What are you willing to trade for your goals?
For many of us, health and fitness goals start with an endpoint; a particular dress size, a toned six-pack, a marathon, a target weight…
Reaching these goals is almost definitely possible, but whether you can do it or not often comes down to trade offs – the choices that you make on a daily basis. Add a busy life into the mix along with obligations and the combination of it all can make achieving your goals hard. Really hard. But not impossible.
The question is, is your reason ‘why’ big enough?
Trade offs in action
Throughout the day, we make a series of choices that affect our ability to reach our goals. Chocolate cake or sliced apples. Go to the gym or rest on the couch. Watch a late movie with your partner or go to bed early. Go for a run or take your kid to the playground. Do an intense HIIT class or wind down with yoga.
As a practical example, let’s say you have a goal to lose weight. To do that you might need to find time in your busy schedule to hit the gym and the only gap in your timetable is early in the morning. But you’re so busy all the time that you’re tired each day as well. If you go to bed earlier so that you’ll have the energy to go to the gym in the morning, you’ll miss out on time with your partner or family. If you spend the time with them and go to bed later, you’ll be too tired to put full effort into your morning gym workout. What will you choose to do?
Another example, if you want to get lean enough for six-pack abs, that takes a LOT of hard work. Unless you’re genetically lucky, this means being on point with your nutrition pretty much all day every day. Going to the gym every day. Sacrificing late social nights out with friends to get a decent sleep to recover. The people in the magazines that you see with six-packs have often had their photos altered and professional lighting used, and possibly even gone through extreme bodybuilding competition prep such as dehydration to get there. Even if you achieve this goal, will you be willing to potentially put your health at risk to stay there?
What are you willing to do?
At the heart of it, changing habits is difficult. But as we mentioned before it’s not impossible. How important is your reason why? What are you willing to do, and what trade offs are you willing to make for your goals to become a reality?
Some common excuses that frequently come up for people when it comes to creating new health and fitness habits include:
‘I’m too busy’/ ‘I don’t have the time’
‘I don’t have the money’
‘I’m too tired’
Each day you have a certain amount of time and energy.
How do you want to spend it?
If something is important enough, you can make it happen because you’ll be willing to make the trade 0ffs and sacrifices for it. But if it’s not important enough it won’t happen.
Thinking of this again in relation to a weight loss goal, each of these excuses has a workaround.
Being busy can often be addressed with habits such as meal prepping in advance, finding different opportunities to exercise during your day, and doing shorter workouts. Not having money for a gym membership or trainer isn’t a problem if you do free exercise activities at home, or find nutrition tips online or in books at your local library. Being too tired can be a big one for those with long work hours or households with young children, but learning to say no, delegating some tasks, asking those around you for help and getting into bed as early as possible can help restore energy.
Time to do a self-review
Review your goals, get clear about your reason why and what it is that you want to achieve, and consider how achievable it is. What might you need to sacrifice to get there? Are you willing to do it?
If you put some real thought about this in relation to the goals you have right now, you might find there are things you can do to help remove any excuses and obstacles you might have. On the flip side, you might find that the trade offs aren’t worth the effort and your goals need adjusting.