Imagine a time in your life when you felt successful. You were on top of the world; your flow carried you effortlessly through achievement after achievement, nothing could de-rail you. Peers asked for your advice; you lost friends because of their envy and you went to bed with a smile on your face, happily anticipating the next day. If that achievement wasn’t your workout routine, read on.
For the last 20 years, I have trained highly successful business people to achieve what they were finding unattainable: positive physical improvements. I had a client, who was a prominent Los Angeles lawyer, tell me, “If I could pay you to do this for me, I would” and I realized right then, that was his hindrance: he hadn’t paid anyone to survive his abusive childhood or his scholarship to Harvard Law. He hadn’t paid his beautiful wife to marry him before graduation or his firm to make him a partner. So why would he have the mindset that physical success was unattainable unless he paid for it?
We re-grouped and started to work on a strategy which would help him approach his fitness as though it was a tough but attainable goal.
Find the “Why” that makes you cry
We are all familiar with goal-setting but I have found that if we keep asking “why do I want this?” until we tear up, then that’s when we strike gold. The gold which keeps us motivated but also the gold which is our truth. The self-talk could be as follows: “why do I want to lose weight? Because I want to be skinny. Why? Because I want to fit into my skinny jeans. Why? So, I can bend down and play with my grandchildren. Why? SO, I LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE THEM GRADUATE!”. Find your why and write it down.
You’ve got your “Why”, now it’s time for your “Wants”
Once you’ve determined your WHY, it’s time to write that down as a title and then write down what you actually want. This is where you can be detailed about what you want to achieve, but a word of caution at this stage: you have to ignore that niggling question: “how?”. It will only get in your way. Write down: “to fit in my skinny jeans”, “to lower my A1c”, “get back into that dress”, “because I have a college reunion”, “to feel sexy”. These are your wants. The ‘how’ will follow.
Choose your HOW and be willing to change it without giving up
How many ways to skin a cat? I’m not sure but I’d rather there be an infinite number of ways to fail than just one way to succeed. What I mean is, if the way you’re trying doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal, it means your method needs to be changed. Explore your “hows”:
- Find someone who has achieved what you want and emulate
- Research every which way you can get what you want
- Hire a professional
Celebrate measurable milestones and record them
Keeping the end game in sight is important but you’ll never get there without celebrating the milestones. If your goal is to lose 50lbs, the first celebration could be when you’re 10lbs down, you donate all of your clothes which are too large! Write it down, take photos, get a tax refund, celebrate!
Lynda Linforth moved from UK to Los Angeles to chase the American dream and had dominated the fitness industry in that area since 1998. She has owned and operated several personal training companies specializing in weight loss and post-rehab exercise. Her newspaper column, “Trainer Tips”, was published in the LA based Beacon Media Group for five years and she now lives in Royal Palm Beach, Florida