Over the years I’ve often found the true success factor that determines whether you’ll get in shape or not isn’t about how much hard work you’re willing to put in.
But more about the amount of work you’re willing to put in when you really don’t want to. It’s easy to stay consistent when things are going your way.
Fitness is easy when you’re on top.
But when you’re not on top and you’re out of control, what happens then?
Through experience, your habits, willpower and motivation fall by the wayside and it’s absolutely not your fault. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bptue5zhF9c/
Imagine your kid becoming ill, and taking 3 days off school which throws your diet and exercise routine out the window.
Your partner suddenly has to go away for work for a week and you’re left to pick up the pieces at home, with your family and work.
Or more common still, you’re a teacher and half term comes which throws your pretty routine lifestyle out the window. No longer are you stuck to time constraints and rigid working hours.
But when the above does happen, what can you do about it?
Lament your lack of control?
Throw disgust at your lack of willpower?
Blame the fact that you’re just never going to lose weight?
We’re all too quick to blame ourselves rather than look to ourselves for the answer.
What we usually do is rely on external factors such as work, timings, partners, and emotions to piece together our lives.
However, what we should be doing is relying on internal factors like our feelings and values to allow us to continue our progress.
To start with you’ve probably heard you need a ‘why’. A ‘why’ so deep that it’ll spur you on when shit really hits the fan and sure enough, that’ll give you the motivation needed but it won’t give you the inspiration to keep going.
Instead of asking yourself ‘Why do you want to change’ What if you asked yourself ‘How your life would change once you do’?
Understanding and applying your own personal values to your life will tie the process of getting fit together far greater than any other action out there.
Your values are what you base your life on.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney
It’s how your whole world rotates around you. It’s the life you give to others and how you perceive people around you.
Without knowing, you gravitate to your values. You get on with those of similar values to you. You commit to a job that’s values inspire you.
And your values are what push you beyond the excuses you’ve used in the past to a new way of thinking and understanding your health.
As Mindtools put it…
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.Taken from Mindtools.com
This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.
Ultimately, if we can tie your health to your values the process becomes more enjoyable and sustainable because now you’ve become committed to the cause.
So tell me Sam, how do I know what my values are?
I thought you’d never ask.
By using the below 10 questions, you too can understand what your deepest values are and can then take your health one step further.
These 10 questions take time to answer, they’re not as easy as they seem and I would, if I were you, spend time thinking about your answers. Go off of what you feel, not what you think others expect of you.
Set aside an hour to answer the following 10 questions and then move on to Step #2 in the process.
Note: Have a maximum 3 answers for each
Step 1: Ask Yourself These Questions.
- What do you spend your time doing?
- Where do you spend most of your energy?
- What do you spend most of your money on?
- What do you visually consume on a day-to-day basis?
- What do you think about?
- What do you envision?
- What do you talk to yourself?
- Positive or negative (driving towards or running away)
- How do you talk to others?
- What goals do you set yourself?
- Who inspires you?
Step 2: Add Up How Often Each Answer Appears and List Your Top 3.
Awesome. Now step #2 is to identify how often each answer appears and write them down.
It may be, for instance, that your partner appears more often than others, 7 times. Your career might appear second most common at 6. Finally, your family might appear third most common at 5.
These, of course, are just examples and your answers may and can be totally different. It doesn’t matter what your most common answer is to us, because this is for you.
Now you know your top 3 values we will be using them to build out a full answer sheet on each of the values.
Step #3 I want you to ask your top value some more questions.
Step 3: Ask Your Top 3 Values Deeper Questions To Get Deeper Motivators & Emotions.
Let’s say your family is Value #1
‘How will your relationship with your family improve if you’re fitter, healthier, and more confident?’
Write it down and keep the flow going. This answer can branch off in so many ways.
Take this question for instance, by being in better health physically, mentally and socially how can i … With my family.
by being in better health physically, mentally, and socially how can I experience more holidays With my family?
You might be able to finally go on that holiday you’ve desperately wanted to do with them.
Now you’re healthier you will be able to do more on that holiday. You’ll have more energy to experience more activities – that could be taking a hike to the top of a hill with a view. It could be going for longer walks along the beach which will lead to deeper conversations and further still, deeper connections.
You’ll be able to take more pictures and selfies of yourself because you’ll be more confident. Having more pictures means you’ll be able to live those memories more often, and those pictures will be able to be passed down generations in the future and create more conversations with your extended family.
Having greater and varied conversations may mean you’re able to communicate more effectively with your partners’ in-laws. Perhaps you begin to get along with them better, which puts your relationship with your partner in a better place.
And this can, of course, go further and further and deeper and deeper. You just need to open yourself up to the possibilities of what your questions bring.
Sample questions to ask yourself
Your relationship – Answered above
Activities – What activities can you do with your family? What are you able to do now that you were never able to do previously? By doing more activities, how will that inspire your family? Will your family be able to take inspiration from your physical and mental capabilities? Can you now teach your kids/partner the activities you’ve now learned? Bringing you closer together.
Communication – How does your communication improve with your family? By communicating better, what does that allow you to do? If you can communicate better, how much further can you connect to your family? How much better can they connect to you?
Energy – With renewed energy, how can you put that into your family? What will you gain back in exchange? If you have greater energy, can you communicate more effectively? Are you able to satisfy your partner physically?
Work crossovers – do you think if you’re fitter physically, mentally, and socially you would be able to be more productive at work? If you’re more productive and efficient at work do you think you may get a promotion? With a promotion comes more money. How could you use that money on your family?
Throughout this whole process, if given enough time and head space you will probably notice a list of around 500 or so reasons that resonate to both your most important value and your health. Keep digging deeper and deeper and find as many reasons as to how your values will only increase in your life once you’re healthier.
Now you’ve made the association in your head that getting in shape physically, mentally, and socially will only serve your values to a far greater extent than you ever thought possible.
And by creating the link you’ve just done something incredibly powerful.
You’ve identified how your life will transform.
Sweet. So you’ve got a list of 4-500 + benefits to your number #1 value. Now what?
Repeat that for your next two values on the list.
Why? Because like the above, some of these new benefits you’ll discover will resonate with you on a deeper level than some of the answers from your first value.
Step 4 – Go Over Your Benefits and Highlight The Ones That Resonate The Most With You
Go over all your benefits and highlight the ones that are incredibly powerful to you. The ones in which you feel serve your values far greater than any others.
It could be that ‘by being healthier physically, mentally and socially you’ll be able to play football with your son and join on the activities he wants to do without being the parent on the side that suppresses your kids desires due to your own sense of insecurity
See. The above is incredibly important to some parents out there and we can then use those sentences and benefits to create inspiration that lasts a lifetime, and not just motivation that lasts an hour.
Step 5 – Spread Those Benefits & Statements Around In Your Everyday Life
Now you have that list of 6-7 benefits or sentences we can then start to leave them where we will view them more often than not.
We can put them in our daily sight, to remind ourselves of the values we hold and the benefits we’ll gain from achieving a healthier mind body, and soul.
It could perhaps mean you leave them on the fridge, glaring at you every time you get up to raid the fridge for late-night snacks. You might screenshot your kids on your phone to stop yourself scrolling through Instagram in between sets in the gym.
You ideally want to create these triggers that elicit a response from you. A response that fires you up, centres your focus and allows you to press on with what you said you were going to do in the first place.
Using the above, you’ll shift your mindset as to what is possible instead of what isn’t. You’ll start to see challenges as a way of breaking the barriers.
Get fit and maintain it.