Feb 3, 2012
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”
- Brian Tracy
That’s very cute and poetic and all, but it’s wrong.
Today I want to illustrate the single most divisive characteristic of success vs non-success. It can be applied in all sorts of fields, not just fitness. It’s something that unfortunately so few have, but it’s attainable by all…and it’s also the common denominator amongst all successful people in any avenue in life.
Purpose is neutral. When you have it, you can create magic or you can create hell.
So here’s hoping that by the end of this post, I can shed some light on the one that that’s holding you back from really getting your fitness goals
The other day I was working out at a gym in Delray Beach when I struck up a conversation with a guy who went on to tell me his struggle to go from in-shape to being “jacked”. He told me his goal was to get to 190lbs with only 7% body fat…pretty lofty but attainable expectation (btw, for girls reading this that’s a target most guys working out shoot for so you can substitute that for your dream figure).
Looking at him like I don’t understand what that (“jacked”) means, I said to him “I don’t understand what that means…”
the other dude: “Basically, I wanna be ripped in the stomach and have huge cut arms”
me: “So what’s the struggle?”
other dude: “My diet sucks. I eat really clean during the week but I drink a ton and eat like sh** on the weekends”
me: “So what’s it worth..to look the way you want to look?”
other dude: (blank, dumb stare…..)
By all means my little friend here has a goal. He knows what he wants which is why he’s set up to achieve it, right?
Although he knew what he wanted he couldn’t answer why he wanted it which is why he will fall short.
You see, regardless of your fitness goal, all targets can be boiled down to one of three deep down reasons or purpose.
1. Vanity – “I love the attention I get from others.”
2. Health – “Everyone my family died of a heart attack, which is why I have to live a healthy life”
3. Performance – “I want to be the number 1 golfer in the world”
What I just listed up there aren’t goals…they’re reasons. ”Purposeful action” as I like to call it.
If you really want to lose the 20 lbs of post-baby weight that’s great! The single most important question you have to answer is whether losing that 20 lbs is worth the inconvenience of preparing separate meals for yourself from your family.
Or having to exercise 4-5 times per week despite your crazy schedule and heavy responsibilities.
If the answer is “no”, then you don’t have a strong enough reason…the goal is nothing more than just….a goal! But the reason behind that has to be strong enough for you to act and act purposefully! Where regardless of circumstances (holiday party, 4th of July, New Year’s, birthday, everyone telling you to have just one drink, etc).
Is it what you’re looking to achieve/gain more important then:
…being the one guy not drinking despite pressure from others to “just have one”?
…skipping workouts because it’s [insert your own vice]?
…sleeping an extra half hr and not prepping your days worth of meals/snacks?
I’m not asking you this in an inflammatory way. Instead these are the real questions you have to ask yourself when setting any kind of goal. Are you willing to skip the path of least resistance?
Below I’ve listed a few targets that actual personal training clients of mine have given me….and then in parenthesis I’ve given you their actual reason..I didn’t make these up, these are real reasons…
1. “I want to lose 40 lbs before for my daughter’s graduation in May” (I’m going to see my ex-husband for the first time in 2 years and want to show him how amazing I look).
2. ”I want to lose 75 lbs and gain as much strength as possible” (My husband has a degenerative disorder and is wheelchair bound. I don’t have the strength or stamina to move him in and out of the chair as I’m going to have to have).
3. ”I want to lose 20 lbs” (I’ve tried so many times to get in shape but my family always held me down saying that I’m always going to be this size)
…like I said these are real dreams and reasons from real boot camp clients I’ve trained. I’ll let you guess how many of them achieved what they set out to do
You can judge their motives all you want, but the fact is this. The power to get them and keep them on track comes from intangible, unmeasurable purpose. Things no one can give you other than yourself.
If you’re struggling to find that, that’s ok. In regards to just fitness though, you can find a purpose to have the best look and feel every by asking yourself:
“If failure didn’t exist and I could create the perfect ‘me’, what would it look like?”
Answer that question in as full detail as possible. It may be something far away from what you are now and that’s cool…it’s still attainable.
From there the road becomes simple as you just back track from where it is you ultimately want to go to where you are now.
And finally, is that road worth taking to where you want to go?
If ‘yes’, start driving…
Shameless plug: This post is parallel to “yo-yo’ers” or people who have achieved some good fitness results but can’t seem to keep them for long. If that sounds like you and are looking for a long-term successful fitness outlook, give us a buzz at (561) 994-0765 or email kal[at]bocafitbody[dot]com.