Let’s get right to it.
I see this far too often working as a trainer in the fitness industry...people here today, gone tomorrow, people starting and stopping, starting and stopping, over and over again not because they lack motivation or even the desire to be fitter and healthier but because they let “life get in the way”. If you fall off, don’t be afraid to get back on, but if that’s your pattern, then it’s time to stop and ask yourself why. If life can get in the way when you're working on building a healthy lifestyle, then you're in need of a changed mindset. Fitness, healthy nutrition, taking care of yourself - has to be a part of your life. And if it's part of your life, then life can't get in the way. Does that make sense?
Life doesn't get "in the way" of you reaching your health and wellness goals. We ALL have life issues to deal with. Even the people with the best health and fitness habits have challenges—no one is immune—they get busy, they may end up sooner or later with ill parents, be facing marital breakups, have problem teens, or be burning the candle at both ends while working and going to school or working multiple jobs—facing times so busy that they are hanging on by a thread. The DIFFERENCE is that they have made their health and fitness habits a part of their LIFE. "Life" has no bearing on these habits because it’s a true lifestyle and priority.
You have to decide if you really want to be successful this time. OR are you just paying lip service? —saying you want to change when really you want to just keep falling back into your comfort zone that is really a prison of unhealthy habits, all the while making excuses as to why you can’t succeed? Will you have a victim mentality or a victor mentality? When you decide you've truly had enough of being unhealthy and want to change your life and prioritize your health, then you have to be ready to accept your fitness, nutrition and wellness program as a part of your life, rather than looking at it as something that life can get in the way of or as something you only stick to when it’s convenient. That means you have to be committed to it. You have to find a way to continuously make this program fit into your life, not expect life to make way for it. Set boundaries—that’s a common issue I’ve observed. Many people fail to set boundaries—boundaries with work, boundaries with people, boundaries in general. What are boundaries and why are they important? They serve to preserve our physical and emotional energy, to help us stay focused on our values and standards, and to identify our personal limits. For example, if fitness is important (and I hope it is), then you must block out clear times for exercise. Make your gym appointment, and keep it! Whatever you choose to do for exercise, mark that time in pen on your date book. Don't let anything get in the way. And if something absolutely has to take precedence, maybe your child's graduation ceremony, then get your workout in at another time. You cannot leave your workout to chance. Set boundaries in both your personal and professional life. When you respect your personal boundaries, others typically will, too. Remember that “you teach people how to treat you.”
For a great article with tips on setting boundaries at work, check out: https://www.inspiringleadershipnow.com/how-to-set-boundaries-at-work/
Another great article on boundary setting, including personal relationships: https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/
Sometimes, though, it’s not a boundary issue...sometimes life just throws us MAJOR curveballs that we didn’t ask for. We may experience very personal hardships. Someone close to us may become ill, or we may lose a loved one. We may lose our job. How do we handle it when our world is shaken?
In reality, sticking to your program during these times will do you far more good than you realize. Being healthy truly helps you handle everything in life more easily. Being physically strong helps keep you emotionally and mentally strong. But most importantly, sticking to your workout schedule and healthy eating plan will also help you feel more stable and secure as you lose your feelings of stability and security in other areas of your life. I can attest to this personally. The gym was my safe haven and literally a life saving therapy for coping through the loss of my mother who was truly my best friend. That was the one thing I felt I could control. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been my anchor time and time again. Since then, I’ve had other losses/life stresses along the way, as we all do, but I didn’t just give up on working out or taking care of myself every time I faced a loss or hardship...no, instead, I clung even tighter to the healthy lifestyle habits I’ve worked hard to build and maintain. Putting your health last or throwing away your healthy lifestyle habits only makes hard times harder. Do you think that putting on additional weight or ending up with a chronic disease due to a poor lifestyle is going to make a stressful time easier? Of course not! Yet, that’s the direction many people head face first towards every time “life gets in the way”. It may take a little more mental effort on your part to get to the gym when facing hardships, but you'll soon find that getting there is like a life preserver, keeping you afloat through these difficult times. It can be challenging to stick with your plan when times are challenging, but by remembering that this is a new lifestyle and not some temporary fix—by sticking to your plan during these difficult times, you'll be far stronger, fitter and healthier in the long run.
Consider this quote by Deepak Chopra: "If you don't take care of your health today, you will be forced to take care of your illness tomorrow." Truer words have never been spoken.
Take these words to heart TODAY—don’t let them slap you in the face later. This message is because I care. You matter!