I don’t like the word lucky. It implies something is given.
But I’ll admit, I’m lucky in quite a few ways.
I was born a white woman in America in 1971. No one owns me and I have the right to own property myself and also the right to vote. I can make my own living and I’m protected by many laws. I am eternally grateful for this. 100 years ago many women didn’t have choices. And way too many around the world now still don’t. I don’t know why I won the birth lottery, but I did. I’ll leave that explanation to a Higher Power than me.
But other than just timing and place, I was lucky that I was born of parents that could put food on the table, a roof over our heads and we had access to clean drinking water. Again, unlike a lot of the world. They also worked us hard and even though I didn’t like it then, this hard work taught me the old-standard, American work ethic. And for that, I’m also grateful.
But! Other than that, I’ve worked for every damn thing I have.
I hear this a lot……
“You’re so lucky that you’re motivated to work out. Where do you get it?”
(Like it’s something I can pick up from Whole Foods or I was born with it like my mother’s green eyes or my dad’s thick hair.)
Ummm (blink, blink)…….”What do you mean, where do I get it? I don’t get it from anywhere. I create it.”
Well, it’s really very simple.
Here’s the Magic Formula:
i > Get inspired and make a decision of what you really want.
C > Commit to it no matter what
A > take Action every day even when you don’t feel like it
R > Repeat C & A
D = achieve Desired result
Staying Committed to the Desired result no matter what will motivate you to keep taking Action. The actual Desired result……”the fit body”……of course can’t give you your motivation…..it hasn’t been achieved yet.
That’s putting the proverbial cart before the horse.
Here’s an example:
You say you just hate exercise. It’s boring. It’s hard. It’s time consuming. And then there’s all the gym-bros sweating on everything…….
Yah? So what? So what that you don’t like it? You’re not supposed to. It’s new. It’s uncomfortable. Can you not do hard things to get what you really want out of life?
Do you want to be fit? Then decide to be fit. Decide you’re going to embrace the suck for awhile. And then follow the rest of the formula.
Here’s an example:
Were you a big fan of brushing your teeth when you were a kid? Probably not. It was boring. Time consuming. Tasted funny. Kept you from your Barbies or GI Joes. I bet your mom had to nag you to do it too.
But not anymore, right? Now I bet you’re a pretty Badass teeth-brusher. I bet you brush your teeth every damn day! Twice a day as a matter of fact. Do you consider yourself motivated? Or do you need someone to tell you to do it? Probably not. I bet you don’t even think about it at all.
Teeth brushing isn’t something we consider a major accomplishment. It’s just something we do. Every day. No matter what. And it started with a decision long ago after dear ole mom stopped nagging you, that you wanted to have decent breath to kiss someone under the bleachers, a white smile to dazzle in photos………and now you’re just hoping for the ability to chew solid food in 20 years.
And since you’ve got the whole teeth-brushing thing down pat, I know you can accomplish exercise.
Let’s use me as an example.
I’ve made a decision to move my body in some way every day no matter what. It’s good for me. It’s life-affirming. It makes me less crazy. All upside. No downside.
I didn’t use to be this way. I struggled every day in confusion….When? Where? What? How much? Lift? Run? How long? What should I wear? What should I eat first? What should I eat after? Does my ass look big in these bike shorts?
Always in limbo.
And consequently, many times……giving up.
But one day I said, “Screw all this noise!”
I decided to stop deciding.
I put on my big girl panties and made a decision.
I was going to exercise every day no matter what. Even if it’s just a walk. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Even when I have a cold. I’m tellin’ ya, I have to feel pretty damn bad not do SOMETHING.
I don’t stand in front of the mirror every day in a Battle Royale with my Resistance wondering if I should work out or not. Just like I don’t stand in front of the mirror and battle with brushing my teeth. Can you imagine how exhausting that would be? Or how crazy I would look?
”Should I brush my teeth tonight?”
“Ahhhh…..Maybe I’ll just brush them tomorrow, but for twice as long and twice as hard.”
“Or maybe I’ll just start on Monday.”
Of course not! That would make me certifiably nuts!
No. I just do it. Because the decision has been made. Now I just literally rinse and repeat.
It’s the same for exercise.
I no longer need to think about it. I don’t need external motivation like a personal trainer or a walking buddy (although sometimes that can be nice).
It’s just part of who I am. It’s been hard-wired after daily practice.
So again, my motivation doesn’t come from my unicorn-like personality (LOL!), my parents, the gym, the Peloton bike, the amaze-ball new shoes or my bitchin’ Lulu Lemon yoga pants. (Though they do may make my ass look like J-Lo’s. But they sure as hell don’t walk my ass into the gym.)
And no, Will.I.Am, it doesn’t come from my mamma.
That shit comes from ME. And the decision I made when I turned 40 that I still wanted to look and feel amazing and be a total Badass at midlife and beyond.
And PS…….If you are frozen by the fear that you just can’t commit or maybe you’re just apathetic, don’t give up. Just decide to do SOMETHING.
Apathy is usually overcomable (yah, I made that word up) by going for a short walk. Or by just picking up the phone and booking a session with a PT. Or maybe it’s time to hire a coach, like me, to help you figure out what your Resistance is all about. Whatever. Just do SOMETHING.
Because when you do just ONE thing. That one thing leads to another and another and so on. Action, no matter how small, most always creates more action. Every time you do SOMETHING, you send a message to yourself, “OK, I did that, I guess I can do more.” And day by day you build on that until you create the desired result. The important thing is to just do it and stop deciding every day if you’re going to.
And when you get to that inevitable point that your brain tries to talk you into skipping a day, you’ll say, “Nope. I exercise every day. No matter what. Because I’ve already decided.”
I’m tellin’ ya……the more I learn about the successes of my clients, the more I realize that successful people aren’t lucky, more talented, knowledgeable or more capable. They’re just really good at making decisions, committing to those decisions, and following through on the daily, simple actions of getting that shit done. No matter what.
They KNOW they have all the power to create what they want. And so do you.