My brain never stops, I feel like you all realize that by now after reading some of these posts. Randomly stuck in traffic on my way to get coffee the other day I was annoyed at the traffic and the other drivers. On my way to get coffee that I wasn’t really all that stoked about. This is what started my thought process, why am I going to get coffee?
I know from experience that when I kick the coffee completely I actually end up with WAYYYYYY more energy on a consistent basis and I don’t miss the taste one bit. I have always had a pretty high tolerance to caffeine so I don’t see the big uptick in energy that most do anyways. However after not having it for a couple weeks I have a couple nights where I coach mornings, or a quick turn around (coach the night before then again the next morning), or just rack up a couple nights where I don’t sleep well and all the sudden I have 1 coffee and I’m right back on the train. Why though? I just said I don’t miss the taste, I know I have more energy without it, so why?
I realized that its not the actual coffee, just like when you drink its not because you love the taste of vodka shots. It’s about what that time represents, the social aspect even. Maybe your coffee is what gets you out of your chair and out of the building at work for 20 minutes. Maybe it’s something that you and some friends do every day, maybe you just like delaying your ride to work another 5 minutes each day. Maybe you just always have had a coffee while you sit and read the paper in the morning and it just feels weird and less cathartic without it. This doesn’t just apply to coffee, maybe its ice cream in the summer, maybe its cigarettes for any of you that smoke or have smoked before.
You all know, for the most part, what types of things you struggle with daily that are not supporting your goals. I encourage you to not look at the food, action, whatever it is itself, look at your behavior when you have it. What are you doing, how do you feel at the time, who are you with, what sensation is that time creating for you? When in doubt take a step back and look at the entire picture, the first step to breaking a pattern is finding it in the first place.
Coach Adam is back this week talking about exercise progression versus random exercise variety. Coach Adam goes over why building a full progression and mastery of skill is important in the fitness process!
Consistency Over Motivation.
You ever get that awesome feeling of motivation that just lights a fire under you and has you feeling like you can take over the world? Maybe you listened to one of Dean’s speeches, watched a motivational video, saw a friend accomplish something great, and that rush of adrenaline and motivation rushes over you and makes you ready to set out on your new goal.
It’s great right?
Let me ask you this though, how long does that feeling usually last? I know for me my motivation usually ends after the first workout or day of clean eating and I am back in the real world…… now what?
This is where consistency comes in! Motivation may help you start the journey but consistency will get you to the end. Making what you want to happen apart of everyday life. Going to the gym every day is just routine, you don’t even think twice about meal prepping, you practice the skills you need to make it happen day in and day out even if you don’t want to. That consistency is what makes big things happen.
So my advice is don’t be afraid to ride the wave of motivation but be ready for the crash by being so consistent in what you do you keep on going.
This is plastered on the gym in both gyms. This is a pretty important quote. Here is my challenge to you…
You came to Get Fit NH with a problem that you wanted to be solved. That might mean that you were unhappy with your body composition or the way you feel. It could be because you were feeling less mobile or weak. It could be because you wanted to run your first marathon or maybe compete in a triathlon. Whatever the “problem” is I want to congratulate you for taking personal responsibility and seeking a solution!
This is a two sided coin though…
Fast forward 30 days down the road. Have you seen movement toward the solution? If the answer is no then ask yourself what you have done to be a problem solver?
Have you made it to each training opportunity?
Did you set a goal and initial the goals board at the beginning of the month and follow that goal?
Have you been to any nutrition seminars or participated in any nutrition challenges?
Are you working through each set and never stopping at “3”
Are you telling yourself you “eat healthy” but still wondering why you are overweight?
Have you asked for help?
Your coaches are here to help you take you from where you ARE to where you are trying to go. We are here to keep you accountable and coach you along the way. No one is in this alone. YOU need to take personal responsibility and follow through with what you say you are going to do and ask for help when you need it!
Make it Happen
The all or nothing mindset can be toxic and detrimental to your results. If this mindset describes you (or even if it doesn’t) then I have some homework for your to push through..
Never stop when the timer says 3 (as in 3..2..1) Don’t do it. Always push for AT LEAST one more rep. Practice giving it your all. The whole time. Every time.
Add training to your google calendar. Book it the same way you book a dentist appointment. You wouldn’t stand up your dentist so don’t stand up your body. It’s the only one you’ve got and I can promise you that getting new teeth is easier than getting a new body 😉 (Just so you know...we know life happens sometimes, but for the all or nothing mindset sometimes by missing Monday it means the rest of the week is blow, because one day didn’t work out.)
Schedule 1-2 “Free Meals” each week to give yourself something to look forward to. This will help you to keep you on track with the rest of your meals
Make it happen
“This is how education works: you don’t sit down with a five year old and show them piles of books, assignments, and papers they are going to have to devour, Finish, and deliver by the time They’re done. The five year old just ‘shows up’ and day by day the work gets done.” -Dan John
I read this quote and it is a great way of categorizing the “trying to do it all at once” idea which often doesn’t have real results. When we looks at the quote above its just another way to realize how much work may have to eventually be done, but that it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Lets fast forward this a few years, lets say for the sake of argument that you are not five, lets say its your first year in college. So you are a freshman you walk into your advisers office and they look at you and say “Good morning, welcome to the university (it is your first day after all so pleasantries are being exchanged)” after which she drops a booklet down on the counter. On the front the booklet says “A four year degree in two semesters” with a picture of a group of smiling college students on the cover playing Frisbee out on the quad. You look at the front thinking “wow they look excited, and I can get my degree in 2 semesters? Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet”. Now you open to the first page, as you read you realize this isn’t some expedited curriculum, its four years of material that you are expected to finish in under a year. The first page is all the books you would need to buy over your college career but you need to pay for them all tomorrow since this is only one year, there’s a few thousand dollars right there. On the next page is a list of every assignment you will ever be assigned (let's revise that, on the next 6 pages). Followed by 4 pages of all the papers you will be assigned, then by another 3 pages of finals you have to take and senior research projects and papers you have to write. Rounding out with 4 pages about what you have to do for graduation and oh by the way, the day after you graduate you begin a career in your field for the rest of your life. All while finding a way to squeeze out 100+ hours of internship. How many people are succeeding on that system? Now let's say that somehow you do finish in a year. Let's say after burning four different candles at three ends for a year, you graduate. Do you think that the brain can really take in that much information in that short of a time period and be able to sort it and apply it rationally? Heck no.
Now apply that to your health. If you have bad joints, or you need to lose excess body fat, or you want to run a marathon, there is not “cheat code”. It is achieved by gradually learning how to change parts of your lifestyle that are not conducive to your goal, and amplifying the ones that are. If you came in tomorrow and Coach Dean gave you every piece of information available to him or gave you 500 steps to be healthy the rest of your life. How successful do you think you would be? I know I wouldn’t be successful, that’s way too much information to apply at once. Health and habits are something that must be learned and applied over time. If you are 80 lbs overweight and you try to implement 25 habits or steps the first day, you probably aren't going to be successful, it's about building a habit, then once its ingrained, building another. Continually learning more and applying more over time. So don’t expect everything to click at once, don’t expect to be able to apply 15 life changes tomorrow. Just come in, exercise, work hard, and make those small incremental changes. That’s the blueprint for real long lasting success and health, not trying to lose 60lbs in a week.
Make it Happen!
I was thinking about this recently in terms of food and medical costs. However it really applies to most things we encounter on a consistent basis for most of our life.
What got me onto the subject was talking about how “expensive” it is to eat healthy. While I can argue you that you can actually eat healthy much less expensively than you can eating unsupportively, lets pretend for a second that you cant. Lets pretend that no matter how I present that argument you still don’t believe me. So lets say you believe it costs extra and that’s all there is to it and you wont do that. So you don’t want to pay the extra now, guess what, you may not want to now, but I promise you that if you go about it that way forever, you will be paying every penny you saved and then some down the road. “Where” you say? Well in medical costs, you eat unsupportively for your entire life your risk of piling up medical debt goes up exponentially. You either pay a little extra now to eat supportively or you pony up everything you spent your life saving later in medical costs.
Think about it in terms of a car, what happens if you keep putting off all the little fixes. “Oh that’s not important I don’t need to fix that right now…or that…or that…” you end up bringing your car in for inspection one year and because you neglected it in a bunch of small ways it now needs 3-4 thousand dollars worth of work to pass inspection. Or worse the car breaks down and becomes un-drivable or the engine blows and now its not just a matter of getting it fixed, it’s a matter of having to shell out for a new car. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that not putting in the work now isn’t going to catch up to you somewhere else down the road. The difference is there is no “New Car” option for your body, you get one, take care of it.
In general, the world values people with what are termed "Hard Skills".
A "hard skill" is a tangible expertise at a particular task or occupation. Writing, math, computer programming; doctors, physicists, engineers. Hard Skills are identified based on an objective evaluation.
A "soft skill" on the other hand, is more subjective, and they are harder to quantify.
Many forward looking companies recognize that while hard skills are important, it's the soft skills that will make more of an impact in the long run, and hire to those skills. We do that here at Get Fit NH. You can fairly easily teach someone to teach someone to squat, but it's not as easy to teach things crucial to our success, like teamwork and time management.
I was reminded recently of the importance of "soft skills" when I received a note from a client challenging me on my communication skills. In my zeal to keep her from being hurt on an exercise, I was very rude in my speech and mannerisms toward her. There was nothing "soft" about the way I treated her, and I deserved to be called out. I apologized, and was very grateful that she demonstrated her superior soft skills of communication and leadership in the situation.
In the context of my profession, the difference between hard skills and soft skills is the difference between being a "trainer" and a "coach".
The first is skilled at program design, movement training, and teaching skills.
The second is an expert at inspiring and motivating others to be the best version of themselves they can be.
One is MUCH harder than the other, and clearly I still have work to do.
So what does that have to do with S3?
It occurred to me that often when we sign up for a challenge like "Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown" we are focused primarily, if not solely, on the "hard skill" aspect.
The nutrition plan, the calorie counts, how much protein we should eat, MyFitnessPal, MyCoach, the weigh-in and Fit3D, planning, shopping and prepping.
All the tangible things we can measure and count.
All valuable skills, and all worth doing.
And while those are important, I would submit in the long run they are not the most important.
Because even the best laid plans get blown up. Life gets in the way. We forget our lunch at home, one of the kids needs an extra ride, we have (another) hard day at work. You get it. Heck, you live it.
All of a sudden we find ourselves getting frustrated with the process, or tired of the fight, and then we find ourselves with the glass of wine in our hand or chomping down a burger and fries on the way home. You know what? Those things are not tragedies. They are part of life. The tragedy is what happens afterwards, when the guilt comes and we spend the next few hours, days or even longer, beating ourselves up about it.
The "hard skills" don't matter one little bit in that situation.
What we need now is:
Once we get past telling ourselves "I am a failure and this will never work for me", we need to employ our recognition, adaptability and problem-solving "soft skills" to help us learn, grow, and get better.
My challenge to you now and in the future is to start to recognize that no matter how excellent the nutrition plan is or isn't, no matter how many pounds you lose or don't lose, and no matter how many days you check "Yes" in MyCoach; your long term success is going to be determined by the ability to recognize that failure is not permanent, but only a step in the journey.
DO the hard skills. Get great at chopping, mincing, dicing, and slicing. Be the best planner, shopper, and preparer you can be. Use all the tools at your disposal and get better at all those things.
And ALSO work on your "soft skills". For THOSE are the ones that will help you make the real difference in living healthy lives:
Mind, soul, and body.
Thanks for letting me be party of the journey.
If you're working at becoming healthier , here are some of the checklist items that you might have omitted:
It's easier than ever to start a nutrition plan but there needs to be a really good reason (and a lot of hard work in play) for you to stick with it. Here's to finding several.
To Your Best Health,
A highly talked about topic in my years of being a cross country runner in high school and college was to not listen to the evil goblin. If you are asking yourself who the evil goblin is, don’t worry I asked the same thing at first. The evil goblin is the tiny voice in your head who tells you that you all the negative things in your head. He was the one sitting on my shoulder telling me to just give up, the race was too long, people were faster than me. It’s not just a running thing either, the evil goblin likes to be with all of us, whispering about how training is to hard or you are not ready to start doing it yet. It’s saying forget your diet and have that piece of cake or sip of wine. The evil goblin is the one that is there trying to hold you back from your amazing potential.
So, what do we do about the evil goblin? We tell him to SHUT UP! It’s not an easy task that can be done overnight, but getting that annoying goblin to be quiet is possible. Its possible by telling yourself why you started in the first place, why this is so important to you, and most of all telling him YOU ARE BETTER THEN HIM!
I ask all of you the next time he pops up and tries to bring any negativity or doubt into what you are doing take the first step of getting him off your shoulder and out of your ear. With practice, commitment, and self-appreciation you will have that goblin running away and will see how much potential you truly have.
Make it Happen!