You realise that you want to lose the weight and to get into phenomenal shape. You believe that your health is important to you, and that you want to improve the quality of your life through diet and exercise. You feel that this time it will be different, that this time the changes will stick and you’ll become the best version of yourself. You see it and you feel it!

Starting out with great intentions and high expectations, the first week goes well. You’re making the time to exercise. You’re eating vegetables and proteins. You’re avoiding sugar, packaged snacks, alcohol and sugary drinks.

After week 1, you step on the scale and find that the number has gone down! You’re making progress towards your goal and that feels good.

The next week something unexpected happens. You catch a cold. It would only aggravate your illness to exercise in this condition, so you wisely take the day off. That night you find yourself eating comfort food for dinner. You are feeling sick, so it seems justified.

Another week later you think about returning to the gym, but your friend is celebrating his or her birthday and there’s a celebration. A slice of birthday cake later, and the discipline you once had seems to be gone. As your insulin levels soar and your energy dips, you tell yourself that tomorrow is the day that you get back on track.

Tomorrow comes, your energy and motivation levels are low, plus you still feeling post illness lethargy. This brings with it more unexpected turns, pushing your healthy lifestyle just out of reach.

There’s a very simple reason for this phenomenon: If you’re looking for an excuse the universe will provide you with one. Every. Single. Time.

But I’m not looking for an excuse. Those things were out of my control. I wanted to stick with the programme, but I caught a cold and then life got busy.

If I had to offer you a million rand to stick with your diet and exercise programme for 4 weeks could you do it?

You bet you could! And you’d probably even do it for 10 thousand rand.

This means that if you had a great enough incentive then you’d stick with your programme and get results. So right now the incentive, the motive, the desire just isn’t great enough to protect you against all of the excuses that the universe has to throw at you.

Find your incentive. Results will follow.

Another awesome tactic to keep you focused is called Loss Aversion – For example, you give your friend or spouse 10 thousand rand to hold on to. If you lose your weight and stick to your goal they return your money. If you don’t the money is theirs to keep. Now you can use many other forms of loss other than money – so be creative and make it meaningful so that you cannot afford to lose it!