Sarah, our new trainer at Greenhill Family Fitness, has a saying that she likes to repeat over and over: ‘You’re here for you!’, and I think it is a fantastic mantra to have.

So often in our modern health care system people want to pass on the responsibility for their health and their actions to someone else. Everyone wants to be told what to take, how to exercise, how hard to work, what to eat and how to think. And guess what – it isn’t working!

I cringe when someone comes into the practice and tells me that they are only here because someone else insisted they come, or when someone tells me that they don’t want to know all of the facts, they just want me to tell them what to do. I don’t cringe because I am worried I am going to give them the wrong advice, or because they aren’t going to get results (I know if they follow my advice they will), but because I know that the chances of them taking responsibility, taking action and following through for the long-term are slim.

If you want to get real results in your health and in your life then the first thing you need to do is realise that it is YOU who is in charge! So by all means consult the experts to get the information you need to make informed decisions, but remember that it is YOU who has to live with the decision, and if you don’t own that decision, it is going to be virtually impossible to maintain over time.

The best thing about taking ownership of your health and lifestyle is that it means you are in control of how quickly or slowly you make the changes. You don’t have to work to someone else’s timeline or expectations. No-one knows better than you how hard you can push. and as I always say, what matters much more than where you are at or how fast you are going is what direction you are headed in. Health is a marathon, not a sprint, so as long as you are heading in the right direction, for most of us time is one our side. I have been really inspired to see some of the people in our fitness group, some of whom haven’t done any form of exercise for a long time making changes, improvements and steps in the right direction under Sarah’s guidance.

This also means that there is no point trying to make your friends and family do what you want them to (yes, even your kids). They need to make THEIR own informed choices that work for them. All you can do is offer them the best information possible (without judgement) and remind them that they (not anyone else) are responsible for the consequences of their actions.

So remember: You’re here for you. You chose to read this article right through to the end and if you wish, you can choose to take more responsibility for your health, be more proactive and start making informed choices towards a newer healthier you… at your own pace!