A lot of guys I coach expect success to be instant. In this age of instant gratification, the thought of immediate results is a temptation few can resist.
While you can make incredible changes to your body composition and energy levels in as little as two weeks, making lasting changes to your health and fitness levels should be thought of as a marathon that lasts a lifetime.
Life is long.
Taking consistent action towards your goals each and every day will add up over the weeks, months, years, and decades. One day you will wake up and realize you are where you always wanted to be. As men’s yoga guru Ragunath Cappo once put it: “A plane takes off for Los Angeles. If it’s off a few degrees, it lands in Seattle.”
You are on a trajectory right now. Taking consistent action every day will, over time, completely alter that trajectory and land you in a new destination- the one you desire.
However, when it comes to fitness, we must be careful in our definition of action.
Engaging in exhausting cardio workouts every day will deplete your glycogen stores and raise levels of cortisol. Having an intense lifting session every day will lead to burnout or injury. This is all counterproductive and can derail us from our health and fitness goals.
When I was in my early twenties, I discovered P90X. While I started off enthusiastically, popping in the DVD each morning and religiously tracking my progress in a binder full of workout sheets, I quickly burned out and was unable to sustain that level of activity.
While I think Tony Horton is a great trainer, I no longer subscribe to the kind of kick-your-ass every day training methods promoted in programs like P90X.
On off-days from the gym, action can mean doing some light stretching or taking a yoga class. It can mean carving out time every day for meditation and stress reduction. It can mean going to a farmer’s market and buying fresh produce for a green smoothie.
Taking action toward your health and fitness goals each day will help you build momentum until these actions become healthy habits. Eventually you will engage in the actions automatically and they will become a part of who you are.
Reframe your expectations from instant gratifications to long-term success.
I’m a big fan of biohacking, as made popular by guys like Dave Asprey. Biohacking is the process of making changes to your diet and lifestyle that are essentially shortcuts to optimizing your own biology and feeling your best. However, biohacking still implies instant success and gratification.
Author Brad Kearns has coined the term “Longcuts”, which refers to changes you can make to your health that require more time but offer more long-term benefits, such as eating mindfully, and moving more at a low-level aerobic pace every day.
Incorporating such longcuts are the appropriate actions you can take each and every day.
Taking consistent actions will bring successful results.
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