"Top 10 Lessons for 2012"
To get you ready for the new year, today I've posted my "Top 10 Lessons for 2012" -- ten ways that our research can help you get in the best shape of your life, do it the easy way, and make it last. Many of these you have heard before – nothing is new and so far I don’t think that “Magic Pill” has been discovered yet – so here they are again just to refresh your memory.
Lesson 1: Put nutrition before exercise.
When most people think about losing weight or getting in shape, they think about exercise. They sign up for a gym, hire a personal trainer, or grab a book or a magazine to find a workout plan. But while exercise is a crucial part of losing weight and getting healthy, I’d argue that it’s not the most important piece.
Research shows that with exercise alone you can expect to lose only about half a pound to one pound per month. That’s less than inspiring. Sad, really. It’s ironic I know for me to say this being that I own a fitness center and constantly preach exercise, exercise, exercise. But if you have ever worked out with me or one of my trainers then you know I always say you can’t out train a bad diet and if you don’t put nutrition and lifestyle choices into the equation you might as well throw all that exercise you do right out the window.
So if exercise alone gets dismal results, what does work? Simple: Focusing on nutrition and eating habits. With a program that combines both nutrition coaching and an exercise program, you can expect to lose five times more fat in the same one month period.
And when it comes to losing fat and getting in shape, I know the majority of our resources and time should be spent on helping clients with their nutrition and eating habits.
Takeaway: Yes, you should exercise. But you must put nutrition first.
Lesson 2: Find a big motivator.
We’ve all heard that to make a big change, motivation must come from inside. And it’s true. We all need a “reason why” — a real purpose and a sense of why losing fat and getting in shape is important to us. Could it be your health is declining, you are too tired to play with your kids or grandkids, or you are just feed up with buying bigger clothes every year?
(I wish I could come up with that special pill that could give people motivation – but I got about as much chance of that as I do coming up with the “Magic Pill” that really works on body fat.)
Sometimes you need extra motivation to actually start making change. You need a big motivator that pushes you into action. That’s where our fitness exercise plans come into play, I know if we can get you into the gym 2, 3 or even 4 days a week you can get motivation from the trainers and your fellow members to help you make it to your goal.
We also have one more big motivator: Prizes. And lots of them. Three times a year we have contest and give prizes to clients who have the best body transformations.
Takeaway: What’s your big motivation? How can you make it even bigger?
Lesson 3: Find something to lose.
There needs to be something at stake, something to lose if we don’t follow through or if we drop out early.
At Fit Body Training Center, we take away all of the risk to our clients by guaranteeing results as long as people stick with the program for at least a full year and do 80% of what we tell them to do. If they follow the program, they will have an amazing body transformation. If for whatever reason they don’t, we’ll give their money back, no questions asked.
But if they drop out on their own accord before the year is up — or if they don’t do at least 80% of what we ask — then we not only don’t give them their money back, we spend it on frivolous parties to celebrate their departure.
Okay, I’m just kidding about the party. However, we do enforce client commitment.
The principle here? The harder it is to quit, the easier it is to succeed.
Takeaway: Raise the stakes and put something at risk to keep you going.
Lesson 4: Choose proof over theory
Most people get lured into trying out untested theories, and have only disappointment and wasted time to show for it in the end.
No one wants to start an exercise or nutrition program where the success rate is zero. Yet a lot of people invest their time and money in something where they’re not quite sure if it works.
At Fit Body Fitness Center, we take away all doubt by showing our clients’ before and after photos. These photos answer questions like:
“Does the program work?”
“Who else have you helped?”
“Are there people like me who’ve done this?”
If you’re looking for results, only commit to a program that can prove it actually works. We show you exactly what the program is capable of, before you begin. In fact, you can even talk to our clients directly by taking advantage of our Free Week Offer.
That kind of transparency is only possible when a program really works. Success doesn’t hide.
Takeaway: Commit only to a proven program, and leave the theories for everyone else.
Lesson 5: Do one small thing each day.
“If something is important, do it every day; if it’s not important, don’t do it at all.” That’s especially true in transforming your body.
At Fit Body, we reach out to you, and we give you small acts to do, each and every day. Any less and you lose momentum; any more, you get overwhelmed.
Sadly, some people find this out the hard way. They make a heroic effort to change every part of their life, from the time they wake up in the morning to the kinds of foods they eat to adopting a new workout program and dozens of other changes.
This all-or-nothing attitude may work for a week or two, but pretty soon they’ll crash and burn and be right back where they started. That’s why it’s important to practice one small thing at a time instead of trying to make a mad-dash for the finish line.
Don’t worry about the past or the future. Focus on TODAY.
We at Fit Body ask ourselves, “What healthy habit can our clients follow today that will propel them forward?”
These small, daily habits slowly stack on top of each other until eventually our clients have a healthy set of eating and exercise habits they practice consistently.
Takeaway: Turn your commitment into a single, daily action.
Lesson 6: Make it a little too easy.
Most people attempt to change too much at once. But that makes it nearly impossible to change anything at all. That’s why whatever one small thing you decide to do, you must be confident that you can do it consistently. A habit doesn’t become a habit by practicing it only a few times.
If your one small habit is to eat five servings of vegetables every day, and you don’t really feel confident you can do that you simply need to make it easier.
Instead of eating five servings of vegetables every day, could you eat 3? What about 2 servings of vegetables every day? What about 1 serving of vegetables every day?
During the process of scaling down your habit, you may realize it seems ridiculously simple. It may seem too easy. That’s perfect.
If it seems so easy that you have to roll your eyes, you know you can do it consistently. And you can gradually increase the difficulty over time.
Takeaway: Make everything you commit to easier until you have 90%+ confidence you can do it.
Lesson 7: Find someone to answer to.
You need someone in your corner who helps keep you accountable and picks you up when your motivation wanders.
That’s where we fit in with our training programs. At Fit Body we send emails reminding our clients about nutrition, eating habits, recipes and lifestyle changes. We try not to be a pest or nag too much, but try to give you good information to help you reach your goals.
This accountability helps our clients stay on track even when things get tough. And of course, either myself or one of my trainers are always there to help in whatever way we can.
Takeaway: Put someone in your corner to hold you accountable.
Lesson 8: Measure actions, not outcomes.
We can’t control outcomes, but we can control our actions that may lead to those outcomes. In other words, you can’t focus on losing 20 pounds since it’s an outcome that’s out of your control. Every day you step on the scale, you’re focusing on what you don’t have.
“I still have 17 pounds to go. I’m not even close to there yet. This is so frustrating.”
Instead of focusing on the outcome, our clients focus on their action, the small, healthy things they do consistently every day. Instead of focusing on what they don’t have, they turn their attention to what they do have.
“I’m going to do my workout today.”
“I’m going to practice my new habit and eat 5 servings of vegetables.”
“I’m going to learn more about nutrition so I can implement it into my daily activities.”
Actions practiced daily and built up over time, lead to amazing results. Focusing on outcomes only leads to frustration and despair.
Takeaway: Track what you have control over – your actions.
Lesson 9: Track results
While you’re busy with your daily habits and behaviors, you’ll need someone — a coach, a trainer, a friend who’s made a similar transformation — to monitor your progress and make small adjustments if needed.
This frees you to focus on the most important thing within your control: your daily behaviors.
At Fit Body I closely monitor each client’s progress, photos, and daily compliance to see if their behaviors match their goals. If they do, I am there to offer support and answer questions. But if I see something that needs tweaking, we can change things to help steer the client back on the right path.
Takeaway: Find a coach or mentor to monitor your progress and save you from “wondering and worrying.”
Lesson 10: Choose a support group.
Here’s something you’ve probably heard before: “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
But this isn’t just some sound-byte. It really applies, especially when we’re talking about amazing body transformations.
People who have a strong network of friends, co-workers, family members, or even complete strangers on the Internet often have more dramatic transformations than someone who goes at it alone.
With a good support network you can connect with people when you’re excited, confused, or wondering what to do next. You’ll have people around you who can offer feedback, guidance, and support.
Our clients at Fit Body have the ability to connect with me or their trainer or with other Fit Body members. When you have a bunch of cool people all focused on one goal, it’s truly amazing what you can accomplish.
Takeaway: You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely, and make sure to build a good support group.
10 Body Transformation Lessons from Fit Body Fitness Center
There you have it; 10 lessons for an easier and more successful body transformation:
1. Realize that exercise alone doesn’t work.
2. Find a big motivator.
3. Find something to lose.
4. Choose proof over theory.
5. Do one small thing every day.
6. Make your commitments a little too easy.
7. Find someone to answer to.
8. Focus on behaviors, not outcomes.
9. Let your coach or trainer track the results.
10. Get a support network.
What To Do Next
So what do you do with all of this? Here’s what: the key is to make one simple change right now. Don’t try tackling all 10 (that violates most of the lessons!) Instead, take an inventory of which of the 10 you already have. Do you have a support network? How about mentor or a coach? If not, it’s time to get one.
Next, take an inventory of the things you don’t have. Do you have confidence in the workout and nutrition program you’re following? Do you need to be less heroic and more in tune with your small daily habits?
Pick one thing, and start there.
Of course, at Fit Body Fitness Center, we take care of all 10 of those things and much more. If you’d like to work with us, we’d be happy to help. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 513-291-3481, and we’ll tell you exactly what to do next.
But remember — what you do is not nearly as important as actually doing something. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start. So go through the 10 Lessons, pick one thing, and do it right now.