Is your health and fitness routine in disarray? Or broken? What to do when staying in shape feels harder than ever.
How to build a simple, common sense, easy to follow “system” that helps you get back on track.
A healthy lifestyle is never effortless. Take it from me, I take pride in my health and fitness regiment, but even for me, I have come across some issues that have been holding me back.
So, for many of us, it feels unusually hard right now. Know that you are not alone in this.
Yes, stress, overwhelm, and depression may all be contributing factors.
But there’s also a good chance something else happened:
The pandemic just broke your “system.” Like me, I had a simple routine, but just lost it during this critical time.
So what I am going to share with you is why your broken system is making it harder to:
More importantly, I would like to help you build a new health and fitness system—one that’s better designed for you and your current situation.
Just to note, this pandemic will indelibly end. So, where do you want to be when it’s over?
If you did not see it before, you have lots of systems in place already.
In fact, you probably use systems to organize just about every part of your life. A system is nothing more than a method of being organized and getting things done.
Systems help us prioritize what to do and when to do it—so we can complete the actions efficiently and effectively.
Take grocery shopping.
We all do it our own way, but most of us have a method—such as planning meals, compiling a list, shopping on a certain day, clipping coupons, or navigating the aisles in a specific order.
And that structured step-by-step process? (a systematic approach). It ensures we don’t run out of essential items when we need them. Like, say, toilet paper.
Before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, these systems helped many of us fit workouts and nutritious meals into incredibly busy schedules. For me, I had an awesome routine. Coach early morning sessions with members, get my own training in, and then off to work.
Then everything changed.
As a result, our systems were disrupted.
And that’s causing many of us to struggle to maintain certain actions.
Like meal prep.
Like sleep hygiene.
Like any semblance of productivity.
The anatomy of system disruption
Take one of my clients. We’ll call her Jane.
She once had a fitness system that involved a series of steps.
That system worked for her. It got her from home to the gym, without creating a series of “Nah, I don’t need to work out today” moments.
Now, she actually has more time to exercise.
But she’s not doing it. WHY??
Instead, she’s binge-watching Tiger King, Ozark, and following non-sense on social media.
Plus, she’s plowing through the gallon of ice cream that didn’t used to be in her kitchen freezer.
And she’s feeling frustrated. More time on her hands and not knowing what to do with it.
If this all sounds painfully familiar, know this: You’re not the problem. But your system probably is—because it’s no longer working.
This is why systems matter now—more than ever
It’s pretty easy to understand the importance of a system during “normal life.” But it may be even more important now, for three reasons.
Reason #1: Stress powers down our “thinking brains.”
These times are stressful, especially if we’re worrying about the unknowns:
Most people know that stress fires up the emotional fight-flight-freeze part of the brain. But it also simultaneously shuts down the thinking-planning-decision-making prefrontal cortex.
All that makes it harder to keep our priorities front of mind. Instead, our emotion-driven reflexes take over. (This doesn’t usually turn out well.)
It can also just make us feel drained.
Without a system in place, we’re nudged in a direction we don’t want to go.
Reason #2: We can only make so many good decisions in a day.
Think of your prefrontal cortex—your decision-making command center—as the weakest muscle in your body.
The more decisions you make, the more fatigued this part of the brain becomes—making each successive decision a little bit harder.
And you’re probably making more decisions these days than you realize.
After a certain number of decisions, your prefrontal cortex fatigues.
Rather than carefully weighing short-term desires against longer-term priorities, the brain spits out, “I don’t know… whatever.”
And once that happens, short-term desires win.
Reason #3: The pandemic wiped out some of our anchor habits.
An anchor habit is something you do every day—without thinking about it.
For example, brushing your teeth is probably an anchor habit.
For many people, it’s the first step in a bedtime routine. And when they don’t brush their teeth, it feels wrong to go to bed, as if something is missing.
Before the pandemic, many of us had several anchor habits that functioned like the first domino in a series. Once that one domino tipped over, many other dominoes fell right after it, without much effort or thinking.
Let’s say someone—we’ll call him Gary—set his alarm for 6 a.m. every day (the first domino).
I got out of bed and…
But now? There’s no work or school to go to, so now, I am not setting my alarm. And without that first domino, my journaling? It’s also not happening.
Now my entire routine is disrupted.
Onto building my new personal health and fitness system
Please answer these questions they can help you repair old systems and create new ones.
Question #1: What’s important to you right now?
A: For me, it’s about my health and fitness. My personal training is very important to me. Without it, I have a very difficult time staying accountable to the rest of my day/week. This is how I thrive and get things done.
Over the past few weeks, many people have been pondering deep questions.
One of them: Does any of this still matter?
Although that question sounds fatalistic, it’s an important one to consider.
For example, the extra five pounds that used to seriously bug you? They might not seem like a biggie right now.
But maybe other things have moved way up the list, like connecting with loved ones or doing everything possible to avoid getting sick.
So take a moment to consider: What are your priorities?
In other words, what’s most important to you? What’s dropped in importance? And what’s so low on the list it’s not worth putting effort into at all?
Also worth mulling: Do your current actions line up with those priorities? In other words, are you putting effort into what you feel is most important?
If everything lines up: Rock on. You’re doing great.
If not, let’s take a look at what was once working for you (your old system) to see if there’s anything we can use there.
Question #2: What was your old system?
Take a moment to think about how your daily life looked pre-pandemic.
What were you doing consistently to stay healthy? Were you…
What systems once helped make it easier for you to do all of that?
For example, to make vegetables happen, did you….
And what order did all of that happen?
Certain steps may seem trivial. But don’t discount them. They might be a critical domino.
While the example above may not match one of your processes, you can use this approach to troubleshoot any helpful routine, habit, or behavior that’s been disrupted.
For example, in the past, maybe you kept certain foods out of the house because you knew you’d eat them.
But then, as your life completely changed, you are now in a “shelter in place” mentality world and eating things that you haven’t touched in months.
The sight of empty shelves triggered several of my clients to toss all sorts of things in their carts that they didn’t normally buy: chips, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, brownie mix, crackers, crescent rolls. Processed foods with a shelf life of a year or more.
And once those foods were in their kitchens, clients started reporting issues with “eating too much.”
If you can relate, you might decide to re-evaluate what you’re putting on your grocery list. (You can do this by identifying your “red light” foods and implementing a kitchen makeover system.
Question #3: What systems do you need now?
Now that you’re aware of your old system, you’re ready to think about which parts of that system you want to re-prioritize, what parts you no longer need, and what new habits you might want to add. You may want to just start from scratch and create something that you know will put you ahead of the game of life once this pandemic is over.
What should you hold onto? What should you remove?
How might your old system help you… or maybe just remove it and build a new and better one. A system or a program that will…
Here are 3 things needed to get started:
What are your thoughts?
Have you tried any of these techniques before or found something else that has worked for you? I promise if you use these in conjunction with one another you will truly transform from the inside out.
And remember, Embrace the process. Failure is good, we learn from it and apply changes.
Enjoying the journey and learning from it is as important as achieving the goal you set for yourself. Allowing the journey to unfold is the secret to balance, success, and an abundance of experience that you can share with others.
So, if we can support you in your decision toward your best life, just CLICK HERE to let us know, and we’ll get right back with you to schedule a free consultation with us. I would love to hear your story.
To Your Success,
Kipp – KALFIT Coach & Mentor
P.S. If you are ready, you made the decision, now you need to commit to it, CLICK HERE regarding our upcoming 12-week Fit&Lean summer session – Lose 20lbs of bodyfat
Let's have a real conversation about how you can create intention and take action and move forward for the final time, so you never have to start over again.