As a fitness trainer I hear a lot of excuses. Like, A LOT. And typically, I let them all slide off my back because 1) we’re human, we’re programmed to talk about how hard our lives are, and 2) if I didn’t I would spend my entire day managing and trying to fix excuses…and baby, there ain’t enough minutes in the day! [Read more…] about Our Garden of Excuses
I live and breathe fitness. At the core of my soul is a little 4-year-old girl doing jumping jacks wearing a leotard and leg warmers listening to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical.” It’s who I am and it’s absolutely my calling. My job is to motivate and inspire people to move their body. I truly love my job.
The (somewhat hard-to-swallow) reality is that my love for fitness is not shared by everyone. I know, it blows my mind too. In fact, more often than not, I find out from people that working out is a real chore and no matter what program they start, they don’t continue. I always feel a little sad when I hear this, but I think the problem may be that people aren’t finding the right program for them.
To help you on your journey to finding the fitness program that works for you, I’ve come up with five questions you should ask yourself before you start a new program or fitness regimen:
- Does the program help you achieve the goals you’ve set? This has to be the number one question you ask yourself about your potential new program. Shockingly, most times I stump people with question number one. Why? Because they haven’t actually set any goals. First, you need to set your fitness goals for 4 weeks, 8 weeks & 12 weeks from the start date of your new program. NOW assess whether the program you’re reviewing will help you get to where you want.
- Does the program fit into your life? Granted, when you start a program you may need to shift, reschedule and plan to accommodate the added time your new program will take away (or add to, as I like to this of it) from the minutes in your day. However, it cannot completely flip your schedule on its butt. We are creatures of habit, so let’s slowly integrate a new habit into your life, shall we? Is this program appropriate for your life and the demands your life has? How much can you shift to accommodate? How much are you willing to give up (for the greater good)? Can you make this fit or will it because just “too much”?
- Who are you accountable to? For some people, accountability to themselves is all they need. Kudos to you, you little solo warriors, kudos to you! Others need someone to check in with them daily, weekly, after each workout, etc. Find out what you need, what helps you stay accountable, what helps your stay on track and ensure that the program you’re looking at meets your accountability needs.
- How far out of your comfort zone does your new program take you? In order to progress, we need to make you uncomfortable. We need to push you and have you push yourself. We need you uncomfortable. It’s really the only way this whole fitness thing works. However, completely shifting the person you are and pushing you to do something that you’re utterly uncomfortable with is one of the ways I can almost guarantee we’ll lose you. Absolutely you should open your eyes to new programs. Absolutely these programs should push you and make you uncomfortable. But, a fitness program shouldn’t be something you’re terrified of doing. Some anxiety and nerves…yes, absolutely. Loss of sleep and a pit in your stomach? Perhaps something else.
- Will you have fun doing the program? Fitness is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to feel good. Not necessarily while you’re actually participating, but after you’re done your workout you should look back and think “Yeah…that wasn’t fun”, but in your heart you truly did have a good time. If it’s not fun, if it’s a chore to get it done. It’s the wrong program. *One side-note – not every workout will be amazingly fun, so a one-off of your workout not being fun is fine – some days your body just doesn’t want to move!!*
Good luck to you as you embark on discovering what program you need to help you stay the course. Ask yourself these five questions as you go and you’ll be a little further up the ladder to full commitment. You got this. Commit to something that pushes you, challenges you but allows you to remain you and honours your time and energy.
I have a friend who has a “journey” in all she does. All bad things that happen are a journey. All good things are a journey. All funny moments are a journey. When she’s hungry, it’s a journey. Tired? Journey. Angry? Journey. Happy? Journey. Every single day is a journey.
What if life wasn’t a journey and life was just life. What if on a day when things go sideways and my little girl is sick, my little man has an anxiety attack, I burn the muffins and forget to put the dog in her crate so she ate the loaf of bread on the counter and my husband is mad at me because I forgot, once again, to do what he’s asked me to repeatedly do, and now we have no bread for to make school lunch sandwiches so I have to send my kids to school with <gasp> fruit and crackers and no sandwich. What if that’s not a journey?
What if that’s just a shitty day that I don’t need to learn anything from. What if that’s just a day where at the end of the day I put my head on my pillow and think “Thank f**k that’s over.” I learned nothing here. I’m starting new tomorrow.
I don’t want to be on a journey every day. I don’t want every moment to mean something or be more than what it was. A moment in my life. Sure, I’ll look back on this life of mine and hopefully I think “what a ride!”. I simply don’t want to be exhausted from the journey and all the reflecting on the journey that is every single day for so many people.
I want to live and be in the moment. I want to get frustrated at myself because I’m forgetful and that’s who I am and eventually it just becomes a funny part of who I am. It’s not a journey for me, it’s just a funny, albeit somewhat annoying, part of who I am. I don’t want to learn from that. I want to put it aside and know tomorrow I’ll probably make the same mistake again and be totally okay with that.
I want my kids to know that mistakes are going to happen and yes, you should learn from them, but it doesn’t need to be a journey every single time. Every mistake doesn’t need to be analyzed and imprinted in our minds as “oh…when I did this, I had this journey and it made me who I am today”. Don’t want to share your toy? No journey needed, just a quick convo about kindness and perhaps it’s okay to not share everything. Forgot your umbrella? You get wet. Don’t want to wear your jacket when I tell you to? You get cold. Make me ask you to put your shoes on 5 times? Mama is going to lose her noodle. Don’t want lettuce because it’s green? No cookie. No journey. Just life.
I’m saving my journeys for the heavy moments in my life. The moments when I really do have to sit back, evaluate and figure out who I am or what I’m doing. But the smaller moments…my day to day living moments, the moments that fill my life…those moments are going to be just that. Living. Life.
I love being an entrepreneur. I love owning my own company. I even love the early mornings, sleepless nights and endless banging my head on my desk asking “what the hell am I doing”?? I love it all. Even better, I’m still in start-up, and I love being in start-up.
When I first started my company I was fortunate enough to have an incredible business mentor. During one of our first meetings he looked at me, laughed and said “Holy smokes…you’re such an entrepreneur. I bet you you didn’t know that, did you?” Having never heard that before, I thought…oh yeeeeah…I really am. I’m an entrepreneur. That explains a whole lot! Sorry ex-bosses.
During that same meeting, my mentor also told me that the start-up years are the absolutel best and most fun years of business. These words were less exciting to me at the time. When he said that to me two years ago, I wanted to crawl under the table, curl into a ball and cry. THESE were the best years? Are you kidding? The doubt? The frustration? The slogging it out to make NO money? The sleepless nights and self-doubt just to go further into debt? THESE are the best years? Forget it, this is so not worth it. What am I even doing?
Two year later, I’m actually siding with him. Start-up years truly are the best years. I’m still in start-up, but at least I can call my business an “established start-up”. I’m not entirely sure if non-entrepreneurs will understand the joy that can bring. But, it causes my heart to skip and my feet to dance and a smile to open in my heart. Progress. I’m making progress. My start-up is progressing.
Recently I’ve been asked where I get my energy from. How do I keep going? Keep pushing? It’s actually quite simple. It’s the Start-Up Buzz. There are many days that I get up at 3am and I work until 10pm. And, it’s not because I absolutely have to. I don’t set an alarm and drag myself out of bed. Something will wake me up (usually an idea), I’ll lay in bed running through the possibility of going back to sleep for about 20 minutes, then I’ll just get up and get to work.
I work for me. I work to drive my business forward. I get up and put the hours in, not because I have to, but because right now, there’s no other option in my brain or my energy. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Sleep can wait for after the start-up years. For now, I’m driven by the difference I can make and the ideas that simply won’t shut off. My body and mind wake rested and charged after 3 hours and I’m ready.
I’m fueled by the Start-Up Buzz. I’m driven by the Start-Up Buzz. What is it? It’s the buzz you get when you have an idea, you run with it, you tell your team “HEY…we should do this…and we should have started it yesterday”…and some how, some way, it gets done. You pull it off. You make magic happen. You create success. Then, you look back the next day and think “HOLY HELL…we pulled that off”. Did anyone think we wouldn’t? I knew we would. But…holy HELL…we actually did it.
That’s the Start-Up Buzz. I’m certain there is an entrepreneur hormone that gets released in all entrepreneurs that allows us to do the work that needs to get done. To plan and strategize and complete. To work with little sleep and yet have little fatigue. To continue to push and dream and drive and dig.
Oh sure, in a year or two from now I’ll wonder how I ever got through. How I functioned. But right now, in this moment where I’ve been up and working since 2:55am and I have a full day ahead of me, there’s nothing but excitement and joy and passion and the knowledge that I will be successful. That I will conquer. There is no other option.
Without that Start-Up Buzz…well now…let’s not think like that. So, to all the entrepreneurs living and breathing and functioning off the buzz, I salute you. May we land softly when it’s time to land and may this all be worth it.
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