Have you ever had difficulty keeping a simple commitment to yourself? Sure. Nearly everyone I know has, sometime or another, found him or herself "trapped"-wanting to do something yet not acting on their intentions.
So why don't we do some of the things we want to or know we should-like improving our health and building a better body?
Let's say you keep putting off that new fitness program. You can even imagine what it might mean to you: having a firm, strong, healthy body; feeling an abundance of energy; newfound confidence and sex appeal... Still, you don't do it. So why do you keep putting it off? What's preventing you from taking those first steps?
My observation is that our minds tend to see the obstacles first-those barriers that lie between where we are now and where we want to be or who we want to become. Just as fast as you conceive of achieving your new body, your mind begins to spout out every excuse it can come up with why you can't attain your goal. So even before we can initiate any action, we literally paralyze ourselves.
And once your head begins to fill with all the obstacles that could potentially keep you from achieving your newfound goal, suddenly your desire to even try is crushed.
But what if all the obstacles were removed?
Think about it for a moment: if whatever deterred you from attempting to build your very best body suddenly vanished, you'd have no fear to stop you, right?
What if I showed you how to take those obstacles and instantly transform them into strategies for achieving success... Would you consider starting, or sticking to, your new (or current) fitness plan then?
"... we can choose to transform those circumstances that oppose us into specific decisions and actions that can lead us to our goals."The truth is, we can choose to transform those circumstances that oppose us into specific decisions and actions that can lead us to our goals. True empowerment you can use to your advantage!
Let me explain...
The Breakthrough Technique
So how can we break through our fears, smash those barriers, and transform those obstacles into strategies for achieving our fitness goals? It's really quite simple-allow me to introduce you to the Breakthrough Technique. Here I've taken the eight most feared obstacles that potentially stand in the way of your success, followed by a very specific success strategy to blast through them and help you reach your fitness and physique development goals.
Are you ready? Great... let's get started!
Obstacle #1: I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME.
Believe or not, individuals who achieve extraordinary levels of success have days just as hectic as ours. They've got obligations: commitments to work, friends, and family. And let's face it, we're all confined to an equal amount of time-the same 24 hours. Yet some people find the time to continually make exercise a part of their daily routine.
So how do they do it? Simple-they create it. You can instantly create time if you begin to plan, plan, and plan some more. That means planning your days ahead, at least a day in advance, sometimes even a week in advance. One of the best time-creating techniques is to make a list of your daily "to-dos" and schedule when you're going to exercise. (This is a common challenge-we forget how important it is to schedule an appointment with ourselves to exercise.)
Then divide your "to-dos" into things you must do and things you would like to do, so you're less likely to confuse urgency with importance. You see, getting to the gym is important, whereas getting your haircut may seem urgent when you're running late but can certainly be rescheduled. And before you do anything, always ask yourself what you could be doing that would be more productive.
Success Strategy #1: PLAN AHEAD. Creating the time you need to exercise is easy! Plan your days in advance by creating action lists of the most important things to accomplish each day.
Obstacle #2: I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
Don't know what exercises to do to help you get the most out of your workouts? Not sure what to eat, when, to help you put on muscle and shed that unwanted bodyfat? And supplements, well, these can be downright confusing!
That's all understandable: there are just so many techniques, recommended by so many "fitness experts." So, whose advice can you trust? It can become paralyzing. So instead of trying to sort through all the (mis)information, stop right now: keep yourself from chasing every exercise theory or latest diet craze. But this doesn't sound like it will do us any good, does it?
So how do you find the answers? It's simple-model the success of others. For example, try our free programs like Maximum Growth, the Lean System Success Plan, or the 21-Day Energy Plan.
The greatest thing about success is that it leaves clues, and if we pay close attention, we can pick up those clues and model the actions and behaviors to produce similar results. Find people, whether in person or in a magazine, who have achieved the type of extraordinary success you wish to achieve, and find out what they did. It's really as easy as that.
"If you follow a proven approach to exercise, nutrition, and supplementation, you will achieve similar success."Success Strategy #2: STUDY A SUCCESSFUL FORMULA-AND FOLLOW IT. Seek someone who has achieved the "extraordinary" results you desire and learn from his or her "winning" actions. If you follow a proven approach to exercise, nutrition, and supplementation, you will achieve similar success.
Obstacle #3: I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY.
Do you wake up every morning feeling energized, powerful, and ready to take on the day? Or do you rise feeling as tired as the night before, resenting that a new day has presented itself so soon? Do you fear your current energy levels would never allow you to participate in a fitness program?
This is a great example of the perceived problem-your lack of energy to exercise-being the ultimate solution. We might believe we're too exhausted to exercise, but in reality, we lack energy simply because we don't exercise!
It's been scientifically proven that incorporating exercise into our lives actually gives us more energy. Moderate levels of exercise can even help us sleep better at night, so we wake up renewed.
How else can you bolster energy levels?
As long as we feed ourselves with properly balanced protein- and carbohydrate-rich meals, we feel an immediate impact on our energy levels. The more closely we keep to our preferred eating strategy, the better we feel, period. Feeding our bodies every two to three hours throughout the day provides us with a stable, constant supply of nutrients required to be more energetic.
Success Strategy #3: GIVE YOUR ENERGY A BOOST. Exercise and proper nutrition play a vital role in our energy levels and allow us to perform at peak levels daily.
Obstacle #4: I HATE SETTING GOALS.
Goals come from having a clear vision of what you want. Knowing you want to build your very best body is great start, but you need something more than that-a statement so compelling it literally pulls you, like a magnet, in the direction of its achievement.
So, maybe you're not certain how to set effective goals? If that's you, then don't worry, everyone starts off this way... To really set effective fitness goals and ensure you'll reach them, you're going to have to learn what I call the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting technique. Not only will this technique enable you to set the most effective goals, it will help focus your efforts on exactly what you want to achieve.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Specific-you must be specific about what you want to achieve, creating your goal in the present tense. That means using "I am in the process of..." to start your goal statement.
Measurable-how do you measure "better shape" or "slimmer waist"? You can't. So scale your goal to a specific number (e.g., 10% bodyfat, a 33-inch waist, or a size six).
Action-oriented-you must be able to create an action list of things you must do to achieve success.
Realistic-make certain your goal is realistic yet stretches you, given your expectations and timeframe.
Time-conscience-a date forces us to give it priority and puts positive pressure on you to achieve it.
Success Strategy #4: TRANSFORM YOUR FITNESS GOALS. Using the S.M.A.R.T. technique will ensure you've set an effective and commanding goal and will not only clarify your path to success but will compel you to achieve it.
Obstacle #5: THERE'S TOO MUCH RISK.
The physical transformation that takes place on your outside (your body) is really a metaphor for the mental (inner) transformation that takes place on the inside. You see, not only should your chosen program change the way you look, it is just as important that it change the way you feel about yourself.
"...not only should your chosen program change the way you look, it is just as important that it change the way you feel about yourself."Every time we purchase the latest miracle pill, workout gadget, or eight-minute solution, we're just avoiding the process of a true transformation and trying to find a quick fix. This is nothing more than treating the symptoms and not the causes. It does nothing to improve our self-esteem, confidence, or personal power.
Let me share a little secret with you and save you time, money, and frustration: this approach never works. And you'll never feel a true sense of fulfillment when you try this type of "magic bullet" approach. Unless you start from the inside, you're sure to find yourself right back where you started, only more disappointed.
We must challenge ourselves to find a solution that involves total balance-a complete solution that integrates some very essential elements, such as proper nutrition and supplementation, cardiovascular and weight-training exercise, and most importantly, strengthening our inner self, our minds.
Your chosen program should help you set commanding goals, transform your old, self-defeating beliefs into new, empowering beliefs, and transform your patterns so you're continually producing results that take you closer to your goals.
Remember, you can't transform a lifetime of poor habits in matter of days. It takes time-a couple of months at best. Rest assured, following a solution that allows you to first transform your inside and then your outside is sure plan for long-term success.
Success Strategy #5: FOLLOW AN INSIDE-OUT APPROACH. To successfully transform your physique and achieve your fitness goals, follow an approach that focuses first on increasing your self-esteem and building confidence, before you concentrate on your physique, and you'll more likely be able to create extraordinary results that will last a lifetime.
Obstacle #6: I CAN'T STAY COMMITTED.
There's a huge difference between intentions and action. And the difference is commitment.
Our commitment to our goals leads us to achievement, even during the toughest times. There is a direct relationship between motivation and commitment. And if you're really committed to making a change now, the only way to make it happen is to create a sense of immediate importance.
You can do this by attaching reasons that are so compelling and so intense you must follow through. So right now, ask yourself the following questions and come up with at least three intensely compelling reasons you must commit to your transformation goals.
What will this cost me if I don't change right now?
What has this cost me so far, concerning my health, physical condition, self-confidence, and energy levels?
If I do change now, how will I feel about myself?
How will this impact my life?
What will I gain as a result?"
Your answers to these questions will help you gain an immediate understanding of what you're committed to and why!
Success Strategy #6: IDENTIFY YOUR REASONS. Clearly state your reasons for wanting to change and make them so compelling you become truly committed to achieving your fitness goals.
Obstacle #7: I LACK THE CONFIDENCE TO SUCCEED.
Sometimes the accomplishment of our goals might seem so overwhelming, the immediate temptation is to give up before we even start-which diminishes our self-confidence even further. It's true. We can't gain confidence until we take action. Yet, we don't want to take action until our confidence levels are raised sufficiently. See the "catch"?
Take, for example, the intimidating obstacle of your entire fitness goal needing to be achieved in a giant, single step. Now that's paralyzing, isn't it?
"... to gain confidence, you must break your fitness goal down into measurable steps."That's why, to gain confidence, you must break your fitness goal down into measurable steps. For example, if you wanted to lose 12% bodyfat within 12 weeks, then you could realistically set your increments for one percent of bodyfat reduction per week. This way, you don't have to focus on the whole goal at any given time, nor do you notice all that you have not yet accomplished; instead you can focus entirely on the smaller, manageable steps ahead. This gives you a tremendous sense of control and achievement. Building your confidence, each step of the way.
By the time you are nearing the end of your first couple of weeks of your fitness program, despite the ups and downs in progress, you will begin to feel more confident. You will be determined to advance one more step and make the effort to complete your fitness program and build your very best body.
Suddenly, as the fear dissipates, you will discover newfound confidence. And best of all, you will have achieved what you once thought was impossible-one increment at a time.
Success Strategy #7: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS. Success is accomplished only through measuring your progress, always from where you're coming from (backwards). This way, you will never lack a sense of accomplishment, and you'll build your confidence with each and every step.
Obstacle #8: I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MOTIVATION.
So you need a source of motivation in your life-something to get you out of bed in the morning and carry you through the day?
One way is to continually "see" what you want to become by finding a picture of someone's physique you would most like to emulate (probably in your favorite fitness magazine), cut it out, and hang it someplace you're likely to see it over and over again throughout the day. You might even write down your reasons for wanting to achieve this goal with the photo.
By seeing the body you want to achieve in front of you all the time, you'll be pointing your subconscious toward the realization of these results. This constant source of inspiration is a reminder of where you are going. It's called bringing focus to the center of your awareness.
Success Strategy #8: FIND AN INSPIRATION. Discover your inspiration, someone who has turned his or her body and life from ordinary to extraordinary, and use that as your source of daily fuel. Look for inspiration in our Success Stories, such as David Silbaugh, Marina Popelka, and Mark Harden, who have each reached their goals and are now helping others do the same.
Remember, building a better body does not follow an absolute straight line. Life doesn't work that way. But now that you've found the principle of turning literally any obstacle into a stepping stone for your success, you can create the fitness and physique results you so desire.
By committing to turning these once fearful obstacles into powerful success strategies, you will begin to create extraordinary results in your physique and ultimately achieve your fitness goals.
If there are any other obstacles I overlooked, please email me (at Stephen@realsolutionsmag.com, and I will gladly help you create a success strategy to blast through it.