First a disclaimer:
What I'm about to share with you could vary well put us out of business. If this concept is spread and became practiced by everyone who has a gym membership they don't use, everyone that purchased a workout video they never do, and everyone waiting to be inspired so they can start working out, then my role in society is no longer needed. And I will happily trade that in for a world that universally pushes themselves to evolve, feel great, have a sense of purpose.
Joining a gym isn't going to help you lose weight. The gym membership you currently have is not how you will become healthier.
Hang on, there's more.
Attempting to save money by ordering or looking up workouts on your own is also not going to help you lose weight, or help you become healthier.
Hang on, hang on, there's EVEN more!
Attending personal training sessions will not help you lose weight, or help you become healthier.
What you actually need, is a WHY.
We've talked in the past about finding an accountabilibuddy to help with enjoyment and social accountability... Get it?
And we've talked about having a plan of attack to help bolster your self confidence and help with the overwhelming anxiety that comes from walking in to a gym.
We have an entire ebook built around designing and tailoring your priorities to make sure you see habitual changes and results.
None of these things are workouts or programs or “health hacks” for seeing results. That is because a step by step guide is not what you need to get started. If it were you would already be doing it. With out a why, with out a reason to voluntarily make yourself uncomfortable, you will never find value in gyms, fitness classes, personal training, purchasable programs, or even FREE programs. It won't matter if it's a walk in the park, a $10 planet fitness membership, or $500 for one session with a celebrity trainer.
That is why all of the content we just listed is designed to help you find a why. You need a reason to learn, a reason to seek growth, a reason to improve your health. With out that you will be wasting money, time, and energy.
Fitness is a hobby, a lifestyle, and an industry. All of it is marketed to one of two people.
The body sculpting, crossfit lifting, 5k running, yoga practitioners who enjoy these activities and want to pour more money into their hobby.
People who do not enjoy these things, have been told they need them, and have just enough money to buy something and not feel guilty forgetting about it.
Now be honest, which of those is closer to describing your situation? If you're thinking number 1, then good for you! You're already doing something like we discussed earlier. If you're even remotely relating with number 2, the WHY is what your lacking, and you're being robbed of any penny you spend within the industry.
None of the fitness industry is built towards discovering self worth, seeking education with or beyond school, or understanding the state of your mental and emotional well being. Not only that but those are all equally daunting tasks that have been segregated into separate industries. They each require their own money, time, and WHY. You have three different avenues for bettering yourself, none of which pay your rent, afford your food, or include time out with friends or binge watching tv shows.
Physical health and fitness
Mental acuity, and fact memorization
Emotional and mental well being
You need a why to motivate and push yourself to consistently workout and eat right so you can “look right.”
You need a why to sign up for classes, or to seek mentorship from others with your interests, or in your industry.
You need a why to seek out help before things get worse.
That's too many whys... Why?
Because this leads many people to choose one over all the others, or to cycle through phases of focusing on each one. The result being never getting to see progress in any of them. Even worse, for the rest of us this leads to ignoring all three. So here is what I propose:
Find the biggest and strongest why in your life. Generally speaking the biggest and strongest why is something you automatically work on above other things. Acknowledge this as your top priority and pay attention to which of the three avenues it falls under or leans toward.
Are you in school, working your way up the corporate ladder, job hunting, or learning a trade?
Are you active every day, do you make time to work on your body before looking at social options, and eat a balance diet designed to fuel all the energy you use?
Do you already have or use a therapist? Do you acknowledge and work to battle anxiety or depression on the daily basis?
Find the avenue that describes what you are already working on. Congratulations! You already have a why or a reason for pursuing it. Now instead of solely going gang busters on that one specific method of self improvement, use the other two to help bolster your current why.
If you're not already making disciplined choices or sustainable changes to your diet or exercise routine, you don't actually care about losing weight. You are lying to yourself every time you go on a diet, or calorie crunch, or start saying you need to work out more. Give up on that dream, because it is not going to happen. Instead, consider using your diet to help your concentration in class, or an exercise program that will better help you deal with the mundane drudgery of Monday through Friday. Seek out and build relationships with mentors that motivate you to believe in yourself, and can relate to the bullshit no one else seems to understand. Finally, always remember the key to progress in any endeavor is the same discipline and work ethic you are capable of when focusing on your why.
Using indirect methods of self improvement to hone your priorities is going to secretly provide you over all growth, without having to compromise or take your eye off the prize.
If you're still following this blog post and have yet to see an example that you can relate to, we need to talk. This is not going to be pleasant or a rah rah, go team speech. You are actively choosing to stop growing, learning, or improving. You may be bored, you may feel stuck in your life, you may feel frustrated with the direction your life is or has headed. It sucks. It hurts. And no one can help you fix it. You are the only one that is capable of creating change in your life. There are thousands of options and ways to receive help in your quest for self improvement, but none of them can help you if you don’t want change. Let this be your warning:
Your complaints will be ignored, your excuses will fall on deaf ears, and you will get zero sympathy for blaming anyone but yourself. When you are done crying foul and decide to dust yourself off and stand back up, you will have our unwavering support. But remember it starts with you, and having your why.
(Fun fact! We mentioned a number of previous blog posts and content. If this post were a sit-com episode, this would be the flash back episode where previous plot points help provide a stronger plot in the present. Reading, or re-reading the mentioned posts will make this post that much stronger! If you missed the links before we have them listed here for your convenience.)