The Four-Step Start

Starting and sticking with any program is a challenge, perhaps even more so for someone starting a program of exercise and/or healthy eating. Old habits aren’t easy to break.
Here’s an outline for a process that I think can lead to success, what I call The Four-Step Start.

Set Goals

We need both short-term and long-term goals. Someone new to exercise might set a short-term goal of walking a mile every day immediately after breakfast. The action trigger can be the completion of breakfast. After a week or two of success, the mileage can be increased.
Long-term goals can be quite varied. A friend recently said to me, “I exercise because I don’t want to be a burden to my children.” Another said, “I exercise because I want to be active and healthy so that I can watch my grandkids finish college, get married and have children of their own.” Mine is to do “90 at 90” – cycle 90 miles when I am 90 years old. That means I need to take care of myself now if I expect to be able to achieve this goal.

Write Then Down

There is great power in putting pen to paper. This step moves the goals from an idea to a commitment. Recently I wrote down my own goals for the next three months. I’m doing a much better job of completing them weekly as a result. I also record the weekly results.

Tell Everyone

Share your goals with others and ask for their support. My wife and I recently decided to become pescatarians – we no longer eat red meat or fowl but we continue to eat seafood. I’m telling everyone, which helps increase my commitment. I’d look pretty foolish if I ordered a hamburger in front of any of them. Public information has more impact than private information.

Prepare to Stumble

All of us have setbacks. We get sick, travel, have work commitments and face other impediments to achieving our goals. We need to anticipate these and remember the reasons why we’ve initiated the changes we’ve made. Reviewing our success to date can help us get back on the wagon.

Someone said, “Define the process that leads to success. Learn to love the process. Be committed to it. Be patient while you wait for it to work. Define success in terms of how well you honor your commitment to the process.”

This entry was posted in Motivation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Four-Step Start

  1. Neale Sweet says:

    This is excellent advice for any kind of significant change you want to make in your life. It applies to almost anything, not just to your exercise program. Let’s say you want to be more active in managing your own investments and not just be at the mercy of your broker or professional money manager. If you follow this simple four step process, and stick with it, you will succeed. Commitment to the process is the key. Don’t give up at the first bump in the road. Keep at it. It has worked for me in with exercise and lots of other details of my life. I highly recommend it.

    • Harry says:

      Excellent comments. Neale; we’re in total agreement. I’ve used this process in business as well as exercise. The key for me is not to skip the steps of writing goals down and sharing them.

Comments are closed.