This article is an installment of The Everyday Warrior series, featuring advice, key interviews, and tips to live a life of impact, growth, and continual learning.
As cliché as it might sound, you must approach things just one day, one meal, or one workout at a time. It’s the basis of the ATTA concept, an approach to living that inspires greatness and promotes balance, coined by retired U.S. Navy SEAL Mike Sarraille, host of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast.
When you first embark on a fitness journey, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose or have a long road ahead of you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Don’t let that discourage you as that often happens. Take the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for example. I started training back in the fall of 2019 before COVID and the pandemic. I had no background in grappling or martial arts. Despite being somewhat athletic most of my life from playing sports I was like a fish out of water. It was hard to imagine after the first couple of classes how I would ever have any skill in the sport of BJJ.
Fast forward to the present: I recently received my blue belt. Not that I’m all that skilled now but I just truly personified the one-day ATTA time approach. All I did was show up two to three times per week for classes, drilled a lot, and got just a little bit better over time. That’s the key: continuing to show up and being consistent. You must apply this same approach to your fitness goals.
It seems overwhelming to lose 50 pounds when you’re just starting out. View it as a process goal versus just the outcome. What I mean here is you take that larger goal and break it down into smaller ones. Losing a substantial amount of weight is a daunting task, but losing the first 5 or 10 pounds isn’t as scary. Start by chunking things up into smaller, more manageable goals.
You realize that if you lose one to two pounds the first couple weeks, you’ll be there in no time. When you start exercising, increasing your daily activity levels, and start eating better it’s entirely possible. It’ll feel good to accomplish these micro-goals. Use that initial success as positive momentum in your journey to spring you forward. Momentum is a funny thing, too. Once you get some, it tends to keep you going for quite some time. Those little wins may not seem like much at the start, but watch them give you that forward momentum to keep pushing when times get tough.
It feels good to get some victories under your belt. Allow yourself to feel proud and celebrate seemingly small or minor wins.
Incremental changes will slowly add up and compound over time. If you truly live this approach and philosophy, you’ll be shocked at where you can be in a few months’ time. Stop putting off your fitness goals and shift your mindset toward getting started today. The sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be.
Nick Shaw is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization (RP), a multi-million-dollar health and fitness company that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of clients around the world. His story – and the story of RP—has appeared in a Forbes feature story, which chronicled Renaissance Periodization’s rise from a small business into an influential tech company with an industry-leading app available through Apple’s app store and Google Play. Nick has also helped to coach numerous world-class athletes including CrossFit Games champions, international medalists in weightlifting, UFC fighters, Navy SEALs, and Olympians. Nick and his team at RP have sold hundreds of thousands of books over the years ranging from Nutrition, Training, Recovery, and creating Healthy Habits.
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