"Wherever you see a wall, demolish it to broaden the horizons of the world!" - Mehmet Murat Ildan
Why do you make the effort to go to the gym and workout? Why do you make such conscious decisions about your food, your sleep schedule and your stress management?
It's because you have a goal. A mountain top you would like to reach, a physical, metal or emotional state you would like to experience. This isn't just any goal. This is is a vision you have created for yourself. It's not only about what you want to be, it' about who you want to be.
To put it simply, this goal is important.
So why haven't you accomplished it?
I encourage you to take an honest inventory of your daily behaviors, thought patterns and actions. Realign your behaviors with your goals. For now, this blog post is a great place to start.
No matter what your goal, no matter how hot the fire in your belly burns, there are going to be walls. Some of these walls will be familiar. They will be the same walls you've been struggling to climb over since you were a kid. Some walls will seemingly appear out of nowhere and will illicit a knee jerk response, sending you off track.
Being the genuinely curious guy that I am, I am constantly polling and interviewing people. I recently polled all of my clients as well as those in my Free Coaching Group in order to find out what walls they viewed as the biggest, most daunting walls they are facing.
I was expecting to see a trend and an overwhelming majority. I was wrong. I offered up five choices, and each one received quite a few votes. If you're reading this, chances are one of these five walls is one you are facing right now.
Today we aren't going to find a way over or around these walls. We are going to demolish them.
Wall #1- Family and Social Expectations
You want to make a change to your diet and your life, but the people around you aren't vibing with it. Mom shows her love by making cookies, clients want to drink vodka cranberries while you talk business, your friends have an Appy Hour tradition on Thursday nights, and your significant other wants someone to eat a whole pizza with while watching a marathon of Making a Murderer.
This one ranked #1 out of the five walls, and it's pretty clear why. As people, we love people (c'mon, yes you do!) and there is desire deep inside of us to please the those around us.
Let's establish something that will help you understand why you do the things you do. Everything you do is driven by the desire to avoid pain and the desire to experience pleasure. The desire to avoid pain overrides pleasure every time.
This should shed some light on why overcoming social expectations can be so difficult. Sure, technically it's as simple as saying 'no', but letting down friends and family will cause you pain right now. So you don't let them down, and you annihilate that pizza.
Of course not reaching your goals is painful too, just not as immediate, and possibly not as painful.
Fitness and health should compliment the other important aspects of your life, not replace them. Here are some actionable strategies to implement today.
Wall #2- Motivation
Coming in at a close second was motivation, or lack there of. I expected this to be #1, since so many people struggle with this as a personal wall.
You know the feeling all too well. You start out fired up about your goals and the process, but as time goes on that motivation fades away and all you're left with is a bunch of stuff you don't feel like doing.
Here are a few actionable strategies for maintaining motivation, and turning it into dedication.
Wall #3- Changing Eating Habits is HARD
The first thing many people find when they begin to change their diet and exercise regularly is this. Exercise is really fun and immediately rewarding. Changing how you eat is hard.
Keep in mind that your driving forces are pain and pleasure, and you will see why food is such a powerful player in this game. Not only does food offer immediate pleasure, it also has the ability to temporarily remove you from a state of pain (stress, sadness, etc.)
Here are some ready-to-implement tips to knock down this very big wall.
Wall #4- No Time
Not having enough time to workout and eat for your goals is a very common wall. It is often the perception of having no time rather than literally not having the time. There are those who pull 17 hour days and really don't have time to spare, and in the year 2016, everyone is hustling their face off.
Here are some ways to make fitness work with your already busy lifestyle.
"Training with Mitch, I lost inches AND felt like a superhero. His workout and nutrition progressions are very effective, he drives an active community, and overall Mitch is an attentive and motivating fitness expert!" -Rory
Wall #5- The Process is Overwhelming
Implementing a fitness and health plan into your life is a big change. It is only natural that it can feel overwhelming. The most common mistake people make which leads to the overwhelming experience is trying to take on too much too fast.
Motivation is running high, and you want all the progress now. Here are a couple different approaches that will help you add fitness to your life seamlessly.
Yesterday there was a wall between you and your goals. Today you decided to be proactive and take control of your fitness and health, and figurative walls no longer dictate what you do and don't do.
Today you demolish any wall that blocks your path, and that might be the most powerful step forward you will ever take.