The Slight Edge
For your body to operate at its optimal function and to be able to achieve your health and fitness goals, there are few aspects to be aware of. These include, but are not limited to:
· knowing where your focus lies
· understanding the make-up of your body
· getting effective sleep
· maximising proper nutrition
· the importance of hydration
· effective exercise habits
There is another aspect that is important but often goes unmentioned and that’s an idea called the “Slight Edge”. This term was coined by Jeff Olson, and can be described as the principle that every small decision you make, can either help give you ‘the Slight Edge’ or set you back slightly. In applying this principal to yourself you must question if the decisions you make are helping you get closer to, or taking you further away from the goals that you’ve set.
In regards to health and fitness goals, we all have moments where we don’t ‘feel’ like working towards our goals. Whether it’s getting more exercise or eating mindfully. But to take advantage of the Slight Edge, our health and fitness attitude should be based off more than a feeling. In fact, it could be argued that taking advantage of the Slight Edge with our health and fitness is a necessity. However, for this mindset to develop it comes back to assessing our why.
When you get home from work in the evening, going for a walk would be ideal but you don’t want to leave the house. Using the Slight Edge principle, you would acknowledge that there are exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, and do these instead. In another instance, it may have been a tiring day at work and coming home and doing exercise isn’t appealing. Using the Slight Edge principle here, you would consider doing stretches or mobility work. Your body is still moving and you’re giving yourself an advantage for the next time you work out. Another example is this, it’s the weekend and you know you should get some movement in, but running, lifting weights or going for a hike aren’t your favourite things to do on the weekend. You’d much rather go swimming because that’s what you enjoy. So using the Slight Edge principle, you would go for a swim. Exercising doesn’t always have to be activities that you dislike. Doing the exercises or movements that you enjoy will make it feel less like a task that you have to check off, and more a reward for what your body is capable of.
You might be one of those individuals who is always able to take advantage of the Slight Edge when it comes to your exercise aspect of your health and fitness. However, your struggle may be with the nutrition aspect. Using the Slight Edge principle here, instead of 3 pieces of garlic bread with your meal, have 2. Instead of the second glass of wine, take your time and enjoy your first, and only, glass. Now this is not to say you ought to completely eliminate the foods and drinks you enjoy from your life. You just need to be more mindful of how much you of these foods and drinks that you consume, consume especially if they are contradictory to you achieving your goals. There are occasions in life that are accompanied by good food and these should still be embraced, but during these moments you can still give yourself the Slight Edge.
Keep in mind that we’re all human and not every decision we make is going to be the ‘right one’. But if the majority of our decisions, for a majority of the time, are going to give us the Slight Edge and help us get closer to our goals, shouldn’t we endeavour to make these decisions more often?
If you were to have a honest look at where you’re at right now, it might be hard to say that the overall actions you’ve taken over the past few weeks have given you the Slight Edge. But the good news is that the goals you’ve set are always achievable. Yes, you may need to add in a few more steps to get to your original goal, but as long as you become more aware of your decisions and consciously take advantage of the Slight Edge principle in all the decisions made, you will get closer and closer to your goals.
No matter where you are on your health and fitness journey, if you want someone who will continually support and guide you through the high’s and low’s, your friendly PT is available, so why not get in touch today. Remember no-one but you can travel your health and fitness journey, but this doesn’t mean you have to travel alone.