1. “Aim small. Miss small.”
“Aim small, miss small” is a term used in firearms training. It refers to aiming at a small part of the target, such as the bullseye, instead of the entire target. So, if you miss with your shot, you will not fall far from the intended target instead of missing it completely.
I’ve found this to be one of the most helpful things to teach my coaching clients, and it’ll help you too.
In case it needs said, I’m not talking about shooting guns. I’m talking about overeating while on a fat loss diet, or “going off track.”
When clients first come to me, they’re eager to make changes. Which is great because they’re hyper-focused, but they’re also trying really hard not to fail. Too hard.
They mean well, but eventually, this backfires. Because when they go off the plan, they really go off the plan.
In other words, they miss big.
When they’re “off” their plan already, it doesn’t matter if they follow-up their Chick-Fil-A with a whole pint of ice cream. They’ve already overshot their calorie goal by 1000 calories, why not make it 2000?
They rationalize starting up again tomorrow, promising themselves they’ll be EXTRA disciplined.
Extra cardio, extra restriction, extra mental flogging… and extra disappointment when they inevitably fall off track again.
And the cycle continues.
Well, until I point this out to them and explain everything I’m telling you.
My general advice to them (and for you) is something like this:
- Get comfortable messing up, because it’ll happen again.
- Don’t pop three more tires on your car just because you popped one.
- Miss small, get back on track ASAP with zero judgment, and learn how to prevent it next time (covered next).
2. Practice “active patience.”
This piggy-backs off the last point because it’s about being mindful of your intensity of effort.
It’s a balancing act.
Going too hard creates too much change at once⏤it demands more than you can handle and causes overwhelm.
Going too easy creates too little change⏤it’s not challenging enough and lack of results demotivates you.
Learn to be OK with doing just enough each day.
This trains you to be satisfied with accomplishing less on any individual day as a way to accomplish more over the long haul.
Doing just enough six days per week always beats being perfect once or twice per week.
(h/t: Oliver Burkeman)
3. Stop comparing to what you “used” to do.
There are two different ways I hear people talk about this.
The way you’re probably thinking about, which is comparing to their glory days. They used to be an athlete, they used to work out all the time in college, or they used to literally just be a damn teenager.
I’ve been guilty of this, and I’m sure you have too.
But none of these are realistic comparisons. Your life and priorities were vastly different, and you likely had WAY more time on your hands.
(Remember when you thought you were “busy” during undergrad of college? Or when you were single, with no kids?)
The next way, which is less commonly talked about, is comparing to what you used to do last month, six months ago, or a year ago.
This usually happens when you’re following a plan for a while, “life” surprises you with something inconvenient, then you fall off track.
You try to keep your consistency streak going, but it slowly sputters to a halt.
In an ideal world, you’d adapt your plan to whatever life events are going on. What’s more likely is you now start a new streak of missing days and being off plan.
→ You used to go to the gym 4 days per week, now you’re lucky to go once.
→ You used to track your food or watch what you ate, now you’re happy to fit in a salad at lunch.
→ You used to be crushing it, now you’re just treading water.
And why does this happen?
I’ve noticed two patterns after discussing this with clients:
1) it’s easier to continue not doing anything, and
2) you justify not doing anything because you think, “What’s the point? Going to the gym once per week is stupid and pointless.”
Yet, instead, you’re going to the gym… zero times per week?
Logically, it’s wrong. Emotionally, it feels right.
But it’s causing you to be less consistent, and only digging your hole deeper.
Ignore the past. It has nothing to do with the decisions you make today.
Having a workout plan and calorie goals are helpful, but that’s only half the battle (probably less). The other half is knowing how to be consistent with them long-term, even with the messiness of our lives.
There are skills you can learn to live life how you want, then mold your fitness goals around that.
This is my specialty as a coach.
If these resonated with you and you need specific help solving your fat loss struggles, consider applying for 1:1 coaching with me.
Or, if you have questions about my program details, just drop me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll hit you back.
Or, don’t do either of those. That’s ok too, just do something.
P.S. Did you see what my client Kyle achieved recently? Just wild. Super proud of him.