It’s that time of year when, despite the best of intentions and steely grit to get fit again, you start to feel yourself slipping. The 5-mornings-a-week exercise regime and Sunday arvo food prepping are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, and life is getting so busy… oh so busy. Here’s how to stop the slide and get back on track.
First of all, don’t ever think you are a failure or that you are failing. Making changes to your life are difficult for anybody. We love to stick with the norm — with what we are used to. It’s an evolutionary trait and it’s designed to protect us. So take it as a good thing.
“If you’re feeling yourself slip back into old habits; like old priorities are taking precedence, you might be self-sabotaging yourself.”
If you’re finding yourself sliding; like old demands are taking back priority, and you just can’t find time for your new and improved self, reconnect with why you...
The ability to exert self-control is considered a fundamental trait of people who are successful. It has been a long held view since Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiments of the 1960s that people who can exercise self-control at will must possess some kind of super-power.
Self-control, or discipline as it is more commonly referred to by people who sense they lack it, is a learned skill. Like a muscle, self-control can be developed to essentially unlimited levels. But is a strong ability to exert self-control a good thing? New research suggests not.
"Developing your discipline muscle and practicing self-control is important. We should all do it. But we also need to know when to give it a rest and cut yourself some slack."
Most of our current understanding of self-control comes from the work of Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiments of the 1960’s. I learnt about these experiments when I was studying psychology at university and, with...
Imagine if you could wave a magical wand and wallah, you were living the life you’ve always dreamed of. That’s what challenges allow you to do. Challenges have become incredibly popular; particularly in the health and fitness industry, and particularly in Australia.
Challenges speak to peoples desire to challenge themselves. But more than that, their specific timeframe allows people to feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And when it comes to motivation, that is an incredibly important distinction that needs to be made.
"5-day challenges are an amazing way to kickstart any new habit."
Motivation is one characteristic that many people feel as though they lack. And motivation to repeat a given behaviour develops as you experience pleasure from an experience. But if you’re not experiencing pleasure, or worse, you’re experiencing pain, of course you’re going to feel unmotivated. Challenges give you a system to experience pleasure. And...
We all know we should be exercising. But for many people, finding the motivation to exercise, and the ongoing motivation to make it a habit, is extremely difficult.
For a while now I’ve been paying attention to what the people who are successful do in their pursuit of health, and what the people who aren’t successful don’t do. And there is one major distinction.
That distinction is in how they start their journey. The ones who get off to a good start are far, far more likely to not only be successful, but to integrate exercise into their life long-term.
It’s okay not to be 100% healthy, 100% of the time. For most of us, some of the most enjoyable things in life are a little bit unhealthy. Take eating pizza and drinking beer while watching the footy, or sipping cocktails by the pool in Bali; some of the things we enjoy are a little bit unhealthy. But the unhealthy habits some people have are just down right crazy!
I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect. I myself have unhealthy habits, starting with dessert. When it comes to dessert, my favourites are ice cream, chocolate and chips. The trigger for me is the finishing of dinner. And that’s an important association to make — what triggers your behaviour. Whether your habit is what I would consider as quite normal, like mine, or just a tad crazy, like I’ll explain, recognising your trigger is all so important.
"This is all about putting the mindset shift ahead of the physical shift. And this is the way it should be."
I’m used to hearing of...
If you’ve ever struggled with trying to get a flat tummy; or you’ve ever thought a flat tummy just isn’t possible for you — maybe because you’ve blamed your genes, child-birth or a cesarian, then I have some really good news for you!
"There isn’t just one strategy that will help you achieve weight loss and a flat tummy. All five are important."
I’ve been helping people get flat tummies for years. While my experience has spanned the world of athletic performance and injury rehab, one of the most common desires I hear, and take great pleasure in helping people achieve, is a flat tummy. My own partner, Holly, is one of them. After four children in five years together, and five cesarians by 32 - yes, 5 (ask me more in the comments) - I’m working with her because she wants to get her flat tummy back.
Sure, scars make a difference. It makes it hard to achieve a flat stomach when you’ve got a scar that folds the...
Have you ever had enough of feeling fat, unattractive, tired and miserable? I have! Picture this… You’ve finally had enough. You reach that critical pain point. That point where there’s enough pain to drive behaviour. So you get all motivated to go out and buy new runners, exercise clothes, and maybe even equipment. Sound familiar?
I’ve been here plenty of times. I was a chubby kid. And just before I turned 14, I went on this health kick. I left grade 8 a chubby little boy and returned a completely new person. Not only did I look like a different person, mentally and emotionally I was a different person. That 6-week Christmas school holidays changed the course of my life forever.
"...regardless of what your goal is, there is a journey you must take to realise that version of yourself. Your goal might be a stepping stone ten days, ten weeks, or even ten months into the future of that journey."
While I’ve never gone back to being clinically...
Developing motivation can be a tricky and complex process… if you don’t know how to do it. And like I always say, everything comes down to having a series of frameworks that operate within a system. With an effective system, it’s actually really easy.
I’ve spent years researching, putting into practice, tweaking, modifying and implementing strategies to develop motivation. Some of that has cost a lot of money and most of it has cost a lot of time. But I’m obsessed. It’s one of the areas of psychology that intrigues me the most. One of my favourite classes in my psychology course at university was titled, “Learning and Motivation”.
Combining my love of fitness and psychology has been very well received. There’s so much demand for the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated. The three characteristics I hear people say they struggle with the most are:
That’s fair enough. Those three...
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