I love the advice my friend, Steve, gives me when people ask him about losing weight. He’s lost more than 160 pounds since January 1, 2018 and he’s not done yet. The difference is pretty dramatic so he gets that question a lot. This isn’t the first time Steve has tried to lose weight, but this time it is working because he took a different approach.
That different approach works not just for losing weight, but also for gaining fitness traction. If you have struggled to make fitness a habit I’m inviting you to take a 90 Day Step Challenge that will help you finally Win at Fitness.
Research indicates it takes a lot longer than 30 days to create a habit. That’s the immediate goal of the 90 Day Step Challenge…to help you develop the fitness habit that’ll set you up to eventually make fitness part of your lifestyle. But, how you start makes the difference between Winning at Fitness or another fitness fail.
The 90 Day Step Challenge will help you start the right way and build that solid foundation to finally change your fitness life.
The 90 Day Step Challenge is really quite simple…set a daily step goal and hit it every day for 90 days. If you do that, you will transform your fitness journey for on-going success.
Yesterday we talked about setting the correct step goal. It can’t be too high. That will lead to another failure. It can’t be too low either. There needs to be a couple days a week where you feel the challenge. If you missed yesterday’s article, and you want to do the 90 Day Step Challenge, check it out HERE and set the right step goal for you.
Steve’s advice to everyone who asks how to lose weight is counter intuitive. It’s the same advice I want to give you today.
Set a start date.
I’ve always thought of goals as a finish line…something to aim for. And, many goals are just that. But weight loss and fitness are goals that really don’t have an end point. Steve routinely tells people that his goal isn’t merely a number on the scale, but a new lifestyle that has no end point. Fitness is the same way. The finish line is when I can’t move anymore.
Steve started his weight loss journey on January 1. I began my 20k One Year Step Challenge on September 1. There is nothing magical about either of those dates…or ANY date on the calendar. That’s not the point of Steve’s advice. The real “magic” is what happens before the start date.
Understandably, there is excitement when you set a new goal…especially one that is so transforming. You should feel something. It IS exciting! But, that emotion can’t be the fuel that drives the journey. Those emotions always fade. That’s why most New Year’s goals are toast by January 17.
The key to Steve’s advice is something I’ve also recommended, except using different language. I call it Draining the Emotion.
Steve made his decision to lose weight more than a month before he started. He didn’t jump in the moment he made the commitment. He used that month to get ready…to make his plans…and most importantly to think through IN ADVANCE different circumstances that he knew could trip him up.
Lunch has always been a vulnerable time for Steve. He loved fast-food and that’s what he ate most days for lunch. Steve spent the month before he started his plan visualizing what he would feel like at lunch-time saying no to fast food. He got himself ready for those days when he knew the emotional excitement for losing weight would be long gone and he wanted a burger and fries.
Steve set a start date so he could be fully prepared and ready for the life-changing journey he was about to undertake. One of the things I love most about Steve’s story is once he started, he never quit…not even for ONE BITE. That time he spent getting ready helped him absolutely nail this journey. You need to do the same.
When will you start your 90 Day Step Challenge? Set a hard start date. There’s nothing magical about one day over another. But, give yourself enough time to think through how you will handle those days when reaching your step goal will be challenge.
Before I fully committed to my 20k One Year Step Challenge I thought through those days on the calendar I knew would be difficult. How would I handle those? Could I still get 20,000 steps when I’m putting in 15 hours at work? I knew the emotional excitement I was feeling at the beginning of this challenge would not be enough for me to reach my goal on those hard days.
Quick side note-Do not be tempted to adjust the 90 Day Step Challenge from a hard daily goal to average-number-of-steps goal. In other words, my goal is at least 20,000 steps every day…not a daily average of 20,000 steps which would allow me to miss my goal on difficult days as long as I’m exceeding it on the other days.
The 90 Day Step Challenge is designed to help you create a fitness habit that can endure through days when fitness activity is a real challenge. If your goal is a daily average then learning how to push through the difficult days won’t happen.
The real goal of the 90 Day Step Challenge is not a number on the scale or improved health numbers, but establishing an on-going fitness habit. Those other things will follow, but first you must establish the habit and then the lifestyle before you see the life changing benefits.
Set a start date and get yourself ready for an incredible 90 days…and beyond!
Click HERE for the next step where you’ll make a commitment to yourself. So, what’s the big deal if you miss a day? The answer may shock you.
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 has doesn’t stop and builds momentum. 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.