Getting started with a health program is a daunting task.

Their is so much information out there pulling us in competing directions.

Information overload is the most common reason for not beginning at all

To that end, here are some tips to ease you through the getting started process – regardless if you start at a gym or begin on your own.

1. Start with something you KNOW you will succeed at

The keto diet that helped your friend lose 50lbs isn’t helpful to YOU if you have no time whatsoever to cook.

If you have no time to cook, you can imagine that committing yourself to a nutrition plan that requires that ability is a guaranteed way to fail and will be a huge hit to your resolve.

So start with something you KNOW you will succeed with – this will build up your optimism, motivation, and lead to additional good choices.

Remember – something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

EXAMPLEIf you are not the person who cooks at home but still want to lose weight, you could try making a commitment to remove sweetened beverages from your diet. Stick to alternatives like diet drinks and unsweetened tea/coffee.

2. Verbally and Socially Commit Yourself

The programs that get you the best results don’t supply you with some miracle plan.

They DO supply you with accountability and coaching.

If you want to succeed with your new goal – create some social accountability by sharing your intention and your goal with your family, friends, and co-workers.

When your motivation wanes, your family/friends can help push you towards the finish line.

InsightIt’s extremely common for friends / family to unintentionally sabotage your health efforts. They might invite you out to dinner and drinks when you have a prior commitment to your workout. By letting them know of your goal and intention they will be less likely to unintentionally throw a wrench in your efforts.

3. Know (and visualize) the challenges you will face

You WILL face challenges with your schedule

You WILL face temptations – from foods, friends, social events, holidays, and birthdays

You WILL feel sore, fatigued, and out of your element

You WILL go days, maybe weeks without motivation or inspiration

It’s important to talk/visualize about these things BEFORE they happen.

The more clearly you anticipate the upcoming challenges, the more prepared you will be to overcome them.

InsightOne of the best things you can do is create “contingency plans”. This exercise would be writing down the list of potential barriers that might come up – and then writing out how you will go about overcoming them.

4. Work in your Zone of Proximal Development

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Choose a task that is TOO easy and you won’t see results. You’ll get bored and lose motivation

Choose a task that is TOO hard and you’ll be unable to stick to it. You may see results for a short time but you’ll be filled with anxiety – 

how will I ever stick to this”

or

“I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way”

Choosing the right task will entail making mistakes.

You might choose to add in 3 hours a week of exercise.

Only to find out that your husband can’t make it home to be with the kids despite his deep desire to support your exercise habit.

So you may have to switch your task from 3 hours a week of exercise

To going for a walk for 30 minutes 5 times a week.

InsightKNOW THAT YOU WILL NEED TO CHANGE YOUR TASKS. THE TASKS YOU SET FOR YOURSELF ON DAY 1 WILL MORPH AND CHANGE DESPITE YOUR BEST INTENTIONS – THIS IS NORMAL, GOOD, AND WILL RESULT IN YOUR LONG TERM SUCCESS.