The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between

Quick Tip #7 ~ Make Life Easier for Yourself

In my last Quick Tip ~ Inundated with Information?  I said that I’ll give you some methods that will help you in not becoming overwhelmed with the amount of information and to make a more solid decision.  Here’s 3 tips and 3 book recommendations to get you started on your path.

1 – Set rules and limitations – More importantly, follow them. If you’re going to try a workout program, give yourself 6 weeks to add the whole the workout routine into your life and 6 weeks of completing the program as it should be done.  Then notice the limitations and your results.  What you liked, hated, would never want to do again.

2 – Have guidelines – For me and eating, I can’t have gluten.  Having this guideline makes it so easy to make a choice when it comes to food.  Does this have wheat or gluten in it.  Yes?  Ok, no, I won’t eat that.  That cuts out a significant pool of choices that I would normally have to make.

How about working out?  The goal is get to the gym, no matter what – except Sundays.  If I have only 15 minutes, so what?  I go.  The only rule is to get to the gym.  I don’t try to add, a time amount such as an hour and a half.  I don’t try to add lifting heavier than last time or adding a rep or two.  No, the only goal is to get there.  By having that one goal though, most of the other goals tend to fall into place.   But my focus can’t be on those 5-10 other things – it has to be on that ONE thing.  Have one major guideline to follow and focus on that one thing.  Allow the others to fall into place or until that ONE thing is your fall-back habit.

3 – Know what’s Important to you, disregard the rest – Are you trying to lose weight, then start tracking your calories.  Just track them.  By doing that one thing, you will learn more about foods, how many calories they have, how much sugar, you’ll get used to reading labels, etc, and by doing so, you will be a a much better place to see how those different foods effect you because you’ll start to become aware of what you’re eating and when.

If you’re trying to gain weight, eat more and recognize that you’re going to be full quite often.

If you’re trying to gain muscle and lose fat, then track your calories, eat about 300-500 above maintenance and add carbs only around your strength training workouts.  More importantly recognize that progress will more than likely be slower than focusing on one aspect and then the other.

4 – Read more – Here’s the three books that I think everyone should read.  The first is about how people differ in their decision making and why.  In particular, some people focus on good enough and others on the best, and this difference causes a lot of problems for those seeking “the best.” Read The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz.

The second has a lot of research that is similar to The Paradox of Choice, but I liked both, so I’m recommending both.  In truth though, one or the other could suffice to help you make better decisions.  Read Stumbling on  Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.

My last book recommendation talks extensively about how people actually make decisions and really, it’s just interesting.  If you’re not a huge fan of reading, I would stick to one of the other books, but from a knowledge of how it all comes together, I think this book is an interesting read.  Read Sources of Power by Gary Klein.

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