I am often asked questions such as “why is eating right so hard?” or “When can I find the time to workout 4-5 day’s per week?” To answer these questions refer to our last newsletter on Plateau Busting. In this issue I want to stress the importance of being persistent. Napoleon Hill, famous author of the book “Think and Grow Rich” is quoted as saying “failure seems to shrink and fail in the face of persistence”. I am a firm believer in this quote because I have experienced it to one degree or another in my life. I know that Persistence has a way of allowing you to get what you want.
As a trainer/lifestyle coach, one of my greatest challenges is helping people be consistent through the long haul. I have seen many of my clients start out very motivated and obedient to their fitness and nutritional programs. After the initial month of getting into a healthy lifestyle change, the motivational high wears off and the person is left with many real-life barriers that stand in the way of their sought-after healthy lifestyle. Such barriers include:
- Lack of time (This one is so prevalent that a bullet is not worthy)
- Frustration from not making fitness goals
- Business Traveling
- Family commitments
- Church commitments
- Peer pressure to eat unhealthy
- Holiday Seasons
- and the list goes on and on!
So How Can I Be Persistent and Successfull?
The aforementioned barriers to our success can be overcome by consistent persistence…almost sounds like a double-positive until you think of the difference in words.
” Consistency is doing something in a regular and dependable fashion whereas persistence is more specifically facing and confronting adversity even when you want to quit.”
Persistence is what finally got Abraham Lincoln elected to office after multiple failed attempts and numerous humiliations. I am writing this newsletter to give you advice for when those hard times come.
As it pertains to fitness we must remember first what we are striving for in the first place and that is: lifestyle change! Now that we have that cleared up, we can focus on strategies as to how we can be persistent in hard times.
1. always keep the end in mind! If you can just take a moment each day, to envision what you are striving for, it will help you keep things in perspective. Maybe it means putting up a picture of what you are trying to accomplish for your physical goals. Maybe it means finding a quit place and envisioning it in your minds eye. Do not lose sight of what you set out to accomplish…if you do you will get side-tracked and most likely fail.
2. write down clear and specific goals and refer to them daily. I will also advise you to speak them out-loud as well. This has the effect of teaching your sub-conscious mind what you really want to accomplish, and it will help you accomplish it by any means possible. Sound weird? Try it!
3. expect hard times. Need i say more? They will come but this is the very essence of persistence. If you fold each time you are faced with a challenge you will NEVER change for the better because you will never form positive habits. Remember that if you apply the nutritional knowledge that you learn here when you face hard times, those hard times will eventually become easier and eventually disappear.
4. Do not make excuses! You have heard me say this before but it always holds true. I have noticed that ALL of my clients that have succeeded in the long run ALL MADE EXCUSES AT FIRST. The funny thing is that they all got to the point to ditching their excuses and succeeding despite their barriers. You cannot be truly persistent in your efforts if you are constantly making excuses.
5. celebrate your victories! Remember that fitness does not need to be drudgery. Sometimes when you are changing your lifestyle you may be tempted to think of it as such, but you can change that by the way that you reward yourself for doing well. If you meet a goal, go shopping or out to a baseball game to celebrate. Be good to yourself and succeed one day at time and you will find your self where you need to be in the long haul.
6. Be persistent! Never back down…never ever back down…NEVER! Am I coming across clear? This does not mean that you will not make mistakes, but be persistent in learning from them and becoming better for having gone through them. Anything worth obtaining is going to be hard! You are trying to change your life forever…have you considered that this is worthy of some real intense effort? But in the end it will be totally worth it!
Well there you have it my friends…Remember that your barriers and fears are nothing more than things that you have imgined in your head…not reality. The steps above will help you see that. Remember life is good!