I thrive on growth, in both my personal life, and as a fitness professional. Nearly everything I learn in my growth as a fitness professional can be applied to any growth or change. Whether growth is as a person, in business or in your heath and fitness journey, the same ‘success principles’ apply. Today I’m going to share these success principles with you, and show you how it can be applied to your success in fitness.
1. Personal Responsibility
This is a big one. You could blame your genetics, your family, your work, your commute, or your dog for the way you are, but this will accomplish nothing. Most people have barriers to fitting in exercise and eating right- even the slim and fit people. Very few are gifted with rapid fast metabolisms allowing them to eat whatever they want. If you want to change, you must take responsibility of you. Every possible problem or barrier has a solution- you decide if you’re going to find that solution.
2. Have courage to step outside your comfort zone
If you want to change, you need to do something different than what you are doing right now, and sometimes that can be scary. Sometimes that can mean getting out and starting an exercise program for the first time since you were in college. It might mean taking the first step and calling a fitness coach to get help. If you are comfortable, you are no longer progressing.
3. Your body is not different.
Many people carry the belief that something will not work for them because their body, or circumstance is different. Sometimes this belief system is affirmed by years of yo-yo dieting and the weight loss/ weight gain cycle. Sure, a 20 year old male looking to increase muscle mass will need a slightly different program than a 45 year old woman wanting to lose 10 pounds, or a 95 year old man wanting to maintain his mobility, but the same principles apply. Everybody needs to do resistance training, mobility training, and some sort of workout that elevates heart rate. Everybody needs to have variety in their program to keep progressing and to prevent boredom. Everybody needs to follow basic principles of nutrition to get results. Everybody needs to progress their workouts to keep getting results. Everybody needs a support system to achieve long-term success.
4. Know what you want.
Set a goal. Usually the motivation for behaviour change starts as a result-based goal, such as ‘I want to lose 10 pounds’. While these result- goals are what motivate you at the beginning, it’s the action-based goals that will get you there.
There are a few reasons why you should focus on action goals versus result goals. Action-goals allow you to be 100% in control your success. With a goal such as “I will lose 10 pounds by Oct. 1,” your result is largely out of your control. You don’t know exactly how your body will respond to an exercise or eating plan. Perhaps you do all the right things, but you only lose three pounds. Because you didn’t reach your goal, you may be discouraged and give up, despite making many healthy choices and making progress. In contrast, an action focus, such as “I will go for a walk after supper three evenings a week” allows you to experience success regardless of the number on the scale or the tape measure.
5. Know why you want what you want.
Why do you want to workout? Why do you want to lose weight? Dennis Waitley wrote, “If the why is strong enough, the how is not a problem.” Write down a list of 10-20 reasons why you want to achieve your goal. How will you feel when you get there? How do you feel now? Try to evoke emotion. The more powerful your reasons are, the easier it will be to find solutions to problems and barriers and to stay motivated. Commit to reading your list at least twice a day to keep yourself on track.
6. Hold yourself accountable.
Hold yourself accountable to your goals. For some people, simply writing it down is enough. For people need an ‘accountability’ coach or support system. This may be a friend, Facebook group, or fitness coach.
Tanja Shaw is a healthy-eating enthusiast, Rotarian, passionate entrepreneur, mom, runner, and owner of Ascend Fitness Inc. Tanja and her team of expert fitness coaches inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition. Visit Tanja at www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com and www.tanjashaw.com.