Yep. It’s all in your head.
Whether you achieve the amazing body that you’ve always dreamed of having, or just want to get back in your old clothes from 10 years ago, the key to success isn’t your training plan, diet, or whether you hire a personal trainer. The truth is, it’s all in your head.
Of course, the right training and diet plan is important, but it comes second to what’s going on in your head. Having the best plan and implementing the plan that works for you are not necessarily the same thing.
The biggest reason a lot of people struggle to maintain their exercise and diet plans is simply because they’re too advanced, too complicated and too demanding. The expectations are not managed and then, as life inevitably gets in the way, you fall out of the routine, it knocks your confidence and suddenly you’re facing an uphill battle that you’re not likely to win.
In any endeavour that you are successful, you are generally fully aligned with achieving your desired goals. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it’s not a ‘necessary evil’ or something that you put off doing for months and even years.
When you’re successful in something, it is something that you jump in to with both feet. You’re excited by it, always thinking about it.
To achieve in your fitness goals, you need to get to this point. That is how every athletic guy you know undoubtedly feels. People don’t go out and run marathons if they don’t like running. They don’t slave away in the gym, counting all their calories to become a bodybuilder if they don’t like bodybuilding.
That’s not to say you have to take things to the extreme and let fitness take over your entire life, but you need to at least reach a level of recreational enjoyment to be able to enjoy and maintain a fitness lifestyle over the long term.
Nobody is going to successfully do something they don’t like for the rest of their life. Even if you never love it, you can at least align the outcomes with something you desire and make the process a habit.
Most people don’t love brushing their teeth. They like the benefits of doing so, and now it’s a habit.
Fitness can and should at the very least get to this level.
How to do it?
How to Fall in Love With Fitness (Or at Least Not Hate It!)
If you’re not someone who already likes fitness and you’ve made it this far in life, it’s unlikely you’re going to discover you actually LOVE jogging next weekend.
But what if you could make it happen on purpose? What if you could use fitness as the means of fulfilling the things in life that are really important to you?
It’s obvious that exercise is healthy and good for your body, but if you’re not an exercise lover, that may not be a strong enough motivator.
Of course you care about your health, but there are probably other things you prioritize above it. If you work a high-stress job with long hours, you may be using too much caffeine and sugar to get through the day, even though you know it’s not good for your health. You still do it, because success and providing for your family are more important.
While you may care about your health, life is not that black and white. Just because something is important doesn’t mean you’ll act in a way that matches up with maximizing that area of your life.
Wanting to provide the best possible life for your children often involves spending more time away from them than you would want. There are always sacrifices to make.
Here’s how to align your fitness goals with the things that are most important to you so that you not only consistently maintain a fitness routine, but enjoy it and see benefits beyond just the physical.
Linking Fitness With YOUR Highest Values
What is most important to you?
It’s important that you get the real answer, not the politically correct one. The simplest way to find out is to look at where you spend the bulk of your time, money and energy.
Work is going to win out for most people on time and energy, but there is a difference between doing enough and consistently going the extra mile, working long hours, putting everything in to work.
It might be that your children, partner or family consume most of your time, money and energy outside of the 40 or so hours you have to put in at the office.
In which case, that is your highest value.
Once you know what your highest value is, grab a sheet of paper and write 50 ways improving your fitness will bring more success in that area of your life, either directly or indirectly.
For example, if your business is your highest value you might write things such as:
- Have more energy for work
- Better able to put in long shifts without fatigue
- Improved posture, less back ache and better focus
- More stable energy
- Having an outlet for stress
- Being able to use exercise to energize yourself
- Having more confidence in yourself
- Presenting a better image of yourself at meetings
- Higher testosterone = more drive and focus (for men)
- Getting out of your head and in your body allows your subconscious to think and be creative
If you’re struggling, just list 10 things and add to it each day until you have 50 or more.
Now that you’ve linked exercise with your highest values, the next step is to apply this to your day-to-day life.
Set Fitness Goals Based on Achievement in Your Highest Values.
For example, “I’m going to do cardio every morning before work, because it energizes me for the day, bringing focus and clarity to my business, which will help business grow and add to the bottom line,”
If there were a work task you could do every day for 30 minutes that made you consistently more successful, you’d to do it, right?
Now bring it with you to the gym. Write that goal down and look at it every morning when you get up and every evening before you go to sleep. Constantly remind yourself why fitness will benefit your highest values.
Now the fitness outcomes—losing weight, being healthier—are simply by-products of achieving more success in your highest values, something that will always inspire you and drive you forward.
Give it a try—it works great!