Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Just like clockwork the new year rolls around again, the collective mindset shifts away from food, drink and general festive merriment, and it's time to get fit.
There are two main approaches to changing your body.
The first is to take your time and prioritise modifying habits. The goal being to systematically identify and break down negative habits that don’t support what you want to achieve and replace them with positive alternatives which do.
The second, more commonplace approach is the short term, one-size-fits-all fitness plan.
Intellectually, we know changing habits is the key to lasting change and we know how the traditional plans always end, but notwithstanding our better judgement, the seductive ‘6-week body plan’ draws us in, and the reason why is simple.
The latest plan allows us to disengage our brains, step on the conveyor belt and dream.
A bit like buying a lottery ticket encourages a few days of fantasising. Starting a get-fit-quick plan allows us to dream of how great things will be and pacify the voice in our head.
Critically, the plan also diverts us from challenging our self-image. By engaging in a finite plan, we look out to the world for answers and follow blindly, comforted by the knowledge that one day we can return to doing what makes us happy
It’s far easier to blame skipping work drinks on a Thursday night because you’ve signed up for dry January, than it is to explain that you’ve decided that the routine is doing more harm than good.
To improve your health for good means changing your habits and routines permanently, and therefore a you must be prepared to change at least a portion of who you are and how you see yourself.
The specifics of what you choose to do are irrelevant, what matters is choosing to live intentionally. Being enslaved by old, worn out routines and your own rigid definitions of who you are, will only lead to resentment and a feeling of being stuck.
Just like the cells in your body; your personality, your wants and therefore your own self-image are constantly renewing.
If you want to change, and that’s a big ‘if’, it's essential to be willing to let go of the person you are and all the associated baggage to make room for the person you aspire to be and all the joy that comes with that.