Often, this can work for us when it comes to health and fitness. Being consistent everyday with your meal planning and exercise are two of the most important factors in realizing success.
Those who take a proactive approach and cook a large amount of meals ahead of time won't have near the stress facing them everyday when they are trying to plan what to eat and find the time to prepare their food.
Studies have also shown that those who exercise at the same time everyday are much more consistent since the exercise becomes part of their 'routine' and they don't even need to think about doing it anymore, it just feels natural. But what happens when something throws this schedule off balance?
Many people will begin to lose focus and will let change affect them in a negative way, halting their progression.
Dealing With Change
The key is to get into the right mindset regarding the changes that are taking place and try and make the most of it.
1. Recognize Opportunities For Growth:
"Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." You've probably heard this saying before. Even when it feels like everything is working against you, by trying to really see the positive side in situations, you can come to understand what you have learned and then later apply this new knowledge down the road.
For instance, maybe you are suffering an injury and are being forced to take time off. Instead of getting all upset over this, take the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your fitness. Maybe you could work on increasing your flexibility?
This will not only help you recover from your injury sooner, but will also prevent further injuries down the road. Make sure you reflect back upon what gave you the injury in the first place. Have you been overtraining? Were you performing a lift using improper form? Recognizing what caused it is the single most important factor for prevention.
If it's more of a lifestyle change that is causing the distress and shifting your schedule around, recognize the opportunity to shake things up a little. One reason for losing focus on your workouts is the feeling like you are going through the same motions day after day, which ironically is also the first symptom of a plateau.
| What's A Plateau?
A level of attainment or achievement in weight loss or bodybuilding where one gets "stuck in a rut," barring further progress or noticable results. As obvious as it may seem, if you continue to do the same thing, you will continue to get the same results. Click here for tips on breaking through plateaus.
You may be forced to adapt to a new schedule, perform your workouts at a different time of day, maybe change your workout plan a little to accommodate a different time frame. All of these things will wake you up and re-invigorate your workouts again.
2. Deal In The Best Way You Know How:
While all of these changes are taking place, remind yourself that no one is perfect and that you can only do your personal best to accommodate what is going on. No one is successful at working out everyday (excluding planned rest days), and there are times when you simply will have to accept that.
One day off isn't going to hurt you, and in fact, it could give your body the little bit of extra rest that it needs. Chances are, if you stress out over it, you will only harm your body more than if you simply stopped worrying about it since you will be releasing greater amounts of the hormone cortisol which is known for breaking down tissues.
3. Talk To Someone About It:
When you are feeling scared or anxious about major changes in your life, it often helps to talk to someone about these feelings. Sometimes they can help to put things in perspective for you and make you see them in a different light.
You'd be surprised too, how when there are adjustments going on in your life you will have a tendency to make them out to see a lot more problematic than they really are. A good personal trainer would be a great person to talk to about this.
They will help to show you that there are ways you can overcome whatever obstacles are being thrown at you without completely sacrificing your progress and goals. Often it will take adjustments to your current diet or exercise plan, however with proper information this will be easily achievable.
4. See It As A Learning Experience:
This is similar to the first point of recognizing opportunities for growth except that sometimes, if it is just a short-term change, you may wish to just tell yourself you will 'go with the flow,' learn what you can from it and return to your normal routine as soon as possible.
In this case, the change is most likely just going to be a week of traveling where you won't be able to work out, or a minor injury set-back that needs some short duration rest time, or possible even a weekend away at your mother-in-law's where you will be pressured to consume meal after meal of rich food.
Whatever the circumstance, every now and again it's a good idea to just let things play out as they will. Nothing major is going to happen in a few days and you will easily recover from it once you get back into your normal swing of things.
So the next time life throws you a curveball, instead of getting all worked up over it and stressing out, try changing your mindframe. Look at it as more of a chance for you to learn more about yourself, become more flexible as a person and possibly even get you out of a rut you've been in and bust through a plateau.
Life wouldn't be as exciting if we always did the same thing day in and day out, so sometimes change, while scary at the beginning, can be in our best interests!