There are lots of reasons why people start working out and eating better, but there is only one reason why they will stick with a program in the long run – LOVE.
Sounds weird to say “love” though doesn’t it? But that is exactly what happens.
You either fall in love with the routine and how you FEEL. Or maybe both.
Because, if you don’t enjoy and love your new habits, they aren’t going to stick.
The motivation of a big event, a New Year’s Resolution or even a doctor’s visit saying you need to get your ducks in a row is only fleeting unfortunately. Amazing that it is, but that motivation doesn’t last.
So if you don’t love or enjoy what you are doing, you aren’t going to stick with a healthy lifestyle in the long run. And the long run is what matters.
People always ask, “How long do I have to eat this way for results? How long do I have to continue to workout?”
And the answer is, “In some form or fashion…FOREVER.”
You don’t just eat differently for a few months and then go back to old habits. Or if you do, you are bound to end up right back where you started even if you initial got results.
Plus eating well and working out don’t have to be miserable…actually the SHOULDN’T be miserable.
You should find a balance that you enjoy and include foods and workout routines that you enjoy.
Being healthy doesn’t mean giving up everything you love to eat lettuce and spend hours in the gym…heck I hate lettuce….now cauliflower on the other hand…
Anyway, I guess my point is that you have to do things because you enjoy doing them or find a way to fall in love with the lifestyle.
Because the motivation to look better for an event is fleeting. Plus, honestly, while it can get you started, it isn’t very good motivation because you aren’t addressing the real issues of FEELING BETTER about yourself and becoming more confident.
Falling in love with the program and setting other goals is what makes you stick with the healthy habits long-term – it is what makes the process fun.
If you don’t enjoy the journey, you aren’t going to stick with your program very long.
And, as I mentioned above, the long-term is what leads to true results and you not only looking, but also feeling, the way you want to feel.
So stop looking for a short-term solution and figure out something you love that makes you feel good. Because that is what eating clean and working out should do – they should make you FEEL BETTER and be more confident.
Shoot…They can also, and SHOULD also, be FUN!
So how do you strike a balance? How have you made the process of working toward your goals fun? How did you fall in love with the lifestyle!?!
With a New Year, we start to consider all the things we would like to accomplish – all the drastic changes we would like to make.
We set these lofty goals and dream of all the things we can accomplish. Yet rarely do we actually breakdown our goals into achievable pieces and PLAN out how we are going to get there.
We seem to set New Year’s Resolutions with no actual plan to accomplish them.
And you may be thinking to yourself, “No…I always want to accomplish my New Years Resolutions.”
But stop and think about how often you actually consider HOW you are going to accomplish those goals. Usually you don’t. You just state or write down WHAT you want to accomplish and never really go any further than that.
Yes. You may be motivated and really want to reach your goals. But you aren’t setting yourself up to actually follow through if you don’t PLAN.
So on this first day of 2015 take time to not only write down your Resolutions, but also write down how you plan to accomplish them.
And break those plans down into bite-sized pieces. Give yourself SMALL STEPS you can take right away.
Don’t leave yourself with a huge goal that you don’t know how to start – that may even seem so daunting that you don’t know where to start so end up never moving forward.
Break it down and give yourself small manageable tasks to do that will add up to big results and help you get the momentum going.
Remember, even a small step forward is a step forward. And consistent progress in the right direction adds up!
So write down your New Year’s Resolutions and PLAN out how you will reach those goals.
Happy New Year and what small step forward are you planning to take in 2015 to achieve your Resolutions!?!
I’ve had to deal with this a lot as a trainer…I’ve had to deal with seeing the potential in someone, in investing a ton of time and energy into helping them succeed, only to see them fail because they didn’t truly want it for themselves.
Because no matter how hard I encourage, how many of the tools I give them, success boils down to one thing – How bad do YOU want it for YOURSELF?
Are you ready to take responsibility for your actions and make things happen?
Because no one else can want it for you. No one else can get you there.
No one else can help you stay on track or cause you to fall off.
You are completely in control whether or not you believe it…whether or not you want to take responsibility for the fact that only you can want and achieve your goals.
Taking responsibility is knowing that whether you succeed or fail is ALL UP TO YOU.
But it is hard to take responsibility because that means it is your fault if you fail.
It is way easier to blame external factors and make up excuses than it is to take responsibility and work hard for results.
It is way easier not to hold yourself accountable and to believe that things weren’t within your control.
The simple truth though is – YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR FATE.
Yea…Shit happens…But if you want something, you will find a way. If you fail, you will hold yourself accountable, take a look at your actions and make changes.
Because even though you can’t control everything or even plan for half of the stuff that happens, you can take responsibility for your actions and your reactions to life.
You can hold yourself responsible for how you handle situations and pick yourself up after you fall.
Success isn’t about perfection. It is about learning and growing and constantly improving. But to learn, grow and improve, you must believe you are in control. You must hold yourself accountable for the actions you take and the results, both good and bad, that occur.
Only you can truly make things happen for yourself.
It isn’t luck that makes people successful…It is freaking hard work and taking responsibility for their lives that makes them successful.
As they say….
Life – It is truly one big excuse.
Something can and will always be getting in the way, making your goals more complicated and difficult to accomplish.
Basically what I’m telling you is there will always be excuses and reasons NOT to do something.
The question then is…How bad do you want it?
Because if you really want it bad enough, nothing will hold you back and you will find a way to accomplish your goals.
If you aren’t dedicated to your goals, any excuse will cause you to fail.
And I’m sure right now a few of you are shaking your head and telling yourself…”But I really don’t have time/money/resources/knowledge…whatever to accomplish my goals and I really REALLY want to.”
Uh sorry…But you are LYING TO YOURSELF and making excuses.
And to some extent all of those excuses are valid. They all are reasons why you can’t accomplish your goals. They are all barriers and hurdles that you have to overcome if you want to succeed.
The point is, if your desire is strong enough, if your plan is good enough, then those excuses are just that – merely hurdles that you can overcome.
Notice that I said DESIRE and PLAN.
Because motivation will only keep you going for so long that you need to create a plan to help keep you on track when the excuses build and you want to stop moving forward.
Wait…So I said if you want it bad enough you won’t give into your goals yet I also said that motivation isn’t enough and that you need to have a PLAN.
If you want it bad enough, you will create a PLAN that will not allow excuses to derail your progress.
You will create a meal prep plan that doesn’t allow you to give the excuse that you are too busy or stressed to cook. And you will create a workout program that is convenient and quick that fits your crazy, busy schedule.
You will create a plan that address your excuses instead of using your excuses as a way to get out of doing what you know you truly want to be doing!
Because when you really want something, you PLAN for success!
So what’s your plan for this week? How are you going to be greater than your excuses?
P.S. A huge thanks to everyone that came out to celebrate our Grand Opening on Saturday! Had so much fun! Here are some pictures from the event…
Goal setting is essential to success.
But it’s boring.
And goals are easily forgotten in the heat of the moment.
So if goals are important, but easily forgotten, how do you make them something you can easily stay focused on day in and day out?
I thought this “3 words for 1 year” idea that I saw on Julia Ladewski’s blog was a great way to keep your goals easily in the forefront of your mind. (Here is her post and a post to the original 3 word project if you want to learn more.)
This 3 word project gives you an easy and quick reminder of what your goals are. It makes visualizing your goals on a weekly, daily basis easy and quick.
And I personal think it is super motivating.
What you do is basically pick 3 WORDS that represent your goals and will motivate you to keep working toward them even when the going gets rough. These 3 words can be a great VISUAL for you to even post somewhere. While no one wants to post long freaking sentences of SMART goals, posting a word or three really isn’t a big deal and is very easy to do (and a much prettier visual…not to mention quicker to read and refresh your memory and improve your mindset).
My three words are below.
I’ve picked words that will instantly remind me of my WHY, my reason for setting my goals in the first place. These words, for me, also instill the emotion I’m looking for when it comes to my goals. For example, the word pause makes me think to breathe deeply. It makes me think RELAX and that is a big part of the goal it is set to represent.
Anyway, give your goals some thought. What would your 3 words for this year be?
Pause – This word means a couple of different things to me this year, but they all boil down to RELAX. Pause and take a second to relax if stressed. Pause to take a second and step back and think. Paused to take a second to celebrate the small successes. Pause and enjoy life and don’t always get bogged down with moving right on to the next project. I like to keep going. I have trouble stopping at points…partly because I love what I do and partly just because I’m type A. But celebration, relaxation and shutting your brain off are super important components of not only a healthy lifestyle, but also of success. Take a second today and PAUSE!
Uncomfortable – It is strange to feel like I’m listing “uncomfortable” as a goal. But by using the word uncomfortable, I’m reminding myself that it is good to stretch my boundaries. That feeling “uncomfortable” is not only OK but GOOD. We’ve all see those motivational pictures and quotes stating that success happens outside your comfort zone, and it’s true. And while I find I’m good at tiptoeing around outside my comfort zone, I sometimes lack the will, the strength, to just throw myself in the deep end. So here is to throwing myself in the deep end and not fearing the unknown, the uncomfortable!
STRONG – Strong is a super meaningful word to me. Each and every year I want to grow stronger, both physically and mentally. And while I don’t always want to get stronger in the same way, I do always want to be getting stronger, learning more, growing. And with that strength, I want to inspire others to find their strong. So to me strong means not only growing myself both inside and out of the gym, but also helping others to find their physical and mental strength – to become more empowered! This year is about remaining dedicated to becoming STRONGER.
What are your 3 words? And what do they mean to you? Share yours and inspire others!!!
The other week I wrote about goal setting so that you can achieving your goals this coming year.
But setting proper goals is only the first step.
The next step is planning out how you are going to achieve your goals. And the more detailed your plan, the more likely you are to succeed.
Most people really skip this part.
They set goals. And then they start working out and eating healthy according to something they read or some vague idea of what they should be doing.
But they don’t really have a PLAN.
They really aren’t sure exactly what they are going to do from day-to-day. They really don’t know what is paying off and what isn’t. They really aren’t consistent enough with one thing to truly track what is working and what isn’t.
And while they may work really hard for a month to try to achieve their goals, they probably aren’t going to stick with it in the long run EVEN if they see progress.
Because at some point their haphazard program isn’t going to get them results. And when they plateau, they won’t know where to go because they will have no idea what worked and what didn’t.
But if they had a plan not only would they have direction to begin with, but they would also know what worked.
They could adjust the plan as they realize what benefits them and what doesn’t. As as they tweak their plan, they would continue to see progress.
Whereas if they had no plan, they would almost have to completely start over to continue getting results. And starting over with no idea of what works….Well that by no means guarantees you results.
Plus a plan is a great way to get you motivated and keep you motivated once you’ve set your goals!
Often we set our goals and those keep us motivated for a week or two.
But once that week or two is up, we lose that initial motivation.
If we’ve done enough to get results in those first couple of weeks, that may provide us with motivation for a few more. But if we haven’t seen great instant results, we may give up.
A plan though would help us stay motivated because we have something clear to follow and accomplish.
Accomplishing and completing the program you lined up, while it might not get you to your ultimate goal, is an achievement in and of itself.
It keeps you motivated to have something clearly laid out in front of you. It is harder to give up on something tangible, something you’ve spent time and energy already to develop, than it is to give up on something that is just a vague goal in your head.
There is something staring you in the face, letting you know you didn’t do it, when you write out a plan.
That is why programs like P90x get results. They have clearly laid out plans. They have ways to progress and regress the program so that you can adjust it to fit you as you work through it. They even have slightly different variations of the plan to help you reach your specific goals.
You don’t have to play a guessing game to figure out what works.
YOU HAVE A PLAN.
So this year if you want results, create a plan. Set great goals and then map out how you are going to get there.
The next step after creating the plan is to do it and track it. After that, you just can’t be afraid to tweak it!!
NOTE: I’m not telling you to get a program like P90x (although you can if you want!). I’m simply saying that if you want to achieve your goal, the more you can think through all the variables like a program like that does, the more likely you are to achieve your goals!
Around this time everyone begins setting goals for the New Year.
Unfortunately, 90% of those goals never get accomplished.
And it isn’t because they aren’t meaningful. It isn’t because people don’t want to accomplish them. It isn’t because they aren’t doable.
It is because the goals aren’t clear, aren’t measurable aren’t WELL PLANNED.
The goals that never get accomplished are vague. Like I want to be healthier.
I want to be healthier. That is your goal!?!
Way to set yourself up for failure.
I mean…What is your definition of healthier? How are you going to measure that? What specific things are you going to do to get there? How will you even know if you’ve gotten there?
Heck…Why do you even want to be healthier? Because you are supposed to be healthier? Because you are supposed to WANT to be healthier?
And I’m not saying that being healthier can’t be what you truly want, your overall goal. I’m just saying that if you want to move toward being healthier, you must have specific things to accomplish, things you can measure.
You have to understand WHY you truly want it and what it means to you.
You need to be able to see and measure your progress.
So here are some great tips to help you take that vague goal and turn it into something meaningful that you will actually accomplish this next year!
Goal Setting Tips:
- Focus on one thing at a time
- 10 tips to help you break bad habits
- How to set SMART goals
- Track your progress
- Know the WHY behind your goal
What are your goals for the New Year? What moves would you like to master?
I’ve frequently talked about the story of the tortoise and the hare – about how small steady changes over time lead to great, LASTING results.
About how sometimes, if you go all in, you end up feeling too deprived, which leads to failure and you possibly even ending up worse off than when you started.
BUT going slow and steady isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always mean moving forward.
Sometimes it means admitting you just can’t handle more than one change at that time even if that means your progress stalls for a bit.
I’ve actually had this discussion with a number of clients recently. They are busy, stressed and want to make changes, but mentally just can’t handle more on their plate.
That’s when you just have to give yourself a break and pick one thing to focus on.
Sleep deprived? Diet not where you would like it to be? Can’t seem to get in a rhythm with your workout routine?
Pick one and focus on it and leave the other problems for another day….Even if it isn’t the biggest or most “important” change you need to make, it is a change!
Sleeping more may not seemingly give you as quick or as direct a result as say dieting would in progressing toward your weight loss goal, but it will eventually move you forward.
It is a step in the right direction, no matter how slow the direct results may be.
And that step, even if it is small, will create forward momentum.
Forward momentum because you know you did something toward your goal. Forward momentum because you gave yourself some breathing room and only one thing to focus on. Forward momentum because you took the stress away of having to do everything all at once.
Forward momentum because one change spurs more change and often gives you the energy you need to keep moving forward.
There is nothing wrong with admitting you can’t do everything at once.
Most of us can’t even though most of us want to.
Give yourself a chance at success. Be patient and don’t rush your goals.
Focus on one thing at a time!!
There are two reasons why most people fail at hitting their goals:
A. They give up because they get impatient that they aren’t there yet and feel like they will never be there.
B. They never take a look at where they are at and end up going down with a sinking ship (AKA they stick with a program that doesn’t work because they are too afraid to make changes and someone else told them it worked).
These seem pretty obvious right? You wouldn’t do either of these…right?
Take a look at all the goals you’ve set over the last few years. How many of them have you really hit?
Looking back, you probably haven’t hit that many. And yes, some may not seem important now and you may not even remember why you wanted to set that goal in the first place, but the point is…YOU DIDN’T FOLLOW THROUGH. You didn’t COMPLETE the goal.
You didn’t reach your goal, your dream, for one of the two reasons above.
You didn’t reach your goal because you didn’t track your progress and you didn’t take time to ASSESS.
If you feel like you aren’t making progress or ever going to get there, don’t give up! Look at what you’ve tracked!
For one, when you look at what you’ve done, you may find you’ve actually have made more progress than you are giving yourself credit for even if you haven’t yet reached your goal.
And two, if you aren’t making progress than change what seems to be holding you back! Don’t just give up!
The problem is, most people don’t track. They don’t realize what they are doing day in and day out.
Most people only see where they are not.
We are obsessed with BEING THERE. (Yes…even those people who cling so hard to a failing program are truly so obsessed with being there that they can’t let go of something that is supposed to work.)
And rarely do we enjoy the process or even take chances to step back and assess.
Success doesn’t just happen. It is earned.
It takes hard work, dedication, and lots of failures.
Reaching your goal is going to have its ups…And a tons of downs.
You just can’t let the downs, the failures, derail you. But you also can’t ignore them.
Don’t put on blinders. Don’t rush in with no thought about the process.
Take a second today if you are struggling…Whether you are truly struggling to reach your goal or just struggling to feel like you are making progress…and assess the process.
Don’t put the blinders on and just tell yourself that everything is going ok when it isn’t. But don’t tell yourself everything is horrible just because you had a minor set-back!
Step back. Take a deep breath. And truly take a look at where you are and where you started.
I can’t say this enough, but tracking your progress is key. It motivates and allows us to honestly assess where we are and truly how hard we’ve worked and how dedicated we’ve been about getting to our goal.
Tracking allows us to look at what is working and what isn’t working.
Here are some other great articles with tips to help you reach success. These articles are focused on setting powerful GOALS. Because without SMART goals, motivational goals, you aren’t going to achieve success!
So over the last year, I’ve thought a lot about what Man Bicep stood for in my life and the life of my clients.
It wasn’t about powerlifting. It most definitely wasn’t about running. And it wasn’t even about a specific diet.
It was about doing something….anything…that made you feel healthy and strong. It was about working out to feel empowered.
It was about taking on new challenges and feeling like you COULD do anything.
It was about redefining what strong really means.
And so I started considering what could really make us feel more empowered. And I began developing workout programs based around this principle.
I believe that working out can be an outlet, a release. I believe it can help us build confidence in a way few other things can. Overcoming physical challenges – lifting more or running further than we thought possible – is just about the most empowering thing you can do.
So I created “Redefining Strength.”
Right now the site has a few products that I’m giving away. I spent a lot of time considering what would be most helpful and supplement everything that I post here, on Man Bicep.
If you go over and subscribe, you will get 4 different reports. One is bodyweight exercises that can be done by beginners and advanced a like. They are basically exercises you can do anywhere and get a full body workout.
You will also get a list of 10 Simple Diet Changes. Be you vegetarian or Atkins dieter, there are tips on there that EVERYONE needs to follow.
I also spent a lot of time creating a foam rolling video library and cheat sheet. I believe that foam rolling is one of the most important things when it comes to moving well and feeling great. I even included some foam rolling videos that show you how to roll out even if you don’t have any of the fancy trigger point equipment.
And last, but not least, you will get a goal setting sheet. I debated about putting this one in since many of you will skip it. But honestly, goal setting is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I know it’s cheesy. I know it’s boring and seems stupid. But trust me it’s worth the time if you really set goals that MATTER.
Goals that MATTER are what keep you committed even through the roughest of times. Goals CAN be motivating and keep us on course.
You just have to set goals in a way that don’t allow them to fall by the wayside like most people’s New Years resolutions!
So head over to Redefining Strength and check out those four guides and the video library. I hope it gets you as excited as I am for the programs launching in August!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.