I was talking to a lady recently about persevering with something (it was in a business context) as she was a bit down over some stuff she was trying to implement with her business... Then yesterday, a week on, she started to see things happen. She was really close to giving up but she didn't, she just trusted the process a bit more and then BOOM, things took off.... She PERSEVERED
In the last year I have been watching my baby girl go from lying, to rolling to crawling, to being able to pull herself into a standing position to walking and practically running now. Such a quick transition in terms of learning and adaptation! What I have noticed that has made the process super quick is the amount of practice and repetition she goes through to master a new movement, or perseverence.
From the moment she is awake she spends her time moving into different positions, holding it, moving back into the old position and so on until she gets tired! It's amazing to watch as she has no preconceived idea of what failure is, instead she keeps going until she gets what she wants.
On some level this philosophy can be applied to our own health and fitness. Our improvements in and out of the gym are based on how well we repeat certain patterns of movement and behaviours. For example people who run regularly tend to have better aerobic capacity, those who lift a lot are stronger and those with great nutritional habits have better body composition than those who eat and drink poorly.
This also applies to areas you aren’t so great at! These are the areas we tend to avoid as they are uncomfortable. However the proof is in the pudding. I have had clients who have improved their aerobic capacity by adding in extra running outside of class. Or improved their squat and deadlift numbers by doing body weight squats! The majority have tidied up their nutrition, which has lead to changes in their own composition.
It might sound like a simple process, but it can be hard work so I have put some tips down for you that will help:
1. Change the way you talk about it – We tend to express ourselves through language and that paints a picture for our brain. If we don’t like something our brain tells us to avoid it. So instead of “I hate running”, re-frame it to “I run to improve my fitness”. Such a subtle change, but if you repeat it enough it will change your perspective of running! Recently our team had the pleasure of listening to a sports physcologist called Denis Coen in my gym... His way of explaining how powerful your thoughts can be was brilliant.
2. Do it at every opportunity – Any chance you get to improve a bad habit, take it and spend a little time improving!
3. Ask Quality Questions – If you are struggling then ask for help. Ask for tips and hints. Someone out there has done it and they might have the key to your success!
4. Be held accountable to someone or something - In our gym we use weekly accountability logs.. Nobody has to use them but a good few do. It keeps great awareness about things they are doing and how to keep on track.
This week I asked our members to list a few things that helps keep them focused on improving health and fitness.
Here is the replies I got...
Michelle carb cycling works best for me, i find when i don't do it (which i have been guilty of last few weeks), the pounds & inches creep on. also tracking food on my fitness pal, i find when i use it regularly i keep myself in check & see the results, applies to both food & exercise :-)
Anna Routine is my big downfall. If week does not go as planned and I have to eat out or grab something due to late work or something else I tend to just say feck it and eat wrong foods.
Aisling Enough sleep, planning meals and being prepared for meals (shopping ahead)!
Siobhan Meal planning everything for week before shopping. Bulk cooking. Freeze healthy dinners/soups/porridge bread. I'll never be a winner on the sleep front so I'll have to take ye're word for it
Gillian The only way I feel truly accountable is being weighed once a week that guarantees that I keep on track it is the only thing that works for me consistently. If I know I'm being weighed I find the time for exercise and planning my food without it things slip and I don't get or see the results
Louise Planning meals and getting a gud shop in I find is a huge thing otherwise I'm going for the sweet stuff
The biggest thing I see happening from our logs is the Awareness it creates. You can't solve a problem if you don't know what the problem is!!
Once you do know then you gotta PERSEVERE a little and you will SUCCEED
PS - We have room in our 7pm classes if anyone wants to join in with these ladies. Click 'Contact' at the top if you would like us to help you out..