As they say, ‘procrastination is the thief of time’ and there’s always that possibility that procrastination can creep in whenever an individual decides to set out on a new activity or vocation especially if it involves getting fit. This is why for the beginner; the first requirement would be mental cultivation of serious commitment to practice. This helps to reinforce determination. It keeps you in check against those afflictive thoughts and emotions by which we are all assailed from time to time while also helping us to maintain a calm mind. Personally, I carry out my own mental cultivation through meditation.
To start off I suggest you begin by focusing, think mindfully about how to improve the things you repeatedly do, because these are the things your brain and mind will continue to support and encourage. The more something is rehearsed or practiced, the stronger the neural connections become. So ask yourself: What behaviours do I want to reinforce?
When you're feeling motivated and mindful and ready to take action, your brain releases the chemicals and hormones that are required for transformation to take place in your mind. On the other hand, when procrastination hits or you're feeling distracted, disinterested, or doing something trivial that doesn't need attention, your switches for change turn off. Our habits and patterns such as; checking your smartphone when your hands are idle, get ingrained into our brains, which strengthen the neuropathic ways for this type of behaviour. Luckily, the good thing is that our brain is capable of positive change and growth. No matter how old you are, you can improve, you can learn how to avoid procrastination and live a healthier and happier life. By retraining your brain, you won’t stand anymore on the edge of your potential; you’ll start fulfilling more of what you are capable of achieving. When you change your brain, your mindset changes, and when you change your mind, you can change your life.
Unless we make time and a proper commitment for the things we tell ourselves and others we are going to do, we will always have other obligations and more pressing concerns while unexpected circumstances may intervene at any time.
The major problem that I’ve come across with clients is “The all or nothing approach”. It is not a very often heard term and is a newer concept, but this technique, without its name, has been living since the concept of fitness and low fat diets emerged.
When you are on this ‘All or nothing’ merry go round, you are incredibly strict with your diet, carefully measuring every staple food that you take and by the end of the week you lose control and eat all that you can because you think you deserve it. Let me explain to you what happens; When throughout the week you go ‘all in’ and restrict yourself, what goes wrong when you go ‘all out’ is that you may eat anything in front of you or eat till you’re stuffed because you feel that you deserve it. Such eating behaviours may lead to habits that lead to disorders at which point they become very hard to break. It doesn’t only affect the diet, it also affects the mental and physical health. If you’re not able to work out one day or you have a shorter time for your session, you skip out on that day and sometimes because of missing that day, people miss out on the whole week because missing one session ruins the whole week for them. I have been observing this pattern repeatedly happening over and over again with clients.
If you’re still not getting my point what I plainly want to say is that when we view health & fitness as all or nothing, it’s impossible to avoid these types of reactions. One minor deviation from the plan leads to another and another and before you know it, you’ve been off your training and nutrition regimen for days. Then we swing back to the opposite extreme, rinse, and repeat. This approach is a silly and a counterproductive one. I like to bring the following examples; If you lose one euro out of your wallet, you throw away the whole wallet in garbage? Or like slashing one tire and then slashing the other three as well because well, all or nothing!
I have heard so many people say “I was doing so well this week, and then X happened. It was all downhill from there.” The best thing is to change your thinking by first finding a middle ground and then letting “good enough” be good enough. With that, you will not get caught in the “all or nothing approach” pattern or the guilt cycle as that could discourage you completely and leave you unable to achieve your fitness goal.
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