Tag Archives: self improvement
Habits are funny things.
Much like anything we have one for every mood or situation.
Some make us feel good, others motivate us and a few do nothing better than punish and stall of progress.
Over they years I’ve become more adept at finding out a persons reason why they have these little patterns.
Personally knowing has always been a priority.
It’s just my inherent personality trait, some call it being nosey and others say far worse, yet knowing has always been that insatiable lust of mine.
To not have considered every option, sacrilege.
It probably came form being an only child and spending countless hours alone quietly playing with the same few toys and each time comping up with a new story.
Of course without knowing more there was only so many situations I could pull from thin air because truly original ideas are few and far between.
Habits, much like knowledge, don’t just come thin air for the most part. You’ll find we either pick them up from watching others or then being suggested to us.
After all a habit was once a choice you consciously made.
Might not be what people want to hear however it’s the truth in the largest majority of situations.
In regards to your habits do you know which ones you have for which mood?
Take 5min to make a list.
What is your immediate reaction in the following:
The list can be longer and for any mood/emotion you can think of and I bet you will have a habit for each, be that to get you in to or out of the desired emotional state.
Once you know what habits are anchored to what emotions you can begin to understand why this is and start that lengthy and often painful process of letting go the ones which are detrimental and creating new more productive ones.
While this is simple it won’t be easy.
Growth never is though.
When it comes to writing about your company, you’d really dow ell not to make it all about you.
I know how odd that sounds, however just bear with me.
Take a look at any companies mission statement, or their values, beliefs or anything else of that nature.
You will see this word a lot – ‘We’
“We have the best facilities with high end equipment.”
“We have experts trainers in various fields.”
“We are basically the shit and that’s why we’re valuable.”
^^ This is what those kinds of messages are conveying.
Believe it or not this is rather common.
Seriously go to any business page about the company and you’ll likely see something like that.
You might be asking – “Is this really a bad thing? They just want to showcase their skills and all the have.”
While this is indeed all fine and dandy, it’s about the company and what it does, instead of trying to connect with their audience and what they can do for them.
In the famous words from one rather flamboyant US President.
John F. Kennedy – “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Your messages should more often than not be about what you can do for the person/people you’re trying to reach.
Writing in such a way that has them visualise themselves being a part of your community, your tribe (popular word these days), as it were.
Let us take a look at my two arbitrary example above once again.
“We have the best facilities with high end equipment.”
“We have experts trainers in various fields.”
Classics, now if we tweak them, with a couple of different words you’ll notice the massive difference it makes.
“You will have access to the best facilities with high end equipment perfectly suited to your needs.”
“You can speak to any one of our experts trainers whenever you need some help with your goals.”
While a tad longer the message is far more inclusive to the person and will be read by them, the individual as they can now start to picture themselves being there.
If we wish to keep them to one line here are some other tweaks we can make to convey the same message.
“You’ll access equipment suited to your needs.”
“You have our experts trainers to help plan your goals.”
It is little tweaks like these that can set your apart from the rest because of one simple reason.
You’re showing that you care about them (your potential clients) and it’s all about their journey and helping them, it’s not about the company itself and how brilliant it is.
Don’t get me wrong, the company or business may indeed be brilliant, however blowing your own trumpet before showing people you’re their to help them and care about them first is not the wisest route to take.
People buy from people after all.
Give the above some thought and if you have any little bits of scripture you want to share in the comment, please do so.
Will do me a favour?
Take a look at your current business adverts/mission statements etc, read them as a client and ask yourself this one simple question –
Is the company talking to me or merely about themselves?
How is your training going?
I bet your answer is ‘F**king epic!’.
Well, at least I hope it is.
This pursuit of a better version of oneself is something that captivates many.
One things I’ve noticed over the years though is the level of denial many will have about what it is they want to achieve.
What do I mean by this?
Simply that people will put limits on telling people what they want to achieve, and perhaps even go so far as to tell themselves the same things.
I’ms sure you’ve heard people or perhaps you yourself have said things like this:
“I don’t want to get too big, it’s not a good look for me.”
“I’m not interested in being ripped, I just want to lose some weight.”
“Losing weight doesn’t bother me, I’m doing if for health.”
While the above may be true, I’ve often found when talking to people that not to be the case and these self limiting views come from a couple of main places.
1 – Not wanting to se the bar high and fail to reach it
2 – They don’t want to be viewed as vain or narcissistic.
Both of the above as you can see are based on worrying about what everyone else will think.
A vicious cycle many fall in to.
We put a lot of stock in the opinions of other people, even if we claim we don’t.
Many need to approval of the group.
This isn’t a bad thing you know, it’s human nature.
The only problem with it these days is that the group is no longer a small one, it’s potentially in the thousands.
Just look at Instagram models, they need to keep their audience happy otherwise, poof, gone and forgotten.
In our earliest days our groups would be small, simply because of the way we lived. The tribe was much smaller, as such the opinions we needed for validation was only a select few in number.
Not now though.
Now we need to appease the mob,sad times.
Talking about goals and appeasing the mob, what are yours?
What physical prowess do you wish to achieve?
As a youngster, like many I wanted to become a fighter, to have that look, that athletic ability, essentially the classic martial arts physique.
Luckily my inner circle has always been just one person in size, I guess there is benefit to being an outcast.
How big is yours?
Knowing this will lead you to understand just how much approval you need in regards to your goals.
Also give some though to your goals.
Are they set at a low level so that you have an acceptable margin for failure or have you decided to aim high because bollocks to what everyone else thinks?
Food for thought.
Is tracking calories worth it?
A question many ask.
To be fair it’s such a minefield it is easily understandable why people suck at it.
From years in the trenches I can tell you that knowing all your numbers does have a place, however it’s not the be all end all, not really.
Keeping diaries is something I’m a fan of.
Not specifically for getting every calorie by the number, in fact it’s more for having people try to be more accountable.
It also allows me as a coach to see what is written down and then look at the person to see if things marry up.
If they don’t then we can sit down and have a chat about all the possibilities.
Long story short it is often that they are missing things out or just lying because they want to look like they’re being good and not let me down by admitting they are struggling or snacking.
Once we break this mental barrier they have real progress can be made.
You’d be surprised how many people are scared of letting others down, as such they will lie about who is really going on or ghost.
Some will say that they struggle with fitness and making change because they feel as if everyone is judging them, shaming them etc.
I have a notion for you to consider on this.
No one can make you feel ashamed of anything unless you yourself know what you’re doing is shameful.
That’s just how it works.
Take not shifting excess fat for example.
The common reason; the person is in a positive energy balance (or maintenance), fact.
Putting all the other reasons to one side, this is the crux of it all, once people admit this to themselves real progress can be made as to why this is the case.
Just because it’s the reason things are not moving that doesn’t mean it’s the why behind it all.
The why could be emotional, habitual or a whole host of other reasons, and once all the bullshit is stripped away we can start finding out and really making progress.
Opening up for many is hard though.
No one wants to feel vulnerable.
We need to address this before we can really move forwards, you owe it to yourself to be happy, really, you do.
As a coach I desire the best for people.
The problem is that people are idiots who get in their own way all the god damn time.
You can have all that you seek if you will get over your issues and just accept shit happens and we can’t dwell on it, not if we sant to make any meaningful growth in life.
So, is tracking calories worth it?
Yes and no, what is really worth your time and attention is achieving a state of self love, self appreciation and self acceptance, because once you’ve cracked those you’ll no longer have the same fears and be less apprehensive about being honest with people and more importantly yourself.
If you still currently lie to yourself about what you eat, do in training or general life then you’ve got more pressing matters than how many calories are in that cinnamon latte.
(It’s around 130, just incase you wanted to know.)
How stressed are you on a scale of 1-a large glass of wine please, and leave the bottle.
When it comes to stress it’s easy to get caught up in it, to find ourselves dragged out to sea by the tide of our own drama.
While stress will inevitably be there, how we react and deal with that stress is down to us, really, it is.
Take this for example.
You receive bad news, as such you can,
A – get angry and put your fist through a door, thus making yourself more stressed.
B – take a deep breath, walk away form it and come back to deal with it when you’ve calmed down.
In both instances the stressor hasn’t disappeared, it hasn’t changed, however what has changed is how YOU decided to react to it.
One piles more stress on top and doesn’t get you anywhere, the other gives you time to think and perhaps the thought capacity to find a solution and realise it’s not as bad as you initially thought.
The above (point A) is a real life example of an old client who had been training consistently and not made any progress on the scales, that was down t their poor eating habits by the way.
Their reaction did them no favours apart from stressing them out further, it took quite a while before they eventually calmed down enough (several days later) to have a logical conversation and start to address some lifestyle habits that were perhaps not the most conducive to success.
We did have to overcome the denial, and blatant diversion of responsibility first before they accepted their own fault in the lack of progress, however we got there in the end.
It is human nature to quickly justify their poor choices, habits or reactions, we all go through it at times and what separates those who move on from those who don’t is their ability to acknowledge a stressor for what it is and take control of it, instead of letting it take control of them.
Give the above some thought, perhaps even write down some times you’ve overreacted, knowledge your fault in it all, then let it go, move on and continue with your life.
It’s time to adult for real.
The only thing that really separates adults from children is the simple truth that adults do things they really don’t want to because they’ve not really got any other choice.
Well, maybe there is a choice however the alternative for an adult not doing things they must do yet don’t want to can be far more costly than that of the plight of youth.
In this world there is nothing we truly have to do, however there are things that as we age it’s easier to just do them instead of suffering the consequences.
It’s often said that we have ‘free will’ & ‘freedom of chocie’ which is true, yet people seem to think that this means freedom from consequence, which it doesn’t and you’d do well to remember that.
I will say it again:
Freedom of choice doesn’t mean freedom from consequence.
Keeping the above in mind let us now apply this to fitness.
As a youth there are things we know are better for us to do in regards to nutrition & training that will improve our long term health.
As a youth we can choose not to do these things, however we will reap what we sow and eventually as an adult you might just find yourself overweight, weak, sick and basically a shadow of your former self.
As an adult you may now think “I better get in shape” yet because of being older now it is harder, perhaps not for the physical reasons you may think, more the mental reasons.
The mental reasons?
Yep, you’ve become accustomed to doing what you want and bollocks to everyone else, it’s your life, your body and so on. The younger you may have had some wiggle room, the older you doesn’t.
As such there will now be things that you MUST do, yet you don’t really want to, and normally it means you don’t, why?
Because fuck responsibility, that’s why.
Of course all of the above is nothing more than words if you take no action.
Some will read this post today and do the adult thing of looking at themselves in the mirror and accepting that enough is enough, it’s time to adult for real instead of playing at it.
The understanding that comes with maturity, the wisdom that comes with age if boiled down to one sentence would be this –
In the end it’s better to do the things you don’t want to do now before they become the things you needed to do years ago.
Give it some thought.
What is your perceived value of yourself?
Of all the reasons people go to the gym, or at least all the ones they will openly admit, doing it for purely selfish and intrinsic reasons won’t be one of them.
The funny thing is that this is often quite a large factor for many.
To improve our own self worth and feel more valuable to the opposite sex, or who ever you’re trying to impress or gain attention/admiration/praise from, it’s quite the impressive motivator.
Of course this will be one of the harder things for people to admit because even though we are told to do what make us happy and all that other bollocks, if we are actually honest about why we do a lot of things people will be quite quick to turn 180 on us and let their disapproving gavel fall.
You know it’s not wrong to harbour the goal of feeling better about yourself, to know that you are now higher up on the scale of desirability and as such more sought after.
It is human nature to garner attention because it is a valuable resource.
Everyone enjoys positive attention, people who disagree are not being 100% truthful because even if they don’t want general attention, there are certain people or persons that they do want to notice them.
As such there is nothing wrong with wanting to up your perceived value and enjoy the attention.
You’ll find the only people who call you an attention seeking whore are the ones who are having some of theirs taken way from them.
Remember guys, life is a game, no matter if people admit this or not.
There are winners & losers, trust me.
One other positive aspect of increase value is that you start to feel more confident and more resolute, two things that are very useful in this world and can help a great many stop being treated as door mats.
Funny thing about that is it’s only you who can let others treat you in such a way, maybe it’s the only way you know to get some attention of approval from your peers, I don’t know, regardless of why you let it happen the fact remains; you let it happen.
The time for action is now.
If you feel frumpy, lethargic and that you are shaped like a potato, do something about it.
The same is true if you’re stick thin, constantly ill and weaker than a malnourished baby kitten.
No one ever lost the respect of others for wanting to improve themselves.
I have faith in you and know you’re worth more than you I’ve yourself credit for, so please, listen and take action.
If you don’t know where to start all you need do is ask someone for help 🤗
I have something I’d like you to do.
Not for my benefit, for yours.
Write three letters.
All of them to yourself.
Your past self, your future self, your present self.
When writing the first letter to the past, tell them everything that has a happened, what went wrong and what went right and those all important lessons you wish you’d known back then yet would have promptly ignored if you did get taught them.
As we all know, our younger selves always know what’s best for them, until we get older and realise that is a far cry from the truth.
After you’ve written to the past, now you want to write a letter to your present from the future you.
In this letter take your time and look beyond what you can see or understand, while you might not have anything spring to mind immediately, hang in there, answer will come.
Write down what your future self would say about your current situations, addressing how what you feel may be a major problem now was actually not what you made it out to be. Your future self will tell you the larger perspective on the situation and see the behaviours that will lead to the most beneficial and hopefully, peaceful resolution to your conflicts.
They may even tell you about those risks you didn’t want to take, like asking that person out who you see every day, they may tell you you asked and they said yes, listen to your future self, they’ve been in the places you have yet to be.
A much older you will show you that things tend to work out in the end and how you can make it so.
The last letter will be from the you in the now to the you in the now.
In it speak about why you wrote what you did to the past you and what the words from the future you mean to you now.
Cover anything, everything, or nothing.
Express all your current fears, hopes and dreams, talk of current, past and perhaps future regret, hold nothing back because the only person to read this letter will be you, if there is a better time to be honest with yourself I know not of it.
You’ll feel much better once you do.
Doing this will help you start to see things as they are, not filled with anything other than appreciation of the fragility of it all.
Stop reading here until you’ve written your own letters.
Here is what I learnt from the letters, you may learn the same, you may not.
Take a look for yourself, just don’t take these was yours, you have your own 🙂
The letter from the past taught Humility and that I wasn’t always right.
The letter from the future taught Faith and that even after all the shit hit the fan it always worked out in the end.
The last letter, arguably gave the most important lesson of all, it’s only me, everyday, as such I carry the burdens, the glory, it’s all on me.
The last letter taught me to see and accept responsibility.
Acceptance of all I was, all what I did, all what I may do, what I’m doing and how the only consistent factor in all this life is me and that it’s my responsibility to lead the life that I choose.
What goes well or not, it’s a result of my choices and mine alone, I am responsible, that’s it.
“It’s not about how much you can do, it’s about how much you can do and still recover from.”
This may seem obvious, however a lot of people think they can do that little bit more to get the upper hand, and for a short time they might indeed achieve this, however if it is prolonged a great many will go past the point of which they are recovering and eventually burn out.
If you look at training you need to have planned phases of overreaching, this means dipping in to the bodies energy reserves and even having them below a homeostatic level for a period of time, then you back off and allow your body to recover, thus achieving super-compensation.
That means you train hard, get tired, push a bit more, rest/recover and come back stronger than before.
A lot of people do this and then try to do more on top, this goes from overreaching to potential overtraining, or worse, they simply do more at a less intense level and never make any progress what so ever.
You can train hard or you can train long, not both.
The idea of training is to push past your limits, then back off and let your body recover so what used to be your old limit it now closer to your current norm.
Sadly the culture we live in leaves people wanting it all yesterday, not to mention they then become addicted to outdoing everyone else which can leave them frustrated.
How you or do you know anyone, who trains ‘hard’ all the time yet struggles to get results or progress and then becomes jealous of someone else who does half of what they do and gets better results, I’m sure you have.
When this happens all the excuses come out – “Oh, they have better genetics than I do.” or “It’s easy for them I have XYZ condition.”.
You get the idea.
What gives me the right to say this you ask?
I’ve been that person, I did too much and blamed everyone else for my lack of progress when it was all on my because I was doing too much, I was addicted to exercise and drove myself in to the ground because I thought I knew better and I didn’t, don’t be an idiot like me.
I have something to tell you.
Training doesn’t have to consume your life unless you’re a professional athlete.
If you work the 9-5, have kids and a life, you can look great training 3-4 times per week, in some or most cases 2-3 is more than enough, especially when combined with optimal (sensible) nutrition.
Mostly peoples mindset comes down to them trying to impress someone or impress others, why though?
Doe sit matter if you impress other people, seriously, does it matter to you that much? Really, does it?
There is a reason that the older people get the more you hear them say things such as “It doesn’t matter what people think.” – it’s true, it doesn’t, not really.
While we all have peers and people we want the approval of, seeking that validation shouldn’t rule our lives because its not healthy if it does.
It’s true that the praise of others is nice, it makes us feel good about ourselves, however there is something far more gratifying, self-worth. If you have that you’ll find you’re not only a lot happier but life is a lot easier.
Learn to be proud of yourself, if you always rely on others you will always be unhappy and wanting more, not to mention subject to their judgment and trying to keep everyone happy will drain you mentally, it’s not worth it.
Pick a select few who’s opinions are worth something and aim to gain self value, you’ll be much happier for it.