With summer right around the corner, most people are just starting to embark on their fitness goals. This lazy mindset is predicated on the notion that there’s some sort of “quick fix” that can get you in shape.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news my friend…but there isn’t.
The reality is that summer bodies are built in the winter. You simply can’t be upset with the results that you didn’t work hard to earn.
Your physique is a visual representation of your dedication over the past few months.
I personally love the transparency of fitness. Nobody can lend you their physique for the day, and you’re rich parents can’t write a check to buy you one.
In today’s modern day society, most people are “talkers.” They talk about what they are going to do “someday.” They write about their spectacular life on social media.
The problem with talkers is that they aren’t doers. They can talk all day about how they are going to “get in shape this summer.” But when their shirt comes off, their jaw can’t save them.
When you’re in shape, you don’t have to utter a single word to anyone around you. Your physique speaks volumes for your work ethic wherever you go.
You might make others around you feel uncomfortable…but they have no choice but to respect you.
This is what drew me to training in the first place. It weeds out the talkers and bullshitters of life, and forces you to actually backend your words with actions. It makes you understand the value of sacrifice, consistency, and perseverance. These are the cornerstones of virtually anything worth having in life.
This level of transparency is also why I chose to pursue business and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The people who innovate and push the world forward aren’t the ones “talking about” how they are going to do it.
It’s simple…they are too busy actually doing it.
Jiu-Jitsu has been one of the greatest challenges in my life. Unlike traditional martial arts such as karate, it takes upwards of a decade (and usually more) to achieve a black belt. This is a milestone that less than 1% of people achieve.
Every so often, you’ll have a new white belt stumble into the academy. They will usually spar with the smallest people in the room, and do everything they can to avoid uncomfortable situations. They always have an excuse as to why they aren’t progressing, and always seem to conveniently avoid the killers on the mats.
As a result, they normally don’t stick around for more than a few weeks. These people usually have a bunch to talk about, but their belt always reveals their true level of dedication.
So you might be thinking, what on earth does this have to do with transforming your body? Everything my friend, literally everything.
You see, getting in shape is no different than transforming any other theater of your life. If you want to lose weight, build muscle, or increase your endurance, then there are five fundamental steps that you must take.
Today, you’re going to discover exactly what those steps are. Just to warn you, we’re not going to be talking about pushups and situps in this article. Instead, I’m going to give you five proven strategies that you can use to improve any area of your life.
1.) Determine Your Real Reason For Change
Whenever I ask one of my clients why they want to transform their body, they usually respond with something along the lines of, “I want to live a healthy, strong life.”
Is there anything wrong with living a healthy strong life? Absolutely not.
The problem is that this is seldom the reason that people want to get in shape. The reality is that people aren’t willing to divulge their deepest fears and desires on the first try. In fact, it usually takes three or four questions before someone starts scratching the surface of the truth.
Let me give you an example of a conversation that I had a couple weeks back with my client James…
Me: James, what is the reason that you want to get in shape?
James: I want to be stronger and have more energy.
Me: Why do you want to be stronger and have more energy?James: Because I want a better reflection of myself when I look in the mirror.
Me: Why do you want to look better?
James: Because it will improve my confidence levels.
Me: Why do you want to improve your confidence levels.
James: Because my wife doesn’t look at me the same anymore. We went to thee beach the other day, and she was staring at younger men that had much bigger muscles than me.
Do you see the disparity between someone’s surface level reason and the real reason that they want to get in shape? Before you begin a new workout or nutrition routine, you need to take an honest inventory of yourself.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that “being healthy” is the primary reason for wanting to get in shape. Stop worrying about your physical appearance, and start thinking about the person that you truly want to become.
Maybe your sick and tired of being controlled each day. Maybe you want to stop being a beta male and live life on your own terms.
The deeper the reason, the more it will pull you towards your end state goals.
For me personally, I was sick of looking like the rest of my slob accounting co-workers. These people actually took pride in the fact that they looked terrible. They gloated about how many hours they spent doing soul crushing work each week. They were overweight, overworked, underpaid, and couldn’t be more happier about it.
The most successful person in my family (on paper) was a CPA. Throughout my childhood and college years, I was indoctrinated to believe that a tax accountant was the pinnacle of success. It was the safest job on the market, and it provided you with “health benefits and a pension.”
When I finally had the courage to look reality square in the eyes, I realized that I wanted to be the antithesis of these people.
Fitness motivated me to raise my standards and become honest with myself. It gave me the confidence to rely on my own intuition, rather than seeking the approval of my friends and family members.
Find your reason. Drill down deep. And don’t embark on this journey until you figure out your “why.”
When you have a big enough “why”, the “how’s” will inevitably fall into place.
2.) Don’t Do It For The Vanity
One of my favorite quotes is from a man named Jim Rohn in regards to becoming a millionaire.
“The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It’s the kind of person you have to become to earn the million dollars.”
I think this quote can be applied to any endeavor in life, especially in fitness. Far too often, I see people comparing their physiques to celebrities and cover models. If you immerse yourself in the vanity of getting in shape, you’re completely missing the point.
Some of these “fitness gurus” posting selfies on social media are some of the most insecure people out there. They spend their entire lives comparing their bodies to their neighbors and co-workers. No matter how good they look, they are constantly seeking the approval of someone else. Some of the top fitness experts that I used to look up to are nothing but glorified gossip columnists with six pack abs.
Getting in shape will facilitate change in other areas of your life. Do it so you can look back at the progress that you’ve made over the past few months with pride. But most importantly, do it so you can understand the true value of hard work.
You’re going to have to take my word on this one. The biggest benefit to transforming your body is the confidence and mental strength that you’ll develop.
It’s this type of mindset that is prevalent in any arena of success. When you experience the fruits of your labor, you’ll realize that 20-30 minutes is a small price to pay each day.
3.) Model Those Who Succeed
Whether your goal is to get in shape, build a business, or improve your personal relationships, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Think about it for a second. Why would you spent countless hours trying to figure out something that’s already been solved by someone else?
There are billionaires that write books about all the challenges they have faced in business. You can digest this information in a few hours, or you can spend an entire lifetime trying to figure it out on your own.
Success leaves clues, and fitness is no exception.
If you want to take your body to the next level, then find someone who has already achieved the results that you desire. Do your due diligence and research the training and nutrition routines they used in their transformation. I challenge you to take it a step further and reach out to them personally.
Relinquish your ego and start modeling the people who have already succeeded. If you follow their same plan and take massive action, you will eventually achieve the same results.
4.) Find Social Support
Raising your standards can cause friction amongst the people in your social circle. Your peers have acclimated to the current version of you, which makes them feel comfortable in their own skin. When you start pursuing success, it will force others around you to question their position in life.
There are two ways to have the biggest building in town. You either build it yourself, or you tear down the others. Unfortunately, most people will resort to the latter.
You may notice that some of your “so-called” friends will attempt to sabotage your success. Often times, their intentions aren’t malicious. They don’t want to see you grow because it reminds them that they came from a similar place.
But maybe they are being intentional, and want to do everything in their power to keep you from succeeding. That’s something to keep in mind…
The analogy I like to use is “crabs in a bucket.” The story goes something like this…
One day, a father and son were taking a walk along the pier. They noticed that a fisherman had caught a handful of crabs, and placed them in a bucket.
One of the crabs was trying to climb towards the top of the bucket. The kid said, “Hey mister, you better put a lid on that bucket.” The fisherman laughed and replied, “Those crabs won’t let one another escape. Watch this.”
The father and son took a glance at the bucket, and it was clear as it could be. If one crab tried to escape the bucket, one of the others would climb up and pull it back down to the bottom.
Unfortunately, this metaphor is strikingly similar to the mindset of the status quo. When people see someone pursuing success, it elicits envy, jealous, bitterness, and insecurity. They will do everything in their power to hinder your progress. Sometimes it’s unconscious, and sometimes it’s deliberate.
When transforming your body, it’s important to “cut the fat out” of your social circle. This includes all of the people who are secretly hoping you fail so they can justify their mediocre position in life.
If you’re trying to get in shape, then don’t spend your time hiring a personal trainer that needs to hire their own personal trainer. Find a mentor that actually embodies the results that you are striving for.
Don’t confine yourself to your geographic location. I live in the smallest town in Rhode Island, and have managed to network with some of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. If I can do it, then so can you.
Gradually cut out the negative energy vampires of your life, and replace them with positive people who want to see you succeed. Take small steps each and everyday.
People try to stop you when you get started, but not when you’re moving.
5.) Set A Deadline
Once you know the “why” and “how” of your fitness goals, it’s time to set a deadline. This will hold you accountable and force you to take action when you don’t necessarily feel like it.
A goal without action is nothing less than a preference. Everyone wants the finer things in life, but few are willing to accept the process that’s actually required to get there.
To be completely honest, transforming your body will require you to only do a few things each day. These are simple, but not easy. The challenge comes on that third, fourth, and fifth day when you’re no longer relying on your “motivation.”
If you only do work on the days that you feel like it, then you aren’t going to get much done. But if you set a hard deadline and cultivate rituals in your life, you’ll feel pulled towards your vision each and every day.
Take a realistic assessment of where you currently stand. Determine how many months it will take you to get the body of your dreams. Then, break down each month into smaller, digestible weekly goals. Ask yourself these questions…
How many times will you have to train each week to reach your goal?
How many cheat meals can you afford each week to reach your goal?
How much weight do you want to lose each month?
Writing down your goals and deadlines is arguably the most important aspects of success. Track your progress each week, and reward yourself here and there.
The true benefit of getting in shape isn’t in the vanity of the mirror. It lies within the person that you have to become both physically and mentally.
These are the 5 steps that you must take to transform any are of your life. Don’t sit back and hope that things will work out. Don’t be another one of these “New Year’s Resolutionists” that have the same goals at the beginning of each year.
You can’t transform your entire body and life overnight. But you can raise your standards and change your direction today.
Stay the course and take action each day. I believe in you.
Till next time,