The Most Important Step

Today, I’m going to talk to you about taking the most important step, and why it’s so important. Committing to something can be a daunting prospect, particularly when it comes to health and fitness, firstly because of its relevance to you, and secondly because of the changes it often requires to your lifestyle. I’m not going to lie to you, it is very easy to fail. And because of that, because of the fear of failure, most people decide to not even try. But they keep thinking about it, just never acting on it. How many times have you thought about losing some weight, toning up, going on a diet, signing up to the gym? Now, I don’t really consider thinking about something ‘the most important step’. Anyone can think about something, only a few people actually act on it, but it’s still important.

Generally, it’s a cycle, and most people are at different stages of that cycle. It starts with nothing, there’s no thought in your head. Technically, the first step is thinking about doing something, going on that diet, or joining a gym. It’s just the idea. The next step would be looking into it, so actually researching the idea. Now, this is a fairly important step to take, because it means your mind is resolving to do something. It matters that much to you, that you’re investigating the possibility. The third step is committing to it, often financially, such as buying a diet plan or book, or a gym membership. The step after that, the one I consider the most important, for obvious reasons, is actually doing it, starting your diet, or physically going to the gym. The final step is stopping or quitting, and then you’re back to nothing, and maybe we repeat the cycle again.

Now, I’m going to focus on that fourth step, the most important one, the doing step. In this context, it’s getting on that diet, cleaning up your nutrition, or starting to get fit, going to the gym. It’s the most important one, because it’s the hardest step, but easily the most effective. It’s the step where things actually happen. Overcoming that difficulty, that fear, that laziness is how you get the change you want. Our brains are sort of naturally hard wired to be fearful of the unknown, fearful of change, but if you can overcome that, and commit to something, it won’t take long for you to settle into a healthier routine. As a personal trainer, you’d be amazed at the number of people who tell me that they love exercise now, having given it a go, or even that they hate exercise, but they love how it feels afterwards, or the sense of accomplishment they get after a session in the gym, or the differences they’re starting to notice in their body and fitness. Taking this step is the hardest one, but you might find that once you have, walking through it is much easier.

Nothing, thinking, researching, committing, doing, done. That’s basically how the cycle goes. Whichever stage you’re at now, you should be focusing on the next stage, even if you’re in the doing stage. You should be focusing on that done stage, and keeping very far away from it. Because I’m sure it’ll be tempting, but I can almost guarantee you, if you’re done, then sometime in the future you’ll want to start this cycle all over again, and you’ll be in a worse position for it. Think of how many times you’ve signed up to something, and then ask why. Because you never achieved what you wanted to achieve, or you didn’t maintain it. Get doing, and once you properly do, you’ll see the changes you want, and your brain won’t have anything to fear anymore, it won’t fight back so much. Doing is difficult, but rewarding. Seeya next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer