If you’re inconsistent with your personal fitness and continuously cycle between periods of intense focus on working out and spells of not even thinking about fitness, you might want to check out a few of the things people who have made fitness a lifestyle do.
1. They Play the Long-Game and Stop Looking for The Shortcut
There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to obtaining anything meaningful in life. The people who live a fitness lifestyle realize this and stop searching for the 30-day workout program or 90-day special diet that will solve their problems. Instead, they do the hard work consistently over a long period of time.
This approach is much more difficult than bouncing around the newest fad diets or supplements, but it’s the approach that will instill fitness as a habit rather than something that is done on and off. And, just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. In fact, it’s probably more enjoyable and meaningful because of the struggle.
2. They Focus on the Process and Habits Rather Than the Results
Living a fitness lifestyle comes with incredible perks: a great body, more energy, and increased self-confidence to name a few. However, people who have successfully committed to a lifetime of fitness focus on the actions, habits, and processes over the results. They realize that with good habits and systems in place, the results will take care of themselves.
If you only focus on your goal to lose 20 pounds and not building the right habits, you might achieve your goal at all costs but you will likely put that 20 pounds back on faster than you took it off.
Your goals and results will change over time, but the habits can stick around for a lifetime.
3. They Work Out Even When They Don’t Feel Like It ... (with a trick)
Most of us would probably only work out occasionally, if we only laced up the gym shoes when we felt like it. People who have made fitness a lifestyle are no different and face days where they don’t feel like putting in the work. But they’ve learned how to overcome their own laziness and work out even when they don’t feel like it.
They will commit to the next smallest action toward their goal until they’ve eventually done what they didn’t feel like doing. In practice, this looks like committing to just putting on your workout clothes. Then just getting in the car. Then just driving to the gym. Then just doing 1 set of an exercise. Then just doing the next exercise. Before you know it, you’ve completed an entire workout you didn’t feel like doing just by committing to taking a small action.
And, it never ends up being as bad as it seems.
4. They Shift to Viewing Food as Fuel Rather Than a Source of Pleasure…
This is one of the toughest shifts people have to make if they want to live a fitness lifestyle. You have to start viewing food and the things you put in your body as the fuel that affects your performance.
People who have made being in shape a lifestyle know what they want to accomplish with their mind and body and realize the food they put in their body has a profound impact on their output.
But, it’s not all work and no play…
5. …and then They Schedule Cheat Days, Vacations, and Relaxation
Successfully living a fitness lifestyle is not easy and strains the body and mind over time. The fittest among us realize this and schedule breaks in their routine.
This gives them something to look forward to which encourages more intense training in the moment and gives them much needed rest.
What’s the point of being insanely fit and healthy if you don’t eat junk food or spend time sipping margaritas on the beach sometime?
6. They Track Everything
I can almost guarantee you that people living a fitness lifestyle can tell you everything about their personal fitness. They can tell you their weight on key lifts, when they are going to work out next week and how many days they’ve worked out so far this week, how much they’ve slept, how much water they’ve had today, how fast they can run a mile, etc.
They know all these things because they religiously track everything. It helps them see their progress and stay accountable to themselves.
7. They Celebrate the Wins
Celebrating wins is perhaps just as important as acknowledging areas of improvement. People who have made fitness a lifestyle realize this and celebrate even the smallest of wins.
Worked out today? Celebrate that win!
Said no to the donut in the break room? Celebrate that win!
Completed 6-month training program and ran a marathon? Definitely celebrate that win!
Momentum is key to making a fitness a lifestyle and celebrating wins helps keep up that momentum over the long-term.
8. They Place as Much Emphasis on Recovery as They Do Training
One thing you’ll notice about people who have made fitness a lifestyle over the inconsistent athlete is how much attention they pay to recovery. They focus just as much on sleep, mobility, ice baths, and food intake as they do on actual training.
They realize they are playing the fitness long-game and focus on recovery with this in mind.
9. They Give Up on the ‘Go Hard or Go Home Mentality’ and Strive for Incremental Progress
Though they are physically capable of pushing themselves to their limit in the gym, you probably won’t see them trying to kill themselves very often. The people who have made fitness a lifestyle have learned to value consistent, incremental progress over superhuman effort.
They realize this will keep them coming back again and again and prevent burnout.
Again, they’re playing the long game.
10. They Realize it’s Not Just a Body or Weight Loss Goal, but a Lifestyle, Energy, Stress Relieving, Self-Confidence, and Performance Goal
This might be the most distinguishing factor between the casual fitness enthusiast and the person who has successfully made fitness a lifestyle.
Personal fitness gives you so much more than just a nice body and discovering all the other benefits makes it a habit that sticks around for a lifetime. The people who have made it a lifestyle regularly take note of everything their commitment to health and fitness gives them and these feed into their strong ‘why’.
Shifts are simple but not easy. If you’d like help making fitness a lifestyle check out the fitness journal for your body and mind that has already helped thousands!