When we think about the hardest part of building lean muscle and losing unwanted fat, we often assume it will be the countless hours spent in the gym and miles of cardio we must perform.
However, if we break down the root of this belief we often find that the biggest hurdle standing in our way is not the workout itself, but the anticipation of the activity.
Have you ever noticed that once you’re in the gym and going about your routine, it doesn’t seem nearly as bad as you had anticipated?
This is because our brain works much like a reward system: We receive dopamine and other feel-good chemicals when we do what we’ve always done. This sensation could come when we watch television after a day at the office, having a few drinks at the end of the night or procrastinating getting on the stationary bike.
Our brain, in a general sense, makes us dread doing difficult activities because it perceives those tasks as something that is dangerous and life threatening. But once the wheels are moving, the brain calms down and acclimates to its current environment.
So if you’re tired of dreading the gym and having feelings of anxiety before leaving the house, we’ve got you covered!
What Gets Planned Gets Done
Simply put, when we leave our tasks and plans left to happenchance, we often neglect and ignore what we know we must do to achieve our goal.
Be honest, when was the last time you said to yourself, “yeah, I’ll get around to that tomorrow,” but you never did it? It’s not your fault: millions of people set certain milestones that they would like to accomplish but never make the effort to get there. As a wise man once said, “tomorrow never comes”!
Instead, we must be proactive about our activities and become someone that does not leave their fate to chance. In the following weeks and months to come, try something new: plan your gym activities, times you will perform cardio, meals you will prepare and people who you may, or may not, engage in these activities with.
According to a brilliant article released by the Huffington Post, the difference between achievers and non-achievers is the level of detail in which they plan their lives. Although their examples covered titans of industry and successful entrepreneurs running million-dollar businesses, the same can be said about fitness enthusiasts.
Sit down with a pen and paper and write down the specific protocol that you will follow this week to ensure you come that much closer to your goals. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you for being overly detailed!
In fact, the more detail you can put into your plans, the better chance you have at succeeding. Use the following questions as a rough guideline for your upcoming activities:
- What days of the week will you be going to the gym?
- Who will you be going to the gym with?
- What clothes will you be wearing during your workout?
- How are you going to get to the gym?
- What meals will you prepare for the upcoming week?
- Do you have any junk food in the house that could steer you in the wrong direction?
- Will you trust an accountability partner to hold you to your word?
- What will you do if you don’t follow your diet regimen this week?
Each of these factors are not meant to make you feel bad about yourself, but rather as a means of reinforcing the champion that lives within you. If you could fast-forward two years from now, you would thank yourself for being so regimented and calculated about your diet and fitness routine.
Lean Into Procrastination
Once we’ve begun the process of getting specific about our health and future, we need to address the elephant in the room: procrastination and the baggage it carries with it. Despite what many may believe, procrastination is the biggest killer of dreams on the planet.
It acts as that thief in the night that comes in and robs you of hope, motivation, energy and positive thoughts of the future. But what many don’t know is that procrastination is fairly weak. Have you ever heard the saying, “that dog is all bark and not bite”?
This means, in a general sense, that although procrastination may seem like this giant unmovable monster, it runs away in fear at the first sign of a fight.
The key to fight procrastination is to not give it any of the life force it needs to survive. When dealing with procrastination, we need to cut off its air supply — time. When we feed our fear the time it needs to grow, it smothers us and renders us immobile. The next time you feel the dull pull of procrastination, act in opposition immediately!
You may be asking yourself what the best approach to this problem is, and we have found a final solution: elimination of points of friction.
In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, we find that procrastination thrives on friction and areas of pain. Have you ever wanted to go to the gym but you knew that you needed to clean some clothes, lay out your shoes, find matching socks, get your water bottle and pack a protein shake?
All of these factors are referred to as ‘friction’ by Clear in his book and are the factors that keep us from performing the actions to get to our end goal.
According to James, the way to ease these points of pain and friction is by planning ahead. For readers that may find themselves working out in the morning, place your shoes, socks, clothes, water bottle and snack beside your bed before going to sleep. This will allow you to rise from your slumber, slip into your outfit and head out the door in less than 10 minutes.
Similarly, if you know that you have trouble snacking on unhealthy food, leave small bags of healthy snacks in areas that you frequent such as the couch and office space. Although this small change may seem simplistic in nature, it reduces the chances of your brain fighting against your will and causing fake reasons as to why you should stay in bed or binge on sweets.
Get Around the Right People
The last piece of advice that we’ve seen work like a charm is surrounding yourself with people that have similar goals and core beliefs. If you wanted to become a champion chess player, would you join a club of individuals that partake in water polo and simply hope for the best?
Instead, we encourage you to find individuals that are looking to get in shape, build the body of their dreams, cook healthy meals and kick procrastination to the curb once and for all. Not only will these people help you find a sense of community and belonging, they will help you when you’re low on energy and willpower.
Even the top producers on the planet need reinforcement from time to time and that’s OK! Likewise, you can also become a pillar of stability for a friend or family member that may need your help in the future. When you help others achieve their goals, you reignite your motivation and push past your limiting beliefs and feelings of inadequacy.
We believe in you and want to see what you can become. Please join us along your journey so we can give you the community, high-quality supplements and piece of mind you desperately deserve.
We aim to help you push past the finish line and set new goals that are beyond your wildest dreams. Years from now you will wish you would have started today!