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FEEL RICH TIP OF THE WEEK: Overcoming Hurdles to Progress!

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Editor’s Note: “Feel Rich” is our partnership with QD3, the talented son of music legend Quincy Jones. “Feel Rich” is all about creating a healthy lifestyle for Hip-Hop culture – both the artists and the fans. Enjoy!

When was the last time you made a commitment to change your workout or diet status? What was the end result? Did you make a lasting change? Are you doing it today?  

The problem is not in the intention. It’s not in your desire to change. It’s in your preparation. And the preparation MUST begin in your head. Changing habits (for better or for worse) always begins in the way you think.

Talk to any professional involved in major life changes (from addiction counselors to doctors to personal trainers), and you’ll find they preach the same message: “If you can’t envision it, you’ll never achieve it.”

With that, here are the biggest hurdles to progress:

1.    Justifying cheating. “It’s okay to have McDonald’s today. I’ve been good all week, and I even did a few extra minutes on the treadmill yesterday!”  This kind of thinking will only get yourself into trouble. Doing a little extra is great and will help you reach your goal faster. However, it doesn’t justify getting off track with your diet and workout plan. Cheating feels good in the short-term, and it’s easy to have one skipped workout or one cheat meal lead to many more.

2.    Not setting yourself up for success. Having bags of potato chips lying around and watching movies all weekend is a surefire way to make sure you fail. Let’s be realistic here. Even the most disciplined, motivated person is going to mess up if they are surrounded by temptation constantly. Clear out all that fatty food and make it harder for you to cheat. If you know you’ll be tempted to cheat at a certain time of the day, have a healthy snack ready for just that reason.

3.    Not getting a support group. You need people who believe in you and will keep you honest. People who support and encourage you. If you surround yourself with positive people who challenge you to grow as a person, it’s hard to go back to bad habits. Before you make a lifestyle change, talk with those closest to you. Once you let them know how important this is to you, they can keep you on track and cheer you on along the way.

4.    Not doing damage control when you slip. I know you don’t want to hear this, so brace yourself: You will mess up on your workout and/or diet! It might not be a big slip-up, but it will happen. Something will get in the way, you’ll be tempted by your favorite food, or your schedule will stop you from getting in your workout one day. When this happens, DON’T FREAK OUT! Brush it off and continue on your plan. You messed up, but it’s okay. Just don’t let it be an excuse to sabotage your plan. Eating one bowl of ice cream is okay. Eating the whole container “because you already cheated” is not!

5.     Not allowing yourself to enjoy the process. Take note of the changes you make! These small victories will fuel your fire to keep it up. Take a picture before you begin anything. When you look back at it in three months, you will hardly recognize the person in the picture, even though you didn’t think you were making much progress.

So before you set your next goal, remember to put in the mental work to set yourself up for success. It might seem like a hassle now, but how many times have you started to make this type of change and ended up failing? Take a few minutes to set yourself up for success and you will it will be so much easier to stick with long-term.

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