All of a sudden a moment of motivation, determination and genuine desire to change your lifestyle will hit you and you become motivated to eat healthier food, exercise more, go jogging more often, hang out with other people who are into exercising...
And then you fall off the wagon and go back to your old routine because it becomes so difficult you lose your will power to keep doing it.
For most people this feeling has to come and go many times before actually succeeding with the goal. It happens again and again because somewhere along the way, from all-consuming ambition, to actual results, the plan falls off track because you were too ambitious, too inconsistent and you weren't seeing the results you wanted to see.
1. Too Ambitious
If you have never exercised much and have been eating poorly, and then all of a sudden you vow to work out six times a week and eat nothing but chicken breast and vegetables, you will have a hard time sticking to such a difficult plan. You will feel very tired, sore and the sudden caloric decrease will make you cranky.
Instead of jumping into your ideal fitness lifestyle, try taking your time to get there. It's more beneficial to ease the body into exercise by giving the muscles a chance to "wake up" first and screen yourself for injuries or limitations. Start by changing your diet first and then ease into exercising. Walking, jogging, running, sprinting... You have to learn to walk first.
2. No Consistency
Just saying that you'll exercise six times a week but not dedicate a time and days to do that workout, it won't take long before a week goes by and then, oh yeah right, I forgot to exercise! SCHEDULE A TIME TO EXERCISE!
Scheduling and Consistency develops habits. As human beings, we live around habits, rituals and routine. Developing a positive routine is challenging at first, but once you get into it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without an exercise schedule. Pick specific days, times and duration to guarantee a regular schedule.
3. No Results
Nothing is more demotivating than working your butt off and receiving no results. Sometimes you will even see weight gain first because you put on extra muscle during your exercising instead of shedding fat.
Don't give up immediately. The extra muscle just means it will be easier for you to perform exercises longer and harder.
Anyone exercising will achieve quick benefits such as improved well being, lower stress and better sleep. Those are the benefits many people overlook.
If you are working towards a specific goal (losing 20 pounds in 1 month) then you might be being unrealistic and even endangering your health by trying to lose too much quickly.
There are also many factors that could be stunting your results: Not working out hard enough, long enough, and eating too much or not the right foods. It could also be a simple matter of body composition of muscle and fat changing and you are not seeing results on the scale because muscle weighs more than fat. So even though change is indeed happening within the body, sometimes you just can't see it.
A fitness program also has an element of trial and error. It's important to try different things to figure out what works best for your body - and also for you mentally. Take measurements instead of judging progress on weight alone. If you still don't see the results you are looking for, hire a personal trainer and/or nutritionist to guide and advise along the way to your fitness success.
So how do you change your lifestyle?
#1. Be patient and take baby steps. Start with your diet and then introduce new exercises slowly.
#2. Make a schedule and plan ahead. Knowing when you are exercising increases your chances of actually doing so.
#3. Don't quit if you don't see immediate results. Keep going!