The 5-Step Guide to Restarting Your Fitness Journey

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LEGO Star Wars characters, pinch 1 connected nan floor.

Did you cognize coming is National Respawn Day?

This is decidedly existent and not a vacation that I conscionable made up.

Okay, I did make it up, and it doesn’t matter what time it is – you’ve decided you want to effort again (that’s awesome! 🙌 .) And you want to find a measurement to make changes that instrumentality this time.

Luckily, whether this is nan first clip you’ve had to respawn aliases nan 50th, you’re successful nan correct place.

I’m going to stock nan aforesaid step-by-step strategy we’ve utilized to thief 15,000+ nerds restart their fittingness travel successful our Coaching Program, and we’re gonna person a mini spot of nosy on nan way.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Why It’s Okay to Start Again

The Iron Giant pinch a flower

So you already bailed connected a extremity aliases wont aliases regular this year.

Welcome to nan club.

It’s called “being human!”

There are 8 cardinal of us.

Statistically speaking, MOST group person already abandoned nan resolutions they’ve group for nan year, and it’s nary wonder! Behavior alteration is simply a analyzable process. [1]

We each commencement pinch hopes and dreams for what we tin accomplish, but past we brushwood this disfigured point called “reality.” We find retired that possibly we picked nan incorrect goal, aliases we tried to do excessively much, aliases life managed to get successful nan way.

This is astonishing news!

I for illustration to deliberation of life for illustration a elephantine video game, which intends we’ll request to get comfortable pinch moving up against a challenge, dying, starting over, and trying again! That’s what makes a crippled really fun.

As nan saying goes, “Success is moving from nonaccomplishment to nonaccomplishment without a nonaccomplishment of enthusiasm.” So, congrats for already uncovering a strategy that doesn’t activity for you right now.

Let’s get to activity connected fixing that!

First step’s first…


A LEGO and her dog

We’re often our ain worst professional and our ain worst enemy.

When we stumble astatine a task aliases goal, that sound successful our caput will very quickly constituent retired each nan things we’ve done incorrect aliases really we’ve screwed up.

We mightiness telephone ourselves a nasty name, aliases berate ourselves for not having capable discipline.

There’s different measurement to deliberation astir this:

  • You discovered a strategy aliases maneuver that doesn’t activity for you! For example, if you went Keto and bailed, great! That’s a fare that doesn’t activity for you. I personally emotion carbs, truthful Keto sounds unspeakable to maine too!
  • Treat nan sound successful your caput for illustration a roommate. You conscionable some hap to inhabit nan aforesaid brain. Just because our encephalon thinks thing doesn’t mean it’s true! I for illustration to ideate my thoughts came from Chaz, a weird roommate. He intends good but he doesn’t ever cognize what he’s talking about. Also, he has a ferret.
  • It’s besides imaginable nan strategy aliases maneuver is still USEFUL, conscionable successful a different context. For example, if you tried calorie counting, and it didn’t work, that doesn’t needfully mean we person to propulsion retired that maneuver FOREVER. But we request to fig retired why it wasn’t a bully fresh for america RIGHT NOW – truthful we tin study from it.

You’re reference this, which intends you’re trying to amended your life.

You recovered a fewer methods that don’t activity for you.

And you’re fresh to effort again.

This is astonishing and should beryllium celebrated.

As NF Coach Matt explains successful nan video below, “self-compassion” is really important erstwhile attempting to fulfill New Year’s resolutions:


A LEGO scientist

So, you conducted an research pinch your goals for this year, and you did not get nan results you were expecting.

That’s neither a bully nor a bad thing. Like immoderate different experiment, it just… IS. You had a presumption (“I americium going to instrumentality pinch THIS diet, and THIS workout plan”), and that turned retired to not beryllium true.

Great! That’s accusation we tin use, my intelligence friend.

Let’s constitute down specifically what your research entailed. 

What were you trying to do.

  • “I was going to tally a mile each morning.”
  • “I was going to eat strictly Paleo each day.”
  • “I was going to toggle shape into a mythical phoenix.”

Look astatine your list: this is simply a operation of variables that don’t activity for you right now.

IMPORTANT POINT: Learning from nan millions of group who person travel done Nerd Fitness complete nan past decade, my conjecture is that your research didn’t activity retired for 1 of 2 reasons:

#1) You built an idealized extremity for a romanticized position of life:

Life is chaos, and we each person a lot going on. When we expect to person a beautifully organized schedule, our kids won’t get sick, and activity won’t tally late…we’re mounting ourselves up for failure.

And erstwhile we group our anticipation astatine “perfect adherence to nan plan,” one missed day tin beryllium capable to derail our advancement completely.

Fortunately, arsenic John Steinbeck wrote, “Now that you don’t person to beryllium perfect, you tin beryllium good.” Perfection is simply a trap, truthful we’re alternatively going to attraction connected being beautiful good, astir of nan time.

We request a scheme that fits into nan chaos that is life, and is not built for a perfectly clear schedule! Those don’t exist.

#2) You tried to alteration ALL nan things:

  • Your extremity was 1,800 calories a time alternatively of your normal 3,000.
  • You tried to tally 7 days a week erstwhile you don’t workout astatine each now.
  • You said you were going to constitute 5,000 words a time but don’t constitute normally.

Instead of changing each nan things wholly or not changing anything, what if we changed a fewer things, a mini bit?

We’re ne'er going to get everything done, surely not each astatine once. So for illustration a video game, we request to extremity trying to conflict 10 level-100 dragons astatine nan aforesaid clip erstwhile we’re a wimpy level-1 wizard!

We request to prime ONE target, that’s our level, and past arsenic we level up and get stronger, tackle bigger monsters.

So, let’s effort to do less pinch our adjacent experiment, okay? It’s amended to laser-focus connected building ONE caller accomplishment than it is to effort to alteration truthful galore things astatine erstwhile that we extremity up successful nan aforesaid spot we started!


You’re reference this guide, which would lead maine to judge you’re willing successful trying to lose weight, build muscle, and/or get successful shape.

To debar getting nan aforesaid results, we request to alteration nan variables successful nan experiment.

You know, science!

Remember, immoderate bully research has meticulous measurements for nan factors they are changing! You don’t conscionable put “some uranium” successful a atomic reactor. You cognize nan nonstop amount.

For your adjacent effort see adjusting 1 of nan following:

#1) Change nan workout variable: 

Did you bask nan workout you attempted? If you discovered that you dislike running, great! Never do that again. “Exercise sucks,” truthful I would prime thing that sounds much fun.

Did you effort to workout 5 days a week for 60 minutes a day? What if you alternatively decided to spell for a 5-minute locomotion each day to believe nan wont first, and then accrued nan difficulty?

#2) Try a substitution alternatively than addition: 

ADDING a marque caller workout regular into an already engaged schedule tin beryllium really challenging. The aforesaid mightiness beryllium existent pinch severely restricting your calories, which tin beryllium really uncomfortable and make you hangry and angry.

Let’s effort this instead: Substitution! Here are 3 examples:

  • Making patient swaps pinch our diet: How you eat is 80-90% of nan weight-loss equation, and you’re already eating each day. So attraction connected substituting a rootlike for fries erstwhile a week, aliases swapping sparkling h2o for soda. You tin besides support a nutrient diary and alteration up your meal doubly a week.
  • Temptation bundling: harvester an exercise/activity you want to do pinch an activity we already love: Listening to a awesome audiobook, but only erstwhile we’re retired for a locomotion aliases connected nan treadmill, aliases joining a friend connected a motorcycle thrust (to a winery aliases pub!).
  • Do ONE activity mindfully each day: meditation is astonishing for developing nan accomplishment of being present and cultivating awareness, but it mightiness beryllium reliable for america to group speech 20 minutes to beryllium unsocial pinch our thoughts. So why not believe being mindful during thing you’re already doing! Practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth aliases washing nan dishes successful nan sink. No other clip required, each of nan benefits!

#3) Adjust your “win scenario”:

I get it. You were capable to train successful your location gym for nan first fewer weeks of this year, going for astatine slightest an hour.

But THEN…work sewage busy. And you only had 30 minutes, which wasn’t capable clip to get done your workout. So why not group nan triumph script astatine “30 minutes,” aliases “15 minutes,” aliases “1 exercise”? Lower nan bar!

This is not an on-off switch. It’s a dial that we tin move UP aliases move DOWN based connected really engaged our life is that day:

" adjacent to image of a manus connected a dial numbered from 0 to 11.

Let’s ideate we’re connected a 10-year journey, and we’re trying retired each sorts of tactics, strategies, and complaint of alteration to spot what useful champion for us.

Doing your workout coming is not astir arsenic important arsenic building a regular of moving retired that fits into your life for nan adjacent decade.

We tin extremity asking, “Do I person clip for my workout” and alternatively inquire “What workout do I person clip for?”

There’s thing that says “a workout must beryllium 60-minutes successful a gym.”

A 5-minute locomotion pinch your kids. A 10-minute circuit workout betwixt Zoom calls.

It each counts!

Example: if you rotation retired your yoga mat for 1 group of 1 exercise, it counts arsenic a win. Doesn’t matter if you did a afloat hour-long workout aliases a 5 infinitesimal set of push-ups.

Feel free to move nan dial each nan measurement down erstwhile life gets really busy, conscionable don’t move it off.

STEP 4: RESPAWN and effort again

A LEGO astatine Blacksmith

When you play a challenging video game, you’re going to die. A lot. (I died virtually thousands of times erstwhile playing Hollow Knight, 1 of my favourite games successful caller memory).

What happens aft you dice successful a game?

You respawn, and effort again!

You’ve learned a caller maneuver aliases pattern. You person a caller technique. You’ve uncovered a secret. You besides person each nan knowledge of each past attempt. You’ve besides conscionable gotten better. So you try, again.

And again.

And again.

And past you succeed, and that useful for a while. Until it stops working. And past you alteration your strategies again and support going.

There’s nary shame successful trying thing that doesn’t activity erstwhile it comes to our health. Life is 1 elephantine experiment, we’re each disasters, and we’re each doing our best!

Here’s Joe, who made dozens of attempts to get fresh until he changed nan correct adaptable and sewage results:

Joe's earlier and after

We person hundreds of stories of normal group who kept struggling to find nan point that would activity for them, but they kept reference and they kept trying, and past yet – thing clicked.

And that adjacent effort is nan 1 that changed their life’s path.

This adjacent effort mightiness beryllium nan 1 that useful for you too!

Keep trying differently, support failing differently.

You tin do this!


A LEGO Blacksmith

I cognize hacking your experiments to get amended information isn’t precisely “scientifically smart” aliases “morally responsible,” but I’m nan 1 penning this guideline and we’re each friends here, right?

Once you commencement your caller experiment, here’s really you tin stack nan platform successful your favor:

#1) Write everything down. Write down your workouts. Write down what you eat. Treat it for illustration a subject experiment, and you’re collecting data! Plan ahead. Be PRO-active (“I will do Strength Training Workout A astatine 4pm and coming I’ll person roasted chickenhearted and bacon-wrapped asparagus) alternatively of RE-active (“What should I do for workout correct now?” and “Ah, what’s for dinner? Oooh, Burger King!”)

For much strategies here, cheque retired our guideline Tracking Your Fitness Progress.

#2) Recruit friends to your team. Don’t spell this alone, arsenic you’re much apt to win based connected nan group you walk clip pinch and bent around. So enlistee allies. Start spending much clip pinch group that empower you (even virtually), alternatively than group that alteration you and resistance you down. Join a moving group online. Find a lifting “accountabilibuddy,” aliases personification you tin cheque successful with.

We person a free Nerd Fitness Facebook group pinch thousands of group fresh and consenting to support you!

#3) Hire a professional. There are 2 types of coaches worthy nan investment:

  • An in-person trainer if you are looking to supercharge your shape connected circumstantial exercises for illustration Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, etc. An in-person trainer tin beryllium bully for group who request nan accountability of personification they’ve paid to meet them successful nan gym. Here’s how to find a bully trainer!
  • An online coach that represents mobile, worldwide accountability. I’ve had a coach for years and it’s changed my life. Knowing that I person a workout and nutrition strategy to travel each time helps simplify nan process for me. Less thinking. More doing.

As Coach Matt explains below, sometimes “outsourcing” thief tin beryllium a existent game-changer erstwhile trying to get successful style (or backmost successful shape):


An aged mandrill named Rafiki erstwhile taught me: “Yes, nan past tin hurt. But you tin either tally from it, aliases study from it.”

Okay possibly he taught that to Simba in The Lion King, but I excessively learned nan aforesaid lesson:

"The Past Hurts" from Lion King


#1) Forgive yourself. You wouldn’t talk to personification other nan measurement you talk to yourself. So person immoderate freaking compassion! You’re trying.

#2) Identify what research you JUST tried. Write down what you judge went incorrect complete nan past fewer weeks. Congrats – you recovered a strategy that doesn’t work.

#3) Pick a caller path, effort a different variable. A bully intelligence meticulously tracks their information and writes down their hypothesis. I would alteration 1 of nan following:

#4) Then effort again.

You and this sheep some now cognize really to travel a plant-based diet. But you'll person to eat much than grass.

For #5 (“Supercharge your results”), I person 2 cleanable ways to thief you respawn today:

Consider our Online Coaching program, and I besides nonstop retired a free newsletter doubly a week to thief you enactment motivated and entertained.

It’s nan best newsletter successful nan galaxy, I committedness you.

For nan Rebellion!


PS: If you want much tips and tricks connected really to instrumentality to your goals this year, cheque retired 5 Hacks to Effortlessly Build Healthy Habits successful 2024.


Photo Citation: Oh My Goodness! Shut Me Down, The Iron Giant, “Hello, aged friend. Is he fresh for me?”, Happy Halloween!!, At nan blacksmith’s (Part 2), Medieval Blacksmith

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