Spring is on the way and the longer days give many people a renewed sense of energy and many will start a spring training program. But did you know that 70% of people who start an exercise program drop out within the first two to three months? These are not good odds! It’s now widely accepted that the problem has nothing to do with the person but rather with the process. You see, most people who want to start exercising just start. Imagine if you wanted to build a house. You’d start out with an architectural plan first to know exactly what you wanted your house to look like. Or what if you wanted to start a business? The banks would require a business plan first, right? They’d want to ensure that you’ve really thought it through carefully and you’ve got a good plan to enhance success. Well, these same guidelines apply to exercise. You’ve got to have a plan for success. This is why the first few months of your fitness experience are so important. This is when most people drop out. You definitely want to focus on getting past this initial stage to the point where you’re experiencing great results – and that alone, will help to motivate you to keep going. The problem is most people stop exercising before they even had the chance to see the changes to their body. Let’s not let that happen to you!
After working with various clients for a number of years, I’ve noticed a number of characteristics that separate those who succeed with their fitness program from those who do not. Those who succeed buy into the “Four Laws of Success”. You must be ready to accept these laws without exception.
First Law – The law of possession.
You need to understand that if you are going to achieve results, it is going to be up to you. The phrases “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me” or “If I think I can or think I can’t, I’m right,” ring very true. You have to take ultimate responsibility for success or failure. Sometimes clients believe their trainer is going to be the one who makes it happen for them. At Northwest Personal Training, we set them straight right away. All we can do is educate and guide. Our clients must be willing to make and stick to the changes. You cannot completely rely on someone else (like a personal trainer or workout partner) to make it happen for you and likewise, you cannot blame the kids or your partner for any failures.
Second Law – The law of effort.
Anything worth achieving is worth working for. Exercise and healthy eating takes discipline, will power, character, persistence, and a commitment to delayed gratification.
Third Law – The law of consistency.
A month-long effort is not going to get you where you want. In order to achieve any goal, you must stick to your game plan for the long-term. Getting off track for a week is no big deal if you are consistent in your efforts, but if you are regularly tempted away from your program, you will not succeed. Consistency and persistency are the keys to manifesting any goal. Remember that if you want to be 10 pounds thinner 10 years from now, it is not what you do over the next eight weeks that matters. It is what you do over the next 10 years! Healthy eating and an active lifestyle must be followed for the rest of your life – so of course, you have to make room for some indulgences. The program has got to be realistic if you’re going to stick to it. There are no short-term, quick fix solutions. Researchers have found only one characteristic common to those who succeed with exercise. All such people move toward their goal one step at a time. They are committed to constant, never-ending improvement. In practical terms, it means that regardless of anything else – busy work schedules, lack of energy, lack of time, feeling old, feeling lazy, hating exercise – they make no excuses! They keep exercising, taking their long-term goals and splitting them up into smaller goals. They take it one day at a time.
Fourth Law – The law of self-efficacy.
If you are already questioning whether or not you can actually make the required changes, you are going to have a difficult time with your program. You must believe you can do it! Think of self-esteem as a bank. Each time you keep a promise to yourself, the store of self-esteem gets bigger, making it easier to keep the next promise to yourself. It’s all about “Results Momentum” – achieving one result gives you the confidence to achieve the next goal. Each time a promise is broken, however, your self-esteem goes down, making it easier to break the next promise. Reinforce this belief in yourself by surrounding yourself with others who are doing or have accomplished what you’re attempting. After all, if they can do it, so can you!
Here’s to your success!
Yours in health and fitness,