These are High-Impact activities because if you do these everyday, you’re going to see positive changes in your life. Prioritizing high-impact activities (even if they aren’t the activities listed) is the only way move closer to your goals. Goals, at their very core, should make you uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is a good thing. It stretches and grows you like no other.
Here are the 6 high-impact activities to do everyday to move yourself forward in your nutrition and training goals. The catch is that none of these work if you don’t implement them.
- Know your why
Your “why” should get you so fired up and give you a reason to continue even when the inspiration isn’t there. The truth is that no one feels like doing the work 100% of the time. What separates successful people from the others is a “why” that stays front and center and the grit to get there.
Quick exercise: write down one goal, then write down why you want that goal, then ask “why” again, and again, and again, a total of 5-7 times. Peel away the layers to find what lights you up. As you continue to ask “why”, the deeper truth will come out.
Goal – Do a handstand pushup
Why? Because I want to be able to do more RX workouts because they look fun and it gives me more workout options.
Why? Because it’s a result of the hard work people put into their training and I want that for myself.
Why? Because I want to see my potential. I know I can do it.
Why? Because it makes me feel good to attain something I put my mind to.
Why? Because it makes me feel powerful and that I can do even more.
Why? Because I know that I am worth putting time into anything I want and gets me excited that I can reach others goals too.
See how much deeper that got?!
Goal: Lose 40 pounds with nutrition and training
Why? Because I feel I will be healthier.
How will you be healthier? I will be less out of breath, I’ll get stronger, and potentially have less joint pain.
Why do you want that to happen? So I can play with my kids on the floor and be able to get up easily.
Why do you want that? So we can build great memories and I can be a positive example of living an active and healthy lifestyle with them.
Why is that important? So they can grow up and be healthy to do whatever they want to do and remember the times we spent together being active.
Again, so much deeper than losing 40 pounds.
Once you know your true why, it makes grinding out the details and implementing a little easier. What’s easier to do, working to lose 40lbs to “feel healthier” or working to lose 40lbs so your kids can see your example and so you can be part of an active lifestyle with them? Dig deep!
- Have an idea of where you’re getting your next meal or meals of the day if you’re out.
How this looks depends on your goals.
Are you just trying to be a little healthier? Don’t stress over food. Try to pack some snacks and/or choose healthier options in eating out. Think more about the food and nutrition content more than the calories. Choose food that makes you feel good, and know that special treats can be part of a healthy lifestyle at times.
Are you trying to maintain?
You’re body does everything it can to maintain your weight, so unless you’re trying to maintain a new weight (creating a new set-point weight), this is the easiest place to be. Having an idea of your meals and/or snacks is really about your energy and overall well-being. Being in-tune with you hunger is important. The body is capable of providing these cues, but getting to a point of listening to them can be tricky if you’ve suppressed hunger and fullness cues for awhile. Choosing meals and snacks should be based on food-body congruence – food that is satisfying and makes you feel good rather than sluggish and bloated.
Trying to maintain a new weight (higher or lower)? There is more flexibility than in the cutting or massing period, but stick to the plan that comes with your template.
Trying to gain muscle?
Making sure that you’re eating enough is the most important thing. You cannot gain muscle without consuming enough calories. Of course, the food that provide those calories are important, but even if you’re eating healthy foods, if you aren’t eating enough you won’t be able to gain muscle. While it might not seem like a challenge to get in more calories than normal, it is. And eating enough food can be an even bigger challenge towards the end of an intentional gaining period. Plan to have high energy, low volume foods (olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butters, energy bars) with you for quick, high-calorie fuel.
Trying to lose fat?
This is trickiest one and requires more intentional planning. Some may still see a good amount of fat loss without a lot of restriction, however if someone has less fat to lose, or if they’ve been losing for awhile, it’s likely they will need to be more intentional. Having food prepared ready to go is the most helpful thing to have with this goal. Waiting until you’re overly hungry to make your food is a recipe for overeating past fullness.
- Give yourself enough compassion to observe your thoughts, feelings, and actions even when they don’t align with your ultimate goals.
Self-compassion is not synonymous with giving yourself an excuse, it’s looking at the situation with as if you were just an anthropologist observing your actions and possible reasons for those thoughts, feelings, and actions. You can only control how you respond to roadblocks, whether true or perceived. To get over roadblocks, you need to observe and then find a way to move forward.
Treat yourself as you would a close friend. You can’t get to a healthier place if you’re bullying yourself.
Some people see this and might think of it as a “free for all” on indulging in sweets or any other highly-processed food, but being kind doesn’t always mean giving yourself a cookie.
- Wake up with your alarm.
Don’t hit the snooze. It’s hard. This is a struggle for me daily. It feels like the worst idea at the time. It’s the complete opposite of comfort. But when you hit the snooze, you are essentially failing on your first goal of the day. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It comes down to a choice – perhaps one of the hardest choices of the day. And it’s it that hard, go to bed earlier.
- Get intentional movement in.
We crave movement as humans. Getting in movement looks different for everyone. Maybe one day you want to walk, another day you might want to lift, another day you might want to swim. This is more about getting your blood flowing and creating physiological responses that feel good and are mentally and physically healthy rather than having a “do exercise to lose weight” focus.
- Plan out your next day to prioritize nutrition and training goals.
It’s a lot easier to stop yourself from scrolling on your phone if you already have a plan ready for your day as soon as you wake up. You can even schedule in scrolling time, but have a time limit on the things that don’t move you forward in your goals. Having a plan makes it easier to follow through on those activities that move the needle on your journey.
iPhone users, take a look at how much time you’re wasting on social media by going to your phone settings, click on the battery option, then click the little clock icon for time spent on specific apps.
Before the week starts, schedule the rocks, pebbles, and sand. Perhaps you’ve seen that demo before about a professor & a jar? The only way to fit in the rocks, the pebbles, and the sand is to put the big stuff in first. Apply this to your day. Those little tasks will get done – make a plan for the bigger things.
This all sounds great and all, but how can you apply all 6 activities?
It may be easier for you to implement one or two of the above ideas.
It cannot be stated enough that you need to put in the work and do the activities that move you forward. There’s no shortcut. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
We’d love to hear how it works out for you. Comment with the activity you’re going to implement first!