There are two distinctly different approaches to losing the fat and getting into amazing shape. One of these approaches works. (Every. Single. Time.) And the other approach fails. (Every. Single. Time.)
I call these the Fitness Short Game and the Fitness Long Game. Let’s find out which game you’re playing…
Fitness Short Game: Those who choose to play short are looking for the quick fix. They are looking for the program that will give them dramatic fat loss results in the shortest amount of time. They want results, they want it NOW, and they don’t play to stick with it. This is the instant gratification crowd.
Fitness Long Game: Those who choose to play long are focusing on making lifestyle changes to sustain for the long haul. They are working on steadily adapting healthier habits and putting in the time and effort to maintain these improvements. They are patient and focused on their end goal, knowing full well that gratification will be delayed, and results will be permanent.
Which of these two strategies to you think leads to pounds lost and muscles sculpted? There’s no question that playing the fitness long game is the only way to successfully transform your health and your body.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to play the Fitness Long Game…
1) Create a Long Term Vision
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…and also with a selected destination. The first step in playing the fitness long game is to have a clear picture in your mind of what the success you are striving for looks like.
What will you look like when you’ve hit your fitness stride? How often will you exercise each week to maintain your fab new body? What foods will you eat to support your muscles and aid your fat loss? How many hours each night will you sleep? Who will you spend your time with?
The clearer your vision, the steadier your path, and the more likely your chance to succeed.
2) Learn to Delay Gratification
As you read above, no one attains a hot body through quick, miracle fixes. This means that as you strive towards your goal you will need to practice the art of delayed gratification.
This is not to say that there won’t be victories along the way, to fuel your fire and give you a boost of motivation. Pay attention to every little victory, such as every single pound lost, each size down, and compliments from friends and family. Learn to derive gratification from each inch of progress towards your goal.
Imagine how sweetly gratifying it will be to achieve your long term vision and lean into this feeling when the going gets tough.
3) Fall in Love with the Process
Why is it that you aren’t in tiptop shape right now? Because you’ve fallen in love with the process of being out-of-shape. You’ve fallen in love with the hours on your couch, the comfort food, the late night desserts and the extra hours of sleep in the morning.
Playing the fitness long game means falling in love with the process of getting fit. You must fall in love with the early morning wake up, the muscle pain, the sweaty clothes and the clean foods. Remember, this process is part of your long term vision for your fit life, and so accepting the new habits now, rather than later, will get you to your goals faster.
Won’t getting and staying in shape be that much easier if you LOVED the habits and actions necessary for your success?
4) Take Notice of All Progress
On week 2 of a 12-week challenge you will not wake up looking like a fitness competitor. You’ll wake up sore, tired, and probably hungry. The scale will tell you that you’ve lost a modest number of pounds, and you’ll mentally calculate the percentage left to lose. You’ve barely scratched the surface.
I’ll bet if you tried you could find half a dozen signs of your early progress. Sure, these may be undetectable to everyone else, but it’s your body so you can feel the change before anyone else can see it. Take the time to stop and congratulate yourself on every inch of progress in your journey.
No step is too small to celebrate.
5) Focus Less on What You Want and More on Who You Want to Become
What you want is to look a certain way, to feel a certain way, and to have others look at you in a certain way. It’s easy to imagine what you want. However, it’s who you become that dictates what you get.
Spend time focusing on the kind of person who achieves the things that you want to achieve. What are their daily habits? What do they do differently than you do? What can you learn from them? By focusing on the kind of person that you need to become, you will automatically achieve the success that you want.
Transform your daily habits to those of the person who has achieved the things you wish to achieve.