Change Your Thinking to Win at Fitness

“What are you going to do when you’re done?” I get that question every now and then about the 20k One Year Step Challenge I’m doing. I’ve still got a long way to go since it doesn’t end until August 31, 2019.

My friend Steve Miller also gets that question a lot. He’s lost 147 pounds (and counting) since January 1, 2018. He’s on an eating plan and hasn’t strayed once. Not a single cheat meal. Not even a single cheat bite. Pretty impressive. Pretty inspirational.

Steve on 12/31/17 and 12/31/18

But, Steve isn’t done yet. He wants to lose at least another 100 pounds.

So…we both get asked that question. Our answer is the same. It’s also the key to Part Two of a plan to help you Win at Fitness.

We started with Part One last week. (You can check that out HERE)

This Win at Fitness plan uses walking as your foundational fitness activity. Obviously, there are lots of ways you can reach a fitness goal, but I’m convinced walking is one of the best. (You can read about 9 ways walking for fitness has changed my life HERE.)

The ultimate fitness win is when it becomes part of your lifestyle. It ceases to be this “other” thing you do and becomes simply part of who you are.

Before fitness becomes a lifestyle it must first become a habit. To make THAT happen this must become your fitness mantra.

Start Small. Think Long. 

Over time you will build a chain of fitness wins. Starting small allows you to score wins once the early emotional motivation fades. And, it will. You may feel a growing excitement about turning this fitness thing around. And, you should be excited. But, that will not last. It never does. Just check out a gym in February. Thinking long helps you endure past the emotional ebbs and flows to form fitness habits. 

The conventional thinking is a new habit takes somewhere between 21 and 30 days to form. Sadly, this is not backed up by science. Research indicates it actually takes about 66 days to form new habits. And, for some people it can take as much as 254 days. (James Clear has written a great book about this titled Atomic Habits. He also argues convincingly for starting even smaller than I’m advocating) So, how long will the new Daily Target be your goal?

90 days.

You are free to surpass the Daily Target as often as you want, but that needs to be your minimum for 90 straight days before it changes.

So, what happens on Day 91? We’ll answer that in a couple weeks when we hit Part Four. But, there’s bigger answer, as well. It’s the one Steve and I give when we are asked the question.

What am I going to do on September 1, 2019…the day after my 20k One Year Step Challenge ends? What is Steve going to do with his food plan after he reaches his target weight? 

Keep going. 

This is a lifetime pursuit. I will always have a daily step goal. Steve will always be on his food plan. I love walking and it is the foundation for my fitness win. Steve picked a food plan that he can sustain for the rest of his life.

That’s what we mean by Think Long. This is a lifetime journey. The finish line is a long, long, LONG way off.

Start Small. Think Long.

If you have struggled with a history of fitness fails and the shame that comes from that, Part Three of this series HERE will help you turn that around.  It’ll also come  with a free tool to help you Win at Fitness.

If you struggle with motivation to stick with fitness this blog will help. Don’t be intimated by the title. That’s my goal…not yours. But, my bigger goal is to help you start a fitness journey that builds momentum and never stops. If you click FOLLOW (below on your phone and to the right and above on your computer) you’ll get an email with a link to each motivating article the moment it’s published.

7 thoughts on “Change Your Thinking to Win at Fitness

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