Over the last 14 years, I have helped countless people make permanent improvements in their eating habits, lifestyle choices, body composition, and health. Put bluntly, I know how to help people lose ugly, unwanted body fat with proven strategies that ensure long term success. Now, make no mistake about it, a big reason for this is because our integrated fat loss training and nutrition system is second to none. I have done countless hours of research and trial and error and I have had hundreds of people as real world case studies to prove that our system flat out works. But, today I am going to share a secret with you that is much more powerful; a secret so powerful that if you fail to put in place before you even attempt to lift a weight or eat your next vegetable, will lead to an 85% chance of failure.
So, let’s just get right to it. What do you think is the real secret behind my client success? Well, if your answer was as integrated and proven training and nutrition system, then your answer is wrong. Yep, it’s an incredibly effective program, but unfortunately it’s useless if someone is unwilling to start it AND stick to it, right? New Years is just around the corner and there will be millions of people who will start an exercise and nutrition program and by February most will have quit. So, it appears that the most important component of changing your body is finding the motivation to achieve your goals, and that’s the main focus of this article today. I am going to literally walk you through our initial strategy session and four step goal setting process that each one of my clients undergoes before they start working with us. This is so important to fat loss success that It is a requirement for any new client to be considered for joining our program.
Before I get into this goal setting process, I just need to get something off of my chest. I know a lot of people think goal setting is just a cheesy, useless thing. Unfortunately, these people just don’t get it and frankly if you are one of those people, please do us both a favor and stop reading this article and go buy another useless weight loss book or pill because I simply cannot do anything for you. I can only help people who have an open mind and are willing learn. I simply cannot help people who already think they know it all and think they are too good to take some time to figure out what the hell it is that they actually want to accomplish. The bottom line is that the most successful people out there, and I mean not just weight loss success, I am talking business, lifestyle, etc., are shamelessly goal driven. They know exactly why they want to do something and harness that super motivation to figure out what and by when they want to go about accomplishing it. Furthermore, they plan and prepare for every possible roadblock they will encounter in their path to success. This is what I want to teach you how to do today, so let’s get to it!
Step One: The What (The Goal)
The first thing I need to know from a prospective client who first walks in my doors is what do they hope to achieve here at Fit-2-The-Core. This is an objective goal such as lose 20lbs of fat, lose 3 jean sizes, tone up in my arms, abs and legs (basically lose inches) etc. These are SMART goals that are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and that have a Timeline, this is the gold standard of goal setting. Now that we have the goal, we move on to step 2.
Step Two: The Why
This is where it’s time to get real. In almost every initial consult I do, when I ask why achieving this goal is so important to them, here is the typical blanket response that I first hear:
“Well, I just want to get healthy and lose some weight I guess.”
Nope, I don’t buy it. Sure, I know they want to lose weight and be healthy, I mean who doesn’t, but really WHY do they want to do this? Seriously, what is it that’s going to get them up at 5 am to get their butt here for their morning workouts in or take a couple of hours on Sunday to plan and prepare their meals for the upcoming week? Your why must be very powerful motivator for you, or else everything else that gets in your way, time, money, stress, the weather, no energy etc. will always take precedence over your goals.
Let’s face it: everybody, including YOU, wants to look better naked. Stop giggling, you know it’s true and frankly that’s okay because the desire to improve one’s appearance is the most powerful motivator there is. This shouldn’t be such a big surprise since the main life mission of humans, or any species for that matter, is to procreate. This is instinctual. And obviously, looking better makes this more of a reality.
So, after a little digging, I find out the real reason why they want to do this; I find their past or pain and then establish their current and future ambitions. Some people want to be able to take pictures with feeling self-conscious, in other words they want to feel confident in how they look, which will positively impact their social life and personal life, which will lead to more positive relationships with family friends and coworkers. Others want to get back into their favorite pair of jeans that they haven’t been able to get one leg into for the last five years, in other words they want to feel sexy again, which make them feel powerful and in control over how they look and feel about themselves. Then there are those who want to look and feel more attractive to ignite some passion back into their relationships and/or put for their best image at work. And of course, my personal favorite is preparing for big events that have built in deadlines. Wanting to get as lean and tight as possible to rock that dream bathing suit in Mexico, or get off the plane in New York when visiting family, you haven’t seen in two years to blow them away with your new body, or being a classic beauty in your wedding dress on the big day, it all works! This is the stuff that gets people jacked up and ready to commit to making some real changes. How do I know? Well, I just shared with you verbatim the exact “WHY’S” of some of our clients here at Fit-2-The-Core.
You must figure out your personal WHY. To make this even simpler for you, just answer this question: What awesome things might happen if you did make progress, how would your life be different, what would you be most proud of? How would your social life, mindset and environment change if you achieved these goals. Once you establish this, everything else is becomes so much easier.
Step Three- The When: When do you want to accomplish it by?
So we already figured out the what and why it so important to you: So, now we need to establish when the goal(s) need to be accomplished by in order to realize this subjective dream(Your Why).
Well, from a logistics standpoint and keeping things as cost effective as possible, there are three major ways I track “look better” progress with my clients:
1). Measuring Body Composition:
Many people get stuck by simply measuring their bodyweight. Unfortunately, the scale only tells you how much you weigh, not what your weight is comprised of. This is very short sighted when it comes to changing the way your body looks and works. Using a measurement tool such as the In-Body you can measure how much fat you lost and how much lean muscle you gained while also monitoring your total body water. We can even measure your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is calorie burned at rest. So lose fat gain muscle and your body looks better and burns more calories each day at rest. This is great because when we are talking about gaining control of the way your body looks and feels this is the holy grail of fat loss. This tells us a lot about your hormonal profile and if we are upregulating fat burning or fat gaining hormones. So if you just focus on deprivation of calories and bodyweight lost on the scale, more often than not you will soon be right back where you started or even worse, fatter than when you started. But if you can measure your body composition then you can make sure you stay on the right track, losing fat and gaining metabolically lean tissue on your way to a much better version of yourself.
This is probably the simplest and most effective method I believe people should use for tracking whether or not you look better. I think it’s safe to say that if you are dropping dress and/or pant sizes that you will be looking better, right? Your best bet is to also select one dress or one pair of jeans that you really want to get into since that is the true end goal in mind. I tell my clients to assess how they are fitting in their preferred dress/jean size tracker on a weekly or bi-weekly basis either for tracking maintenance or for tracking continual change. We call these thermometer jeans, if their cold they to to cinch things up, if their hot, then their right on track! For those of you would want to argue that every outfitter has different sizes, well that’s a mute point if you use the same pant or dress size to track. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to feel yourself comfortably get into clothes that used to almost rip when you put on.
Pictures don’t lie, that’s the bottom line. If you want to look better, what better way is there to assess this than pictures? I cannot begin to tell you how important this is. Taking a before picture is essentially you telling the whole world that you are ready to change and that you are ready to do whatever it takes to make those changes. They key is take pictures wearing exactly what you want to look your best in. Now, don’t be sending me nude pictures of yourself, ha (though you can keep these for yourself to track if you’d like). Maybe it’s taking pictures of you in the dress or pair of pants that you are using to track your dress or pant size. Or maybe it’s a sleeveless shirt and tank top that you want to wear during the summer. And if you want to see your abs, then you best believe that you need to take pictures of your abs to track how much more definition you get. Take a front, side, and rear view picture and be sure to note the exact conditions in which the picture was taken (lighting, distance from camera, time of day/week, etc.) to be as accurate as possible in your assessment. The clients whom I’ve transformed that failed to take before pictures in the past have nothing but regret about it. Your before pictures will become your trophy and they are an absolute must if you really are serious about getting results that count. We tell our clients to take new pictures either bi-weekly or monthly until they reach their goal(s).
Step Four- Planning and Preparing for Roadblocks:
What are the big obstacles that will prevent you from having the success you desire? What’s contributed most to past failures?
Now that we know the what and why, it’s time to plan and prepare for any obstacles that might get in your way of getting the job done based on your own personal schedule. These are considered your process goals, the behaviors and habits that will lead you to your goal. This consist of nutritional habits, workout habits and mindset habits all which require that you plan and prepare.
In general, the number one thing I hear is that people are too busy and tired and don’t have enough time to get their workouts in or make their meals. Well, I don’t care how busy you think you are, there is always hidden time throughout the day and week that can be freed up if your re-prioritize. It’s simple if you plan and prepare you will save more time than just trying to wing it. Seriously 2-3 hours of preparation on the weekend will save you triple that during the week. So think back to why you wanted to do this in the first place and then examine what’s most important to you. Make your workouts and your meal times just like work appointments. Either you make the appointment or you don’t. And if you want to keep your job (or get your dream body) then you better make that appointment.
Another big obstacle is alcohol. People like to drink and unfortunately alcohol is about as detrimental to burning fat as it gets. Again, what’s more important to you, looking and feel sexy or getting hammered. The choice is yours. Remember, once you achieve your goal(s), alcohol can be added back in with moderation. But know this, lean people just don’t get wasted unless they are genetic freaks. Low alcohol consumption is needed if you want to look your best year round and that’s a fact.
Lastly, many people deal with boredom eating or emotional eating. Boredom eating means just that, eating to fill up dead time when you have nothing better to do. The best way to deal with this is, you guessed it, to do something! Find an active hobby to keep your mind off of eating when boredom strikes and you can beat this trend. Emotional eating describes the use of food to cope with stress or to reward for accomplishment. Food is not unlike drugs or alcohol in this regard, it can be very addictive. There is no quick fix for emotional eating other than avoiding trigger situations (bars, parties, etc.) and trigger foods (starches, sugars, fast food, etc.) in the short term to break bad habits. You can only do this by being mindful about when you come across these situations, once you become aware then you can come up with strategies on ensuring they happen less and lees overtime.
So you must first have a goal, then you must figure why achieving this goal is so important to you, this is your true motivator. You then must come up with a plan or a timeline to reach that goal. This consists of introducing new habits bi-weekly or weekly depending on your personal readiness to change and then you must take action by planning and preparing. And most importantly understand that the road to success is littered with ups and downs, so treat the downs as learning opportunities not a time to beat yourself up and feel sorry for yourself. Get back on your feet and remind yourself of your why, then take the next positive action toward your goals and leave the past behind moving forward to making your New Years Resolution a Reality.