. Actually assign them a time and a date so they get completed. Scheduling everything in actually saves a bunch of decision making energy too. Trying to decide what you are going to have for dinner each day or whether or not to go to the gym is actually draining. Having it all decided in advance and then just following the schedule is actually much easier! Save that energy for more fun time!
3. Get Accountability
This one is so important and one of the most powerful parts of our 30 Day Challenge and really any health coaching program. In fact Stanford University found that simply receiving a check-in phone call that asked about your progress every two weeks increased the amount of exercise participants did by 78% on average.
In the Stanford University study, participants who had received those bi-weekly check-in phone calls were still exercising at the increased level even after 18 months.
Talk about sustainable results!
Accountability can massively accelerate the results you could get by yourself. And this doesn’t have to be a coaching program. Even having an exercise buddy or partner you can work out with or someone you can share your food diary with can help.
In fact who you spend time with in general can have more of an impact on your health then you would think. A 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that the exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your exercise habits. So surrounding yourself with likeminded people either through a group program or class can also help you reach your goals faster.
4. Sleep More
Ok this one is a toughy for a lot of my clients so let me know in the comments below how much sleep you usually get and whether you also find getting enough sleep challenging. The thing is, everything is better when you get enough sleep. You are more productive, you have more energy, you get better results at the gym, you have less sugar cravings and are less likely to binge or make poor food choices, you are happier, more creative and you will reach your goals faster!
Can’t add any more hours? Click HERE to learn how to improve your sleep quality.
5. Have Fun
This is so important and as our busy life steamrolls out of control we so often forget that it’s meant to be fun. So find an exercise that you like. That you find fun. Maybe that’s dance or yoga or you love running or riding your bike. You are much more likely to stay consistent and reach your goals faster if you like what you are doing.
Likewise with food. Love pizza or burgers? Make a healthier version that you enjoy and makes you feel good or try out some new recipes. Healthy isn’t meant to be boring or hard. It can totally be fun!
6. Stress Less
Stress could be the thing that is holding you back from actually achieving your health goals. It effects how you digest your food, your energy levels, your hormones….. the list goes on. But rather than trying to avoid stress, figuring out how to help your body deal with stress can be just as powerful.
My favorite way is to simply stop for a few seconds and take some deep belly breaths. It’s like your flight or fight response off switch. Set an alarm to go off throughout the day and just try it. When the alarm goes off, stop and take four deep belly breaths. This is signalling to your body that it doesn’t need to be stressed anymore. There are no lions chasing you and no need for all the extra adrenalin surging through your body. It signals the relaxation response to kick in and helps to reduce the negative impacts of stress on your body.
7. Make It Simple
Have you ever thought I won’t bother going to the gym at all because I don’t have an hour to spend there? Or I have already eaten a brownie this morning so I may as well have pizza for dinner?
Health really isn’t so all or nothing and small simple changes actually can make a huge difference to your health. So keep it simple and achievable. In my own practice I have seen the people who just set one or two things to work on each month end up with at least 12 new health habits by the end of the year and are feeling in control and amazing. Where as people who try to change everything in the first month might get better results in that month, but 12 months later are right back to where they started. It sounds counter-intuitive but actually keeping your changes simple and achievable will help you reach your goals faster!
I hope these 7 tips help you out and I would love to hear from you in the comments below which tip you are going to try out for a little extra accountability!
To your health