My favorite Ted Talk of all time has to be Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action.” In this inspirational talk, which has racked up over 8 million views and counting, Simon shows that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Always start with Why.
This is probably one of the best business leadership insights of our time. It has helped leaders rethink their strategies, organizations to rethink their approach, and marketers to restructure their communications.
Similarly, I have found that starting a fitness and health journey with understanding your ‘Why’ drives you further than focusing on the ‘How’ or ‘What.’
The intensity of the ‘Why’ drives the longevity of the habit. So ask yourself, Why do you need to get fitter and healthier?
- Is it tied to improving your self-image and confidence?
- Do you want to live a longer, more active life to see your children grow up?
- Is it related to a fear of predisposed illnesses in your family, like heart failure, diabetes, or obesity?
The clearer your Why, the easier it’ll be to implement the tips below.
Once your Why is clear, set realistic goals
Most people set unrealistic fitness or active lifestyle goals. Being realistic starts with being honest with yourself about your time, responsibilities, and finances.
It would be impractical to set a goal for 4 hours of physical activity when you only have 8 hours at the end of a long workday and still have to care for a family, run errands, and rest.
It would be unfeasible for most people to go plant-based abruptly while caring for a family of five, living with partners who insist on having meat with every meal, or having limited options due to budget and retailer constraints.
Once you are realistic about your constraints, map out what you have
Do you want to do some physical exercises every day? Don’t feel compelled to do them at 5 am because all the “cool people” you’ve read about do so. There’s a better way to fit an active lifestyle into your schedule.
Map out your 24 hours on an Excel spreadsheet or piece of paper. Look for a 45-60 minute slot that you can use for fitness.
In the sample 24-hour breakdown above, the client’s free time (13%) equates to about three hours every day, and their entertainment time (8%) equates to about two hours every day. These are the slots they reclaimed time for fitness.
The best part? There’s no reason you can’t be fit and entertained at the same time.
For example, if you like watching the Real Housewives, put on your headsets and go for a 45-minute incline walk on the treadmill while enjoying new episodes on your phone or iPad.
If you like upbeat music, go for a run with your favorite playlist streaming through your earphones. If you enjoy lifting more, lift weights to a Youtube or Instagram workout video.
Even better, get fit with your kids, partner, or relatives, depending on who’s around you.
Fitness does not have to be complicated, especially when you are just starting off. Good habits take time to form.
Lastly, equip yourself.
Nothing is more discouraging than wanting to get fit and not having the resources to do so. Don’t break the bank trying to get fit.
If you want to get into running, get yourself the most comfortable running shoes your budget can afford.
Download food recipes with ingredients in your fridge or ones you can quickly get from the supermarket. In short, get the simplest things to equip your Why, and get ready to rock and roll.
These three simple steps will help you create a life of vitality, good health, and physical fitness.
Start with Why
“For imagination sets the goal “picture” which our automatic mechanism works on. We act or fail to act, not because of “will,” as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”Maxwell Maltz
Until next time, keep moving 😉