Decide. Make a decision – that is the “ D” in DAO. A decision to commit – or recommit – to change, to transformation, and to a new way of life. Even if that’s after a New Year’s resolution that has gone up in smoke.
“We are our choices.”J.P. Sartre
What’s the skinny?
- Make a decision to commit to fitness, beyond an aspiration. Even if it’s a decision to recommit to what you did in January.
- Be SMART – set specific, measurable, achievable goals.
- Know your why, and what you are chasing. Have a vision. Write it down.
- It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
There is a basic crossroads here – you either accept where you are at, or don’t. If you do accept where you are at, then you can keep things exactly the way they are. If you don’t accept where you are at, then decide to do something about it. A decision to commit to change, to transformation, and to a new way of life.
Decide to commit, or recommit
Did you know that 80 percent of New Year’s fitness goals are abandoned by February?
That’s not because we are not motivated. It is because we are setting vague, aspirational goals (“I resolve to get back in shape!”)
Decision does not equate with aspiration
Decision does not equate with “aspiration”. Aspirations are vague, often unrealistic goals (“I am going to lose 10 pounds in two weeks!” “I am going to eat clean!” ) Decision reaches to changing your habits NOW, from the moment you wake up. By the time you have your first work meeting, you have already made dozens of decisions, consciously or subconsciously. That is why this decision, the decision to commit to change, is the most important one that you will ever make.
In my profession, acronyms are king, so I will have to throw one out there. SMART is an acronym for sensible, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound goals. This is a good article to learn more about the framework. Let me explain how it can help you.
It’s not your fault that a decision to get in shape January petered off by now. It’s the wrong framework, or lack thereof. The DAO of being a #fitprofessional will help you set SMART goals.
So your decision is not going to be, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in a month!” or “I’m going to work out for an hour every single day without fail!” or “I’m never going to eat a carb again!”
It’s going to be more like, “I am going to reach a new PR in three months,” or “I will lose 5 pounds in one month.” (if you don’t have more than 5 pounds you want to lose, you may need to make it two, i.e., be realistic).
We will work together to develop more specific goals around changing your habits. Changing your lifestyle. And most importantly, changing your mindset.
Ignite your why
A critical part of the decision is knowing your why (if you haven’t yet, read Simon Sinek’s The Power of WHY – or go to his website for his blog and podcast). Think about approaching fitness the same way you approached your career. Why did you want to be a doctor or a nurse? Or a lawyer? Or a marketing director? The answer cannot be “to make a lot of money” or to “be successful.” That is the RESULT. What was the why? A passion for advocacy, for saving lives, for having a creative outlet and making a visible impact on society. The “why” is what gets you through the sacrifices you need to make – and keeps you going day after day. In your career, that “why” kept you in the library on those late nights, took out those student loans, or moved you to an unfamiliar city. Some people are even willing to take a pay cut or start at the bottom all over again to pursue their passions. It’s the “why” that keeps you going. It’s the why that makes the difference.
Now let’s extend this “why” to fitness. What do you really want out of this? What are YOU chasing? Even if you can’t articulate it right now, it’s something.
What do you really want out of this? What are YOU chasing?
If you are stuck on the why, get a piece of paper out and write down how you would feel if you had exactly the body that you wanted. First, decide what this means for you. It definitely does not mean the same thing for everybody. Look at pictures, if that’s helpful, or just visualize it in your mind. This may be a vision of yourself when you remember feeling great about the way that you looked. Or it may be of one of your friends / acquaintances whose physique you admire, or someone in the gym that you see often. Then write down how you would feel -confident, energetic, attractive, glamorous, graceful.
Is this a rebound from a setback?
So a lot of us turn to fitness because we are rebounding form a bad break. It makes sense, right? “Revenge body.” It is conventionally associated with a breakup, but there are so many other things that could catalyze a decision. A career disappointment, a personal loss, a failure. In fact, my decision to finally start this blog stemmed from a bad break But you know what? Sometimes that’s just what you need. It’s the dumpster fires in life that give you the smoke you need to rise.
Once you understand the why, make a decision to throw all your old beliefs and habits out the window and start a new way of life. Make a decision to commit. Make a decision to endure.
I will leave you with one more thought that has gotten me through every tough road I have been down – and I have been down many. Nothing worth having is easy. But after all is said and done, it will be worth it.