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Overcoming Complacency: 22 Tips for Success!

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

overcoming complacency

Overcoming complacency doesn't come naturally for everybody, but it's often simple with the right tools in place.

So you've reached your goals, whether they were raising a family, getting a promotion, losing weight, or getting lean. How do you stay focused?

Bringing back old habits might be a natural tendency, but old habits don't have to take over your life.

Knowing more about complacency and why people fall into it is the key to overcoming complacency and optimizing your quality of life.

Consider the tips below to steer clear of resuming unhealthy habits!

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22 Tips for Overcoming Complacency

1. Recognize Unhealthy Patterns

If you're like many men, you might fall back on old habits over time.

Recognize unhealthy patterns before they spin out of control, contributing to weight regain and chronic disease development.

Examples of behaviors to avoid include:

  • Eating because of stress
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Turning to fast food
  • Eating while in a hurry
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Sitting down the majority of the day

Knowing which habits to watch out for is the key to avoiding complacent behavior.

2. Know Why Complacency Happens

Overcoming complacency is sometimes as simple as knowing why it occurs after you achieve health and body weight goals.

For example, you might lose motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle if you suffer from stress, depression, or anxiety.

Drastic life changes like having a new baby, adopting a child, getting married or divorced, job loss, or a death in the family are all reasons you might fall off the wagon — at least temporarily.

Knowing more about what causes complacency is one of the best ways to overcome it, and make changes to get your life back on track.


3. Set New Healthy and Fitness Goals

Set new goals for overcoming complacency and preventing weight regain.

Examples of long-term goals include:

  • Weigh yourself daily
  • Drink at least 16 cups of water each day
  • Sleep at least 7 hours per night
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily
  • Keep your body moving for an additional 45 minutes
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Avoid soda and other sugary drinks
  • Limit dining out to once or twice per week

Reward yourself for meeting these and other healthy goals you set for yourself.

Once you can reach set targets on a regular basis, set additional goals to avoid getting complacent!

Building long term healthy habits is the key to staying committed to working out and losing weight.

4. Try New Recipes

You might get bored eating the same healthy foods, day after day.

If this is the case for you, consider some nutritious, delicious Fit Father Project recipes to change up your normal everyday eating routine.

Switch up healthy menus often to overcome complacency, avoid boredom, prevent weight regain, and stay lean.

Your entire family can reap the rewards of your efforts!

This easy diet plan for men is simple, affordable, and will help you lose weight.

5. Consider New Workouts

Doing the same exercises day after day can get mundane, and cause you to get complacent with workouts — or even skip them altogether.

And doing that can diminish lean mass, while increasing body fat at the same time.

Change up your workout routine often, so you can avoid doing the same exercises two days in a row.

Combine strength training with aerobic exercise, or alternate between cardiovascular workouts and weightlifting days.

Choose jogging, walking uphill, stair climbing, rowing, swimming, playing basketball, using an elliptical machine, biking or other aerobic exercises.

Certain days of the week, choose long, continuous cardiovascular exercise (30-60 minutes).

Other days you might opt for 20-30 minutes of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.

When you're weightlifting, don't work the same muscle group two days in a row.

For example, you might exercise your back and shoulders one day, arms and chest the day after, and legs the next day.

You can exercise your abs daily (or most day of each week).

If you've never considered yoga, give it a try!

Overcoming complacency is often as simple as trying new ways to stay physically active.

Don't forget to stretch after workouts to optimize flexibility.

Avoid these 3 common mistakes in home workouts and make progress toward achieving your health goals!

6. Make Changes You Can Sustain

Eating super clean every day of the week, or drastically cutting out certain foods or macronutrients, might not be sustainable for you long-term.

Furthermore, you shouldn't have to follow a diet you despise the rest of your life.

Combine healthy eating with staying physical active, so you can have a cheat day every now and then without it affecting your long-term weight management goals.

If the scale slowly creeps back up over time, increase your energy expenditure or eat slightly fewer calories.

7. Don't Buy Bigger Clothes

Once you've reached your goal weight and desirable physique, fill your wardrobe with clothes that fit well.

Get rid of loose-fitting clothes, especially those you've had prior to reaching your goal weight.

If your clothes begin to fit too tightly, don't buy larger sizes.

Overcome complacency and make lifestyle changes instead!

Doing so is an excellent way to make changes before overeating (or working out too little) gets out of control.

8. Find an Accountability Partner

Find a friend or family member to keep you accountable for maintaining healthy habits for life.

Pick your spouse, kids, best friends, or co-workers to keep you accountable for healthy eating, getting enough sleep, staying active, and limiting or avoiding alcohol.

If you struggle with addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or smoking, see a healthcare provider who can refer out to a mental health professional for counseling — or prescribe medications to help you overcome these difficult situations.

Whether it's your spouse, a friend, or us here at the Fit Father Project, long-term accountability for weight loss will increase the likelihood of achievement in a big way!

9. Seek Treatment for Mental Health Conditions

Overcoming complacency might be as simple as seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges.

As with having an addiction, see your doctor to get treated for mental health challenges that diminish motivation and make completing everyday tasks feel unbearable.

If chronic stress is taking over your life, take a day off from work, get a massage, go for daily walks outdoors, try yoga, meditate, or get in touch with your spirituality.

10. Make Daily Lists

Overcoming complacency might consist of making daily lists to help you stay organized.

Create lists for grocery shopping, financial transactions, daily and weekly goals, and to-do lists that keep your household in order.

Making a list applies to just about every life situation you may encounter!

How do we stay committed and maintain motivation for losing weight? This video will show you!

11. Create Monthly Calendars

Keeping track of school activities, kids' sports games, and social events might leave you and your spouse feeling frazzled.

If this is the case for you, jot down daily activities on a calendar to help you stay organized.

Doing so is often a stress-reliever, and can help you feel more in control of your life.

12. Track Your Health Parameters

Tracking specific health parameters can give you a better idea about whether complacency negatively affects your disease risks and overall well-being.

Examples of health parameters you can track include:

  • Body weight
  • Waist circumference
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar levels

Check these or other health parameters regularly, and make lifestyle changes as soon as you experience undesirable weight gain or a waist circumference greater than 40 inches.

A large waist puts you at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

If you self-monitor blood pressure or blood sugar at home and your levels are consistently too high, see your doctor to find out if you should take medications to better control these risk factors.

Check out these 5 easy things to measure and track so you can have an idea of how your health is now and how it's improving as you make changes to your diet and exercise plan.

13. Take Things One Day at a Time

Don't let one off day get under your skin. For example, if you veer off track with unhealthy eating, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, or physical inactivity, don't let it negatively affect the rest of your week or month.

Every day is a new day, so treat it as such.

Take overcoming complacency one day at a time, and start fresh each day.

Don't dwell on past failures.

14. Schedule Time Off

Going to work and hitting the gym every day can become mundane and lead to burnout.

Take a few days off from work or go on vacations periodically to allow your body and mind to refresh.

When you return to a normal routine after vacationing, even if you simply spend time at home with your family, expect better workouts, more focus at work, a renewed mindset, and increased motivation.

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15. Consider a Health Coach

If you have friends, family members, or co-workers who've faced and overcome complacency, ask them for advice about what they did to stay on track with health and fitness goals.

Consider using a health coach to guide you through the process of maintaining a healthy lifestyle long term.

Health coaches can also act as accountability partners to keep you in check with meeting long-term weight management goals.

16. Don't Succumb to Peer Pressure

It can be difficult to say no to pressure from friends, co-workers, or even family members in some cases.

You might find it hard to do your own thing and be different from your peers.

However, doing so can benefit your overall health and wellness, as the majority of people in the United States are overweight or obese.

Surround yourself with peers with like-minded health and fitness goals whenever possible.

If you're around friends or co-workers who pressure to you eat junk food, skip workouts, drink excessively, or smoke, don't feel ashamed to say no without feeling guilty.

Are you dealing with a lack of support for your health and fitness goals? Find out how to overcome it!

17. Reward Yourself

While it's important to set and achieve goals, it's also beneficial to reward yourself for your successes.

Take a “cheat day” every now and then, book a vacation, or even take a mental health day off from work after achieving career-related goals.

While it's important to stay active throughout the day, don't be afraid to take a day off to rest and let your body recover.

Doing so can  reduce your risk of developing sports-related injuries.

18. Exercise Your Mind

Exercising your mind is just as important as working out your body when it comes to overall health and well-being.

Completing mind exercises can be as simple as reading, doing crossword puzzles, problem solving, challenging yourself at work, learning how to invest money, taking online courses, or even playing board games with loved ones!

19. Change Up Workout Environments

Overcoming complacency associated with workouts might mean switching up the environment you exercise in.

Workout at home indoors if you have the right equipment, exercise at a local gym the next day, and complete outdoor workouts during nice-weather days.

Altering your environment can prevent boredom and keep you motivated to sustain effective, long-lasting workouts and overcome complacency.

Jog or bike outside one day, swim indoors or outdoors the next, lift weights at a gym the day after, and try a boot camp or CrossFit class the following day!

Learn how to set up a home workout schedule that works for YOU!

20. Vary the Amount of Weight You Lift

In addition to changing up strength training and cardiovascular workouts regularly, vary the amount of weight you lift to shock your body and optimize muscle-building results.

For example, you might lift heavier weights one week (complete 6-10 reps), and choose lighter weights (10-20 reps) the next.

Alternate between heavy lifting and using lighter weights (with more reps) to maintain or improve your physique.

You can also use your own body weight as resistance or try resistance bands certain days of each week or month!

21. Find a Purpose to Train

Whether you're training for a bodybuilding competition, an outdoor race, or a basketball tournament, have a purpose to train to keep you motivated and overcome complacency.

Find a local CrossFit competition to train for, consider a half or full marathon, or train with your kids so they can compete at a high level playing sports!

Learn how to live a healthier life and get a healthier body!

22. Join a Healthy Lifestyle Program

Overcoming complacency is often easier with the help of experts and social support.

For this reason, consider joining the Fit Father Project healthy lifestyle plan designed specifically for busy dads.

The program offers a custom meal plans, fat-burning workouts, muscle-building exercises, healthy recipes, weekly newsletters, and much more!

Sign up for a free meal plan and workout when overcoming complacency is your goal!

Don't let a busy schedule, lack of motivation, or life event changes prevent you from maintaining a healthy lifestyle long term.

Overcoming complacency is often as simple as setting goals, having the right social support network in place, and changing up a mundane routine to stay motivated!

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Erin Coleman B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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