I’m fundamentally opposed to strict diets, fasts, pills, potions, extreme exercising. I think that too much restriction causes mental fatigue (read: loss of motivation, focus on the end result, etc.) and can be counterproductive in the long run.
However. I know that sometimes one needs a jump start. A kick in the pants. Time to seriously focus and get their head straight.
So here’s what I propose. Instead of putting yourself on a long-term restrictive diet or intense exercise plan, create or start a 30 day challenge.
Challenges are a great way to throw yourself into something that has a definitive start and end date. Your challenge can be to accumulate minutes exercising, a “streak” for running, ditching soda, snacks or eating only “whole” foods.
Challenges, by definition are things that require work and commitment. If it’s not pushing you, it’s not a challenge. So make your 30 day challenge something that’s hard but do-able.
So let’s say your challenge is to not each junk food. But one evening you end up eating a bag of chips while binge-watching Breaking Bad on Netflix which is now streaming over your tv? Is your challenge over? No siree Walt! You brush the crumbs off yourself, the couch, the carpet and tomorrow is another day.
You may not have 100% success on your challenge but isn’t 90% better than nothing? I say yes.
So here is your homework:
- Create a challenge, set a time frame.
- Write it down.
- Figure out a tracking system. Either stickers in your note book, “x” on your calendar or you can do one of my favorites, make 30 little post it note flags (numbered 1-30) and stick them alongside your computer monitor. When you go to bed, pull one off. It’s amazing how motivating those little suckers are 🙂
- Reward yourself at the completion of your challenge.
- Make a new challenge
Now go run!