100 Days of Eating Clean – Week 6

beach running 460As I’m wrapping up week number 6 of my 100 day challenge I’m happy to report that, despite a less than great day a little earlier in my journey, I’m doing really well. I definitely go through cycles with my mental attitude and motivation to stick to a healthy plan. I wish I knew what it is that lands me squarely in a zone where eating clean and working out is almost easy and what it is that tosses me out of that zone…sometimes for months at a time. I think for many of us who are working on weight loss and getting in the groove with a healthy lifestyle, this is one of the great mysteries of life!

However there are a couple of things I’ve found that do seem to help…

One thing that always helps me stay on track is having a short term goal. Long term goals are great. They tie into the larger vision, the big “why”, but they can lose their power to motivate on a day to day basis. That’s where short term goals pick up the slack. My most recent short term goal was the 30 day program I was testing. I really wanted to finish with good results.

Now that the results are in, what’s to keep me from falling off the wagon? Last year when I did a trial run of a very similar program I lost my rhythm almost immediately after it was over. I was still pretty good about working out, but the diet was not so good and I started to gain back the weight I’d just lost.

The solution is to set a new short term goal. I find that 30 days works really well. Shorter time frames would also work, but I wouldn’t go longer than 30 days. This time my goal is to workout every single day this month. If I need a rest day, I’ll do something easy, like go for a walk…but my goal is to do some type of workout every day.

I also have a weekly short term goal of posting about this 100 days of eating clean. This does double duty. I have the goal of actually getting these posts written and published every week, but the fact that I’m writing posts about how I’m doing with this challenge is helping to keep me accountable. Because whether one person reads this or thousands, I feel accountable to my readers. And I don’t want to have to sit here and write about how I fell apart and ate everything in site and didn’t workout for a week.

Another thing that’s helping this time around is these challenge groups I’m doing on Facebook. I’m a Beachbody coach and challenge groups are one of the main ways that we support people in being successful with their Beachbody programs. The challenge groups are meant  to help motivate and keep the participants accountable, but they help keep me accountable too.

In the past I always thought I didn’t need accountability. I’ve always been pretty good at keeping myself accountable…no outside assistance required. It turns out that “pretty good” was no where near what I could accomplish when I actually got involved with a group who was excited to be there and actively supporting and encouraging each other. As a group leader I need to bring my best to the group and really show up for them, but a lot of times they are the ones who inspire me. Studies have shown that people who are part of accountability groups have a much higher success rate. I’ve begun to see why.

So, the two things I’ve found to have the biggest impact in helping to stay on track with your fitness program are short-term goals and accountability groups.  With a little planning you can make sure to always have a short term goal to aim for. With social media it’s easier than ever to find a like minded group to push you to success.

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