Everybody on the planet is trying to sell you the best thing. The optimal thing. The perfect thing. The problem with the perfect workout or the perfect diet is that they often require much more time and effort and the likelihood of you failing at a perfect plan is far greater. If you want to be a championship athlete, you might need to spend 3 or more hours a day in the gym, but right now, you can’t seem to get 3 hours a month of time in the gym. Similarly someone can write out the perfect diet plan for you, but if you are chasing it down with 3 sodas or 3 beers a day it’s not gonna work. The allure of the best program makes us want to buy it because it promises the best results. As consumers we can’t help ourselves. However, as General Patton observed, “a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
I am selling you a good plan which you can violently execute now as opposed to some perfect plan that you can execute next week. I’ve read several books on building habits and one thing that they agree on is that you should start with small, easily achievable steps. Tell yourself you are going to do 1 pushup a day. It’s so stupidly simple to do that you can’t possibly fail. Of course, 1 pushup will not get you fitter. However, the chances are that once you are down on the ground you will bang out a few more is highly likely. And once you break a sweat you might as well keep going. But we have all started a plan or new year’s resolutions with lofty goals to do 100 pushups a day and failed after day 3. The worst case is you do 1 pushup but on the hand, anything extra is something to be celebrated. 10 pushups is 10x your goal of 1 per day, but if your goal was 100 then it would be 10% of your goal. Set yourself up for big wins instead of big losses.
Start with the goal of eating 1 piece of fruit or 1 vegetable a day or drinking 1 glass of water.
To be clear I am not selling you the 1 pushup and 1 glass of water diet and exercise program. But it’s pretty close. I’m 49 and I have two kids. I don’t have a ton of time to workout. I have some nagging injuries that keep me from doing some things. I have a lot of excuses and so do you. But despite that I workout and train and try to get better as I get older, both mentally and physically. How many times have you said, I don’t have the time? You don’t need the best workout routine or the best trainer in the world or an expensive gym membership. You need to get off your ass for 5 minutes and start a small habit of exercising during commercials or whenever you go into the kitchen. Pick something that triggers you to get up and do that 1 pushup or drink that 1 glass of water or whatever it is. Maybe you tell yourself you can only look at social media while you are stretching so it will force you to stretch a couple of times a day or, if you really hate stretching, it will cure you of your phone addiction.