by Dr. Emil Tompkins, a Tucson Chiropractor with a passion for family health and wellness.
When is the last time you made a decision to change your health? Was is that New Years resolution, was it the “get your body ready for swimsuit weather” goal?
We make decisions to improve our health for so many reasons. But change takes much more than a decision. You have to actually take real positive steps to make change.
But it doesn’t stop there.
How many times have you started something only to see it fade quickly. Most of us are great starters but not so great finishers.
Recently I read a great book by John Acuff called finish and he gave 5 steps to becoming a great finisher. Some of these steps you may struggle with because they run counter to what you may have been thinking for quite some time.
- Cut your goal in half: Yes, in half. Have you ever started something only to quite because you knew you were never going to reach that number? What if you cut your goal in half? What if when you cut your goal in half that you actually reached it? You are so much more motivated to keep going than if you are constantly seeing your goal as something that can’t be reached.
- Choose what to bomb: The perfectionist in us will struggle with this one. But we can’t be amazing at everything. If I am trying to lose weight and I’m great at my diet, great at exercising but I’ve been told that I needed to work out for 2 hours a day and I hate that thought. And every day I fail at my 2 hour exercise goal, so I then eat junk food and don’t take my supplements I fail at the whole plan because I was afraid to bomb in one area.
- Make it fun: This one’s pretty self explanatory. If you hate what you’re doing. You won’t do it for long. I’m pretty sure that I could fall asleep while running on a treadmill. It’s just that boring to me. I would completely fail any health goal if I tried to commit to treadmill running to achieve better health.
- Leave your hiding places: We all have them. What do you find yourself doing that is a complete waste of time, it gets in the way of you achieving your health goals, but you find yourself in that hiding place way too often. Maybe it’s watching Netflix instead of working out, maybe it’s the stop at the store to grab a “snack” instead of bringing food with you or eating at home. Understand your hiding places and get the heck out of them so that you can accomplish your mission of living healthier.
- Use data to celebrate your achievement or to recalibrate: How do you know if you’re achieving your goals? What numbers can you use to help you to see your progress? Or can you track the steps you need to take in a way that gives you a “score”. Let’s use our healthy weight goal for a moment. Pretend you have created some steps to help you to see if you have achieved your goal. Say 1 point each for 30 minutes of aerobic activity, one point for resistance training for the say, 1 point for avoiding added sugar at breakfast lunch or dinner. Maybe even a point for not having bread at breakfast lunch or dinner. Imaging being able to quantify your efforts with a score. Data helps keep you consistent and helps you stay on track.
So there you go, 5 ways to become a good finisher. Follow these steps and watch yourself achieve your health goals sooner.