When the motivation to change hits us, we want to do as much as we can as soon as we can to get the ‘best’ results.
I see this all the time in my nutrition and health practice. People try to go from zero to 100 in their training and nutrition, and can end up overwhelmed, confused, and in the case of exercise, over-trained.
We have limited willpower
The difficult thing to deal with is that we have only a limited amount of motivation and willpower. These are remarkably high as we get into a plan of action but wane over just a few weeks. So, if we rush like a bull at a gate and try to change everything all at once, or do too many things at the same time, we can run the risk of doing those for only a truly short time.
We can burn out
We also run the risk with our training that we will go from dong very little, into a fairly advanced plan immediately, which only serves to make us excessively tired and sore and we run a greater risk of overtraining and being prone to injury, colds or flu-like viruses when we haven’t attenuated ourselves to greater work thresholds.
We can be inefficient!
Another challenge is that we can end up doing more than we need to do to reach our goals. Put it this way, if, to achieve your physical health or performance goals, all you needed to do (everyone is different) was to remove most sugar from your diet, and focus on eating meals based mostly on natural unrefined foods, further tailoring your diet and restricting things unnecessarily might actually worsen your results, not to mention make it harder to stick to.
That’s why I love incremental improvements
For nutrition, this can involve just doing one small thing (like removing sugar or removing snacks) and building this as a habit that becomes a completely natural part of your routine, and THEN move to further refinements.
For training, especially if you have been very sedentary, this could involve just doing a few pushups, bodyweight squats, and some type of row or pullup each day, building repetitions by one per day. It doesn’t seem like a lot but just imagine if you started with just one pushup and one squat per day and added one per day for 3 months….you’d be doing 90 pushups and 90 squats!…and there is no doubt that you’d be stronger, have greater endurance and be a heck of a lot healthier. Along the way, you probably wouldn’t have shattered yourself and overly stressed your recovery ability either.
Of course, progress isn’t linear and there will be times that you need to back off, even with this type of approach but the results of small, incremental improvements to your exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle regimen can be impressive and more importantly VERY ‘doable’.
In our new Health Kickstart Program at The Holistic Performance Institute, we teach these concepts of incremental improvements within a structure of learning and application in a program including:
- A simple yet highly effective nutrition plan
- An incremental approach to exercise
- Mindfulness and meditation guides
- Lifestyle advice
- 4 weeks of tips, information, and resources to help you both stay on track and learn more about the science and application of health
Sign up here for only $99 NZD (around $60 USD) for a limited time only.