When we are helping our Strive Fitness members change their lifestyle we always talk about two things; the low hanging fruit and the big rocks. The low hanging fruit is something that you can get done with ease. Conquering it may not get you huge results right away, but they are stepping stones to long term success. A big rock is something that may be hard to move, but it will get you the best results.
For this article we are going to talk about the big rocks. These are the go to factors that you would want to focus on if you want to get results right now.
1. PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP
- Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise when it comes to improving your health, body composition, and performance.
- Our bodies ability to recover from the stressors of life is essential to keeping us happy, healthy, and both mentally and physically strong.
- Excess body fat, hormonal issues, and lack of performance, both in the gym and in the workplace are all common symptoms of chronic bad sleep.
- Focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you are nowhere close to this then focus on going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.
- Limit caffeine intake to before 2 pm and allow yourself 1-2 social outings each week to drink alcohol.
- Create a routine that promotes quality sleep. Avoid all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. Write down everything that is on your mind in your “Brain Dump” journal.
2. FOCUS ON BOTH QUALITY & QUANTITY WHEN IT COMES TO NUTRITION
- Eat high quality whole foods in quantities that support your lifestyle the majority of the time. Don’t be afraid to enjoy life with friends and family!
- The quality of the food we eat is extremely important. In particular, the sourcing of our food is what I believe truly matters. Don’t get caught up on marketing tactics, simply source your food a natural grocer like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sprouts, natural grocers, organic farmer, etc.
- The quantity in which we consume are food is equally as important. We simply need to fuel our lifestyles so therefore we need to ensure that we are eating not only the right amount of calories, but in the right proportions.
- Eat fruits and vegetables as often as possible. If your a numbers person, 800g per day of fruits and vegetables would be ideal. By doing this, you will inherently improve food quality significantly. Micronutrient,
phytonutrient, and fiber intake will increase leaving you feeling better, less bloated, and more energized.
- Include a good quality protein source at every meal. Meat, fish or plant based proteins should be included in every meal to ensure adequate protein intake.
- Prioritize grocery shopping and cooking your own food. The food that we put into our body is literally what determines how we feel, look, and perform. Sometimes we don’t have control of the quality of our food, it’s ok. Simply focus on eating the food in quantities that support your lifestyle and you will be just fine. Nobody ever got fat by eating one bad meal or having one bad day.
- Stress is inevitable in the society we live in today. Under sleeping, under eating or eating poor quality foods, work, friends & family, etc. can all impact the way we feel, look, and perform. Like most things in life, the key is finding balance.
- How do you know if you are handling stress well? In general, you should feel motivated, energized and hungry to keep working towards your goals. However, if you begin to become anxious, unfocused, or lose passion then it might be a sign that your stress is too low or too high.
- Goal setting, committing to a morning routine, tracking progress, and reaching out for help when in need are all part of the process of obtaining a goal.
Stress Relief Hacks:
- Do things that make you happy! Whatever it is for you, make it a priority to put yourself first every once in a while.
- Do things that stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. Going for a walk, enjoying nature, relaxing music, meditation, yoga, sex, etc.
- Practice self love. Self affirmation, positive mindset, expressing empathy, and always failing forward are all characteristics of successful individuals.
4. STAY ACTIVE
- We live in a world that moves less than ever before. We sit in our car, we sit in the classroom, we sit at our desk, we sit at the dinner table…basically we sit the majority of the time. Not to mention, most people completely ignore their posture when seated. This leads to bad posture, back pain, etc. We simply need to focus on moving more.
- Listen to your body. Whenever starting a new diet or workout plan, always be sure to assess your current sleep, energy levels, digestion, mood, hunger levels, etc. If your having issues in any of these areas, the goal would be for them to improve as you continue.
- Staying active simply allows us to feel, look, and perform at our best. Dependent upon your and your lifestyle, find something that you enjoy and stay consistent. Find a routine that works for you and stay committed to accomplishing your goals.
Hacks To Staying Active
- Find a workout partner or community that keeps you accountable.
- Choose a workout program that makes you feel, look, and perform better.
- If you don’t enjoy working out, then strive to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUALS
- “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This quote really does hold true. If you are not happy with your current situation or you feel that you have toxic people bringing you down, you must replace that person with a more positive individual that inspires you to be better.
- Seek mentors in your life to learn from. Sometimes these mentors aren’t always in person. Following people through books, podcasts, etc. can still allow you to learn from successful people and their experiences.
- Positive vibes are contagious. Success is contagious. Surround yourself with like minded individuals and watch your life improve in more ways than you thought possible.
- Read 1 book per month. Reading text or listening to an audiobook is an amazing way to inspire yourself through education and real world
- Network with individuals that you aspire to be like or challenge you to think differently. Social media has allowed us to reach people that we never could before, take advantage of the opportunity and sen whoever that person is a direct message. What the worse that will happen? That individual doesn’t respond…
- Seek out a mentor. Physical or socially, mentors are all around. Be careful not to fall for a self proclaimed expert that just wants to make a quick buck off of you. Seek out somebody that inspires you to to become the best version of you. We all have one life, one opportunity to make it the best life!