Do whatever works for you
Formulas and systems in training and life are helpful and provide structure, but if they become sacred cows and are followed even after they stop working, they will inhibit creativity and guarantee mediocrity. Do whatever works and is useful for you. Getting results is more important than loyalty to a system or a guru.
There is no failure, only feedback
As long as you are taking action in pursuit of your goals, you cannot fail — as striving individuals (and as trainer/client), our actions simply produce results and it is up to each of us how we interpret them. Partial success is not failure and it’s valuable if you reframe it as a learning experience. The only way to really fail is if you quit. Keep trying and keep learning.
Keep your plans flexible
The person with the most flexibility is the person with the most power. You limit yourself when you believe there is only one way.
Find out what works and then keep doing more of it
If what you are doing is not working, do something else! If what you are doing is working, don’t second-guess yourself; stay the course and keep on doing it, regardless of what anyone else says. If you find a combination of strength training, cardio workouts and nutrition strategies that get you what you want — the right weight, good health — pursue them with a vengeance and be proud that you found what works well for you!
The opposite of courage is not cowardice; it is conformity
If you follow the herd, you are going to have to step through a lot of manure. Have the courage to trust in yourself and follow your own path. This is true with fitness “fads” and a healthy lifestyle in general!
Consistency is king
The best of plans and strategies will be sabotaged by inconsistency. It’s not what you do once in a while that counts — it is the small things you do each day that really make a difference over the long haul. Exercise and eating well is a lifestyle of positive actions repeated daily — not something you do the week after New Year’s!
Choose your friends wisely
You become like those you spend your time with. Get out of negative, draining relationships as fast as you would a burning house. Find people who support your fitness lifestyle and are walking the same path of health and wellness. Spend less time with friends engaged in destructive habits.
Compete with yourself and be the best “you” you can possibly be
Don’t try to be better than others — be better than you used to be! Success isn’t beating someone else, it’s the satisfaction that comes from knowing you did the best you could with what you are given. You will never be happy wanting to look like your favorite actor or fitness model if you don’t have the right genetics to get that look. Get your look and do it really well: Work with what you have and maximize that.
Focus on what you want not on what you want to avoid
What you think about, talk about and focus on is attracted to you. When you focus on the things you are trying to avoid, you attract those things into your life by allowing them to have energy and space in your mind. Focus on being healthy and eating delicious food in moderation and weight loss will effortlessly follow.
To grow, you must step out of your comfort zone
The easiest thing for us to do is to stay with the familiar pull of our own safety net of comfort and security. Nothing great was ever achieved by staying inside our comfort zone. All great advancements occur by stepping outside your comfort zone. Try a new fitness class, take an adventure vacation, run a race or join a sports team.
Work hard and earn your just rewards
There is no such thing as something for nothing. There will never be any scientific breakthrough or magic bullet that will replace hard work. Continuously seek more knowledge, a better way to do things and increased efficiency, but avoid quick fixes like magic fat-burning supplements, gurus and infomercial gadgets.
Balance work and stress with recovery
Hard work and a moderate amount of stress are not bad things: They give us a certain amount of stimulation that is essential for growth and advancement. Non-stop stress and work-aholism will ultimately cause a breakdown. Don’t be afraid to push yourself but remember to balance it with planned vacations, recovery breaks and recreational activities that are fun and stimulating.
Use these tips and I guarantee you will feel better about your journey toward a better body and better health.
Jim Hart, author, chef and registered personal trainer at Philadelphia’s 12th Street Gym, was voted as one of the top 100 trainers in America by Men’s Journal magazine. For more information about Jim and more than 30 other top trainers at 12th Street Gym, visit www.12streetgym.com
. For more information on fitness coaching, nutrition or to purchase one of Jim’s books, go to www.hartbody.com
or contact Jim at Hartbody@aol.com.