Fitness coach Hal Collins explains how starting small and learning how to consistently keep promises to yourself can be the key to achieving your fitness goals and getting in shape.
Absolutely everything in your life gets better when you’re in shape, I mean literally everything, and it’s surprisingly little to do with the physical changes that you make to your body.
Sure, let’s not kid each other here, your holidays get exponentially more enjoyable when your belly is no longer a barrier to entry to peace of mind. When I go on holiday I don’t think twice about taking my T-shirt off and getting in the pool; I don’t think twice about how I’m going to look squeezed into a lifejacket on a jet ski; I don’t think twice about wearing certain pieces of clothing.
What I’m trying to say is, fear of how your body looks, fear of how other people will perceive you, fear of how certain pieces of clothing look on you, this all acts as an almost insurmountable barrier to entry to experiencing true joy. Even worse, these fears can actually make you resentful to people who are in shape; this resentment doesn’t stem from anything they’ve done to offend you, it stems from your relationship with yourself which has likely been broken down through years of self-sabotage and broken promises kept to yourself.
You’ve probably determined yourself as someone who is just incapable of getting in shape due to your failed efforts, but this is nothing to do with your ability to get in shape, it’s to do with the relationship you have built with yourself.
Breaking promises to yourself has become your identity, accepting that you’re not going to get in shape has become your identity.
Now tell me, if this applies to you, how on earth are you supposed to excel in achieving personal joy if your main scruple in your life is, YOU.
See, it’s nothing to do with your body, nothing to do with your physical representation, it’s how you FEEL about your body that matters. That feeling of achievement, the feeling of self-worth and self-love that follows when you see the results of the hard work and sacrifices you made is totally unmatched in the theatre of human development.
Every day, when I am with my clients, I am reminded quite how drastic the changes to someone’s personality are when they get in shape. It is indeed a change in personality and that change in personality is born from a change in IDENTITY.
You go from being someone who breaks promises to yourself and sees the dull and shameful reflection of that looking back at you in the mirror to someone who keeps promises to themselves, someone who prioritises rebuilding their own perception of self, to someone who is capable of saying no and doing hard things for delayed gratification. You become someone who has faith in themselves.
Now, there are a plethora of other things you can do to change your identity; keeping promises to yourself that you once broke can be done in any sphere of life. You may take the time to stop lying to your partner, you may start studying more and studying harder instead of winging your exams, the list is endless. But, what I love about the transformation of getting in shape is that the results are so tangible; there is no hiding from the harsh reality that if you don’t do the hard work then you won’t get results and that painful reality will stare back at you in the mirror.
On the flip side of that is the fact that when you do the work, you’re rewarded and your reward does not simply end with your T-shirts fitting you better, the rewards and changes to your life are endless. People will treat you differently, that all important ‘first opinion’ of a stranger is totally shifted when you’re in shape, your leverage in social situations is shifted in your favour when you’re a walking representation of self-respect. Truthfully, I could go on for hours about how your life will change but I won’t waste my time as, let’s be honest, you already know.
If you already know how much better your life will be when you’re in shape you might ask ‘well why the hell am I not doing what is necessary to get it done?’ The answer to that is simple, you’re programmed for failure, your personal identity does not correlate with that of someone who can get in shape, and why would it? You’ve done nothing but break promises to yourself and self-sabotage for years.
So, how do you change?
Make small promises to yourself, so small that it’s impossible to break them. Run 100 meters, do 10 push ups, have no sugar in your coffee. Do this daily, then before you know it you’ve spent a week keeping promises to yourself, then a month, then you want to challenge yourself more as now you are ignited with self-belief that you can do it. Before you know it a year has passed and you’re in shape and it all started with 10 push ups.
If you’re still reading this then this message probably applies to you. If you’re still reading this message and it does indeed apply to you and you’ve put up with my rudimentary writing skills and bad storytelling, then you probably possess the 2 prerequisites necessary to make this leap.
A) You’re pissed off at your current situation
B) You ACTUALLY want to change
So, without any further procrastination, make that first small promise to yourself and let’s see where you are in a year.
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