4 simple rules for long-term fitness success

4 simple rules for long-term fitness success

Life advice

Text: Yeong Sassall

James Anderson knows that practice doesn't all make perfect - but it can't hurt, either

I personally find it so easy to motivate and stay consistent when it comes to exercising, eating, and living a (relatively) healthy lifestyle. The reason for this is that I have a deep knowledge and understanding of health and fitness that it's become so simple, basic, almost second nature to me to live this way.

However, I'm also incredibly empathetic to the fact that this is not the case for the millions of others out there and that instead of being an easy process, it quickly becomes overwhelming and prohibitively hard. The reason for this empathy is simple; it's because I've personally had an incredibly hard time in some of the other areas of my life, one of which being writing the very words that you're reading now. Yup, I struggle with writing.

I know, I know, sorry to burst your bubble in thinking my words were reminiscent of reading an early Hemingway, but the truth of the matter is, I only received 23% in English! I was also (unfortunately) told by my teacher at a young age that I would never amount to anything if I failed her class. Well, it's now almost 17 years later and I can honestly say that the only thing more damaging than being told by someone that you're going to be a failure, is if you believe them - which sadly, I did.  

So, I promise you, I get where you're coming from.  But... I also know from my experiences and struggles with writing, that although it might be hard, it's not impossible, it just requires that you understand, acknowledge, and accept a few tough truths about life in general.

1.  Perfect practice

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When it comes to life you need to understand that it's not about being perfect, it's about trying to perfect the practices that will make you a healthier and happier version of yourself. Far too often we believe that unless we're good at something at the beginning, then we'll never be good at it.

Yeah, well I call B.S on that one. Don't believe me? Well, I dare you to try and fail at something by practising it as often as you can for an entire year. Go on! Sure, you may not end the year as a world champion, but chances are you'll be able to hold your own. Because although practice doesn't make perfect, it will eventually make you better.  So...

Want to be a better runner? Then practise.
Want to be a leaner version of yourself? Then practise.
Want to be a swimmer? Then practise.

2.  Consistency

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You know how I said you should try and practise for a year, I meant it. When I first started out writing articles, it would literally take me two weeks to write a thousand words. Then it would take me another week stressing about grammar and punctuation before I thought it was even close to being "OK". But, regardless of how it felt, I just kept on struggling through it. Day in, day out.

And that's the secret, don't stop. Whether you feel like it, or not.Because when it comes to your health, it's not about the best diet or exercise regime, it's about finding something that fits within your lifestyle and just doing it! You're not supposed to love every minute of it, after all, it's not chocolate!

3. Stop listening to the naysayers

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I know that saying this now seems a little hypocritical now considering it took me 17 years to believe this myself about my writing, but if you want to do something to better yourself, then please don't let other people's negative words stop your positive actions. Don't ever let someone force their opinion on you, either. Remember that it's your life, your health, your happiness, take responsibility and filter out the B.S.

A lot of the time it's those closet to us that try to derail our progress, that's just a sad fact of life. But, they're only doing this because they're scared of doing it themselves. Push past their limitations and ensure you create boundaries to keep them at a distance, allowing a safer passage to your success.

4. Think bigger

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I don't know when it happened for me exactly, but I just came to a crossroad in my life. It was a point in time where I desperately wanted to write so I could express myself and try to share my knowledge with others, yet I was too scared to put it into words. So rather than getting caught up in myself, I started thinking bigger and overcame my fear in realising that although my spelling, grammar, and punctuation weren't perfect, it would still help people. I shifted it from a place of "me", to "we".  

I made it bigger than myself as I knew that my contribution was more important to the world than my fear of writing. So, when it comes to your health and fitness, ask yourself better questions such as "How will the improvement of my health and happiness positively affect those closest to me"? Because although you might not be listening to the naysayers, there are countless people in the world that will benefit from you being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOU!

P.S. It still takes me hours upon hours to write content, but I am so thankful I made the decision to commit. Because although it's not always easy, but it's always worth it.  

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