Don’t Just say it do it!
Turning desire into action
So you don’t like how you look. The years are flashing before your eyes. They seem to be flashing even faster as you age. You want to improve your health, you want to be more active, quit smoking, slow down your drinking and so on. But every time you try to start up something, life starts up and you can’t.
Well, let me make this real easy. First off no matter when you decide to make changes, if you are living, which you are if you are reading this, life happens, it continues. As long as you are living there is stress, things happen whether they are expected or unexpected.
The one problem I see clients or potential clients have as a trainer is getting from talking about it to doing IT. I am working on another article that is the mother-load on this exact topic. But I wanted to address it sooner rather than later. And then drop the mother-load once I have organized, perfected, and packaged it in an understandable.
So lets look at this for now and see if I can help you get from wishing, to wanting, to doing. There seems to be a something that happens that makes a person either pull the trigger or place the gun down and then just stare at it for months before they pick it up again with the intention to pull, but then puts it down again. I know as a whole we are not patient people. We want results now. So if a person knows that training (whether with me or on their own, or with another trainer) is going to take time, effort and some commitment and they aren’t ready then it may take some mental working out to accept this and and understand the time it may take. I don’t think its the work per se. I think people wish they could train for a week and see the difference asap, then they would be more committed. The truth regarding this statement is that after a week of training and eating a clean diet people do see or feel results, yes they have way more work to do, but it is obvious change is taking place. When done correctly the change can be slow, but it can be, with a higher rate of permanent. Most want to see instant results. They want to fit into that dress in two weeks. Well, the thing about that is if the dress is two to three sizes two small and they only have two weeks, even with being super committed and following a plan to the letter, you may come up short. Usually, no always, I do not like taking clients who say “well I have a wedding in a month and want to wear this dress”. First off they are not committed to becoming healthy, they are committed to wearing that dress, and after they wear that dress, the committed to train has vanished. So you would have to look at the reason why you want to become healthy and drop unhealthy weight. If it is for the short term, like an event, just buy a larger size dress. DO NOT ATTEMPT!! Losing weight and then gaining it back is so unhealthy. That yo-yo crap just wrecks your body, and how your body works.
So you bought the larger dress size, but every now and then that urge to change will come to the surface. Ok, try this. When that urge comes run with it. Go talk to a professional. Usually if the person is good at what they do, they will motivate you and hopefully the talking will turn into moving. Don’t wait though, you need to strike when the iron is hot. If you have that thought and you actually go talk to a trainer it may have an amazing effect on you, especially if you usually just sit with that thought and eventually make a phone call. Too much time may have past, and during the call you listen and have moments of excited but you aren’t mentally engaged. Instead you may be thinking about what you are going to order at dinner tonight. So instead of waiting when you have that urge MOVE, and move fast. Then, if hiring a trainer is what you have in mind make an appointment with a trainer asap. Most trainers offer a free consultation (like myself), the consultation may arm you with a stronger urge to get started.
Then you leave, now this is where is all happens, or doesn’t. Life happens, and other things start to pop up. So if you set a date to start with a trainer, things may happen in between that make that date harder and harder to reach. One thing I have learned is when a person cancels our start date, 99% of the time they never re-shedule, or they do but something happens again. I think at that point they feel they have failed and never call again. First off, most trainers understand that throwing a regular scheduled workout into an already busy life can be hard to do. And it may take a few tries to get started. But if you feel like a failure because you let life get in the way of your set training time, don’t. You are just learning how to make it all work and it may take a few tries. Explain that to your trainer. A good trainer will motivate and care if you are struggling with the scheduling and will arm you with tricks, ideas and suggestions to get yourself in the gym. Second you haven’t failed until you have decided I don’t want to do this, I give up. If you truly do want to make these changes you may need to explain to family members and your trainer that you are having a hard time getting started and need help and encouragement. I often hear that when a person is trying to leave their home to come to me everything seems to go wrong. Every one needs something. If the family is prepared then this is less likely to happen. If you tell your family in advance that at this time on this day I will be leaving, please help me by not jumping in my way, or pulling on me while I am walking out the door, or stop me to ask for help you with whatever. Usually if this talk is done in a serious manner making everyone sit down and listen they will understand the importance and it should eliminate the chaos that shows up while you are heading out the door. If you have people in your life that hold you back on most things you attempt, you may need to get real stern and ask them to back off. You may need to explain that if that continues there will be repercussions they won’t enjoy. Threatening works well if you keep the punishment a surprise and leave it to their own imagination. Guaranteed it they will be pretty creative and come up with something pretty brutal on their own.
If you find it is you that lets that fire burn out, then I have a simple solution that may work. You have to have the desire and commitment. If you do have commitment and desire this may work. And this is what I will be writing about in another much longer article.
You have to reframe your goals in statements that will work to help you attain these goal. This is called the ‘If-then” plan. So instead of saying “I want to workout”, you say “if it is 12 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday then I will go to the gym” or instead of saying “I won’t eat junk food” you say “if I am hungry and want to snack, then I will eat the food I packed or snack on an apple and nuts”. Another example since drinking does seem to be a factor in almost most programs you say “if I go out, then I will only have two drinks” and you can even choose the drinks “if I drink when I go out, then I will drink vodka and soda” instead of a fruity drink or a drink made with juice or beer. Do you see where I am going with all of this.
Of course you have control over the choices in your life. But Sometimes our ability to make these choices isn’t as strong as we would like, or our commitment candle flickers and burns out. But the mind is so strong and every action comes from a thought. If we change how we think, how we use our words, retrain our brain and be more direct, then we can hopefully eliminate what happens when our intentions go from intent, to missed opportunity.
It’s not easy. I even struggle at times. But I have done some type of “if-then” for years. If I am having a hard day, I will tell myself at so-and-so time I will go downstairs and train. It works out well and has kept me from having many lazy days that were not earned, just desired.
Now, some may disagree with me about some of the statements I made in the previous paragraphs about trainers and how they should step in and motivate. Well that is my opinion, and here is more. As a trainer you don’t just say pick up that weight and do this. Exercise, weight loss, health, and any thing related can be extremely hard for some to adapt to. Some come to workout not just for weight loss, but to have a place to release tension. Some come and train but talk and get a lot off their chests. I was taught that as a trainer you motivate, inspire, support, encourage and so on. If you are reducing your training to pick that up, do this exercise, then your clients may not benefit as much as they should. I think training has a personal side to it. I think you should get along with your trainer. Some trainers think it should be completely professional and emotionless. I am not that kind of trainer. And I think if given a choice between a good robotic trainer and a good personable trainer, a person would enjoy, and gain more from the personable trainer. Both are good. But if you feel comfortable and less vulnerable during your sessions you may be able to do more, push yourself, and feel better not just physically but all the way around. This is my opinion, so take it or leave it, I live it and train it, and my clients love it!
Anything is possible, you just need to get your brain straight, reframe your goals, and get started!