Fun & Fit Lifestyle Program: (Week 1) “Getting & Staying Committed”
Welcome to the 12 Week Fun & Fit Lifestyle Program.
You are 12 weeks away from enormous change for the better, both in your fitness and in every other aspect of your life.
By the end of this program you will have more energy, more confidence, and more overall enjoyment of life than you may have ever had before.
My own recent experience with weight loss has been hugely transforming in every aspect of my life. The most notable is the newfound centeredness I feel as I’ve disciplined myself and focused myself on taking care of my body. Yeah, I miss the frequent happy hours and late nights out with friends. But not as much as I’ve enjoyed the inner growth that’s come with staying on track. And that’s perhaps the hardest part of this challenge.
You’ve got to make some real sacrifices to reach your goals. And some of these results that I promise, you’ll have to take on blind faith until they start showing up in your life. But after the first month of this program you should start feeling the results that I talk about.
That’s what it took me, anyway.
I remember the first time, waking up and hopping in the shower to begin my morning ritual of exercise and eating a good healthy breakfast, when I realized just how good I felt overall.
The lack of constant stress in my life had replaced itself with an inner strength and stability that was growing stronger and stronger as each day went by.
I felt less concerned about making an impression “out there” and only wanted to keep the feelings that I was starting to experience as a constant hum in the background of my life growing.
It was a feeling of power from within, like a light switch had turned on and was getting brighter and brighter over time.
There’s a quote I heard once that went something like, “Life gets easier when you live it the hard way and harder when you live it the easy way.” Living for quick fix “fun” day to day at the expense of long term fulfillment leaves you with a hangover that sucks!
And I don’t mean a literal hangover, although that can often be the result of a fun night out. I mean the feeling of dullness in your life that accumulates as you ride the constant roller coasters of fleeting excitement that repeatedly take you further and further away from growing and developing and reaching your goals.
There is a lot more fun and happiness on the long road than there is on the short road. Trust me on this.
But just like with addictions to drugs and alcohol,
there is an initial withdrawal pain that you must go through.
Most of the fuel that a rocket ship needs to go to the moon is used up in the first minutes of launching.
It needs it to break through earth’s gravity.
In the same way, the hardest part of establishing any positive routine in your life is breaking through the initial gravity of habits and addictions in the first couple weeks.
So hang in there!
It gets easier and a lot more enjoyable as time goes on.
In this program I’m going to give you some exercises to do that will help you stay committed. Don’t just passively listen.
Do the exercises. They will be the keys to your own motivation.
I will also be giving you challenges to help you start developing good habits.
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
So rather than overwhelming yourself with an overhaul of new lifestyle changes we’re going to take a progressive approach to this, adding 1 or 2 new habits each week.
However, one pitfall of the “making small changes” approach that I’ve encountered and seen others run into is that they can become excuses to making the larger changes you need to make to truly see results.
You HAVE to be 100% committed! It’s all or nothing.
Sometimes it’s easier to make all of the changes almost immediately just because it forces you to not just half-ass it. If that’s the best approach for you then go with it and make the necessary changes you need to make right off the bat.
But be careful of overwhelming yourself. One of the greatest gifts we’re born with is the ability to get really excited about something. This usually gives us a short burst of motivation to change.
However, once that initial burst starts wearing off you need have things set up to support you in sticking with the challenges and seeing you through to the end. Onto our first topic–beliefs. The beliefs that we have shape our reality.
Yet many of us are not aware of most of our beliefs. They run at the subconscious level of our minds, influencing the decisions we make.
Highly successful people are masters of taking conscious control of their beliefs, changing them to fit with what’s best in reaching their goals. We grow up being told “This is how the world works”. Or we have experiences that shape our beliefs.
But many of them are wrong or outdated. When you were growing up there were certain things that you didn’t have control over that may have shaped the belief that that was just the way things were. But now you’re older. You have a lot more control over your life.
Yet if those beliefs are still running in the background they can be keeping you in that same mentality of powerlessness over certain areas of your life.
I remember that growing up we didn’t have much money. My mom had really bad arthritis and couldn’t work and my dad was off doing his own thing without paying child support. So money was very tight.
As a result, we lived off of Welfare and Disability checks. I’m grateful for the government for providing us with those, because without them I don’t know how we could have survived.
But I grew up with this idea that we were less capable than others and that it was other people’s jobs to take pity on us and give us handouts as we needed.
This is known as a victim mentality.
Not that this was all going on consciously in my head. But when I got the opportunity to learn JKD from Sifu Chris Kent I expected him to cut us a break so that I could take classes. His reaction initially pissed me off.
He said, “Tough. If you want it bad enough you’ll figure out a way to pay for it.”
Because I was coming from a victim mentality I took that as a mean, non-caring response. But I DID want to train. So I found a job mowing lawns for $3 an hour.
I worked my butt off for those classes. Over the years through my own experience and several chats with Sifu Kent I came to realize that his statement to me was not one of not caring, but it was one of challenging me to see myself in a more empowering light.
That I had the ability, even at the age of 13, to get what I wanted if I was willing to do the work for it and not be a victim. That lesson has probably been the most important one that I’ve ever learned, and it’s shaped how I view the world and how I view myself.
You can see how powerful beliefs can be, and how quietly they can creep into your subconscious and shape the lens through which you view yourself and the world.
The beliefs that you have have also shaped the way that you view your health and fitness.
So here is your first exercise.
Take out a piece of paper.
I recommend having a journal set apart for these exercises so they’re all in one place.
I want you to take at least 5 mins and write down at least 5-10 beliefs you have about exercise and dieting.
When you imagine exercising what thoughts come up for you?
What’s your initial reaction?
By the way, it’s possible to have conflicting beliefs about something.
You might believe that exercise will give you more energy and make you a more optimistic person, yet at the same time believe that exercise will make you feel tired for the rest of the day and that you’ll feel constantly overwhelmed or stressed out or frustrated.
Try completing these sentence stems:
“Exercise is–” and “Dieting is–”
Write the first things that come to mind.
We’ll come back to this later on in the program, but for now just take a moment to think about where those beliefs come from.
Where did you get them?
What experiences have you had?
As you see them written plainly on a piece of paper how true do you feel each belief is?
Here’s your next exercise.
This is a very powerful exercise and will form the basis of keeping yourself motivated throughout this program. So be sure to really pour yourself into this one.
I know this is a lot, but we’ve got to do what it takes to break through the initial gravity and to establish a strong foundation that will support us going into this.
And if you’re not willing to do this much then you need to question how serious you really are about reaching your fitness goals.
Because it’s not going to be a cake walk.
On a separate piece of paper I want you to write, “If I do what it takes to reach my fitness goals and have my ideal body–”
Now take 5 mins and list all the things that come to your mind that you’ll have if you reached your goals.
Write down the feelings you’ll have about yourself, the new opportunities you could have, the influence you’ll have in the world.
How will it effect those you love? How will it effect you 5, 10, or 20 years down the road?
Now write another list for, “If I give up and don’t do anything about my fitness goals–”
Come up with as many possible endings for that sentence stem as you can, really paying attention to how each of those consequences makes you feel.
How will your work life be affected? What about your self-esteem?
Think about it from as many angles as you possibly can. And feel free to come back to these lists and add to them as the weeks go on.
This is called “Getting leverage on yourself”.
These are your reasons for getting in shape and not settling for less. And it can be very, very powerful.
One more thing before we do our last exercise.
I had a very religious upbringing. One of the practices that we had was baptism. Baptism signified a complete commitment to living up to our church’s standards. It marked the beginning of a new start. Many cultures have used ceremonies of this sort for the same purpose. An event to signify the role of manhood for some cultures.
These rituals are very powerful. They allow us to start over. To begin anew.
To forget the times we’ve failed in the past and to change our very identities.
We become new people. We take on a new belief that this is really it–no failures in the past matter. It’s all a new life from here.
So I want to take that same idea and I want you to write out a personal commitment to yourself for the next 12 weeks.
Commit to this program.
Commit to living better and healthier. Commit to reaching your goals. Make it meaningful for you.
This marks the end of your old way of living and signifies the beginning of a new level of YOU.
Now, sign your name to this and then take it and the two lists that you made in the “Getting Leverage On Yourself” exercises and post them up somewhere where you’ll see them every day.
Read through at least one of them once a day, thinking about how they make you feel.
To wrap things up I want to leave you with a challenge for the week.
Starting tomorrow your challenge is to spend at least 30 mins every day getting some form of exercise. This can be at the gym, or just going for a walk or a jog, or playing a sport.
Anything that gets you moving. I prefer doing my exercise first thing in the morning, as it tends to set the tone of my whole day. It also insures that I don’t miss it. So start tomorrow and I’ll talk to ya again next week.
Also, feel free to post any of the writing exercises you did and what you got out of them on the Facebook Page!: FunFitLifestyle