2012 was a really hard year for me. Though I had been lifting weights since 2006 I let the daily discipline of physicality get away from me because my spirit was crushed.
I let myself go.
My outward appearance reflected some of the inner turmoil I was dealing with. Paralyzed inside, it was hard to find meaning in anything, let alone move my body in the purposeful ways I used to love.
Nearing the end of the year even simple walks that used to be a breeze were difficult. My weight shot up to the heaviest I’ve ever been at over 250 pounds and I knew something needed to change.
I needed to change.
In 2013 I started to seriously transform my life (again) and ended the year weighing under 190 pounds, stronger, in shape and I regained my confidence inside and out.
Here are some of the tools I used to achieve and maintain this transformation many years later.
1. FIND DEEPER MEANING: THE FIVE WHYS
What do you want?
Once you answer this question ask “The Five Whys.”
This series of follow up questions gets to the core of your deepest values and helps lay a solid foundation to build upon.
Once you know what you want and why it really matters you have a greater resolve to achieve results.
Our goals are things we want.
Our values are part of who we are.
Changing habits and patterns takes practice, patience, effort and consistency.
But if you really want it and you are armed with deep whys you’ll be unstoppable.
MEANING TRANSFORMS MOTIVATION INTO DISCIPLINE.
Here are my “Five Whys” from February 5th 2013:
“I want to lose fat.
1. Why do I want to lose fat?
Because I want to have a powerful body, see my abs and be in the best shape of my life.
2. Why do I want to be in the best shape of my life?
So I can go to the beach, tan, run, feel confident and be healthy.
3. Why do I want to feel confident and be healthy?
I’m 28 and my Dad has heart disease. I want to do all that I can to reduce my risk of disease. I believe when I am at the healthiest point I will be the most confident and I want to do this now in my life rather then continuing on the road I was on.
4. Why do I want to reduce my risk of heart disease and get into shape now?
I want to live a long fulfilling life.
5. Why do I want to live a long fulfilling life?
Because life is a gift and I have loved ones to love and many gifts to use and dreams to dream.”
Purpose gave me passion to keep going.
When times got tough, I learned to fall forward and I kept my whys before me.
If your motives are only surface level (read my first want: “I want to lose fat.”)
they won’t sustain you through this month or year let alone a lifetime…
Take the time to write out your five whys and get to the heart of the matter. Find out why changing is really important to you.
Next, let’s look at some self-defeating language that may be secretly sabotaging you.
2. STOP SHOULDING ON YOURSELF
“I should have…”
The word “should” comes from fear and anxiety which breeds indecisiveness, guilt, shame and the list goes on.
We’re saying one thing but doing another.
Free yourself from this cognitive dissonance by using this practice:
Instead of telling yourself you should do this or that first determine what you really want and then act upon your true desires.
Replace the word “should” with either of these two phrases:
“I am committed to ________.”
“_______ is not a priority for me right now.”
Being committed empowers you. Likewise, deciding you don’t currently want to focus on a particular area unburdens and frees you to focus your energy on other areas.
Be honest with yourself and your behaviors.
Decide what’s important to you now and stick to it. Develop some stick-to-itiveness.
At least that’s some of my advice SHOULD you DECIDE you want to make some positive changes.
3. STOP WISHING, START COMMITTING
“I wish I could _______.”
“I wish I could lose fat.”
“I want to be healthier.”
“I am willing to eat two more servings of vegetables every day.”
“I am committed to making this a habit.”
Notice how each statement makes you feel? The first may be desperation, despair or denial. Then we move onto a want that manifests into action and accountability.
You can wish endlessly but unless you commit to achieving success it will remain a dream, an unfulfilled desire or a lie. (Here’s where a Growth Mindset helps.)
Be honest with yourself and where you are.
If you find yourself wishing, stop and examine your true desires.
What do you really want?
Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals?
What is the cost of changing?
What is the cost of not changing?
Once you have counted the cost you can commit to the process.
Commitment is serious and requires work and sacrifice.
Wishing on the other hand is easy, fleeting and gone with the wind.
There is a spectrum of change and desire. We don’t have to change everything all at once, in fact I wouldn’t recommend it. We just have to do a little more, a little better each day. Knowing where you are helps you know what areas to work on.
STOP WISHING AND START COMMITTING.
4. CREATE A FITNESS MISSION STATEMENT
Armed with your five whys and deeper meaning you are ready to commit to your goals and give up self-defeating language. Here is the last nail in the coffin to saying goodbye to the old you and hello to a new world of health, happiness and change: The Fitness Mission Statement.
Your health is important. It matters because you matter. It is significant to those you love and the world you hope to impact. So it’s worth taking the time to think about the ways you want to invest in your health today and the weekly actions you’ll be accountable to.
Here’s my Fitness Mission Statement from 2013:
Now, see if you can write out your own Fitness Mission Statement that captures the who, what, why, where, and how of what you want in a few simple, clear sentences.
5. GET THE HELP YOU NEED ALONG YOUR JOURNEY
Today is a brand new day, a new year and a new decade.
The promise of newness brings inspiration, motivation and ambition.
Goals are set.
Hordes of people start strong but sadly fizzle out quickly. Often that’s because they don’t have a strategy for the obstacles along the way.
We help clients successfully achieve their goals and overcome their limiting factors.