Developing Habits and Fostering Change

I must admit. My posts here come from feelings, thoughts, and experiences in my own life. If they resonate, great, if not, that’s OK too. Life has its way of remaining internal unless we become brave enough to release it upon the world. Writing is my release. Working as a personal trainer, making fitness my career, and experiencing the highs and lows of helping others with what can often be described as a frustrating process has taught me many lessons. It is here that some of those lessons become examined in detail.

Self-analysis is essential. Questioning your decision-making process and your reactions to those decisions can help you understand the choices you make. This is a required step in changing, eliminating, or developing a habit. This can be heavy! Breathe and get through the task. It’s worth it. Remember, knowledge and understanding create leverage.

The art of thinking well isn’t easy, but it’s essential. And doing it well is a matter of essentialism—cutting out the extraneous, corralling the negative, focusing on the constructive instead of the consuming.

Ryan Holiday “The Daily Stoic”

Goals are nice, but habits are better. Feed the habits you wish to define you. Starve those that are holding you back. Be clear on why you want to change. Understand that the negative energy attached to your health is holding you back. It’s only fear.

As your coach. Your mentor. Your trainer. Trust me. Walk with me. Be honest with me. Do your best to make me believe that you really will walk the walk. Always present. Always forward. Forever optimistic.

 

Reclamation

As I continue on this fitness endeavor, both professional and personal, I cannot help but wonder what the evolution of this industry will produce. The information available is far reaching, diverse, contradictory, and to a greater extent dogmatic. Fitness, as well as nutrition, has become a form of “faith” made up of a multitude of factions, each with their devout followers. Most of us find our path or form of practice (in this case fitness) through guidance from friends, family, media… enticing advertising and marketing, etc. Whether it be the club, gym, studio, box, garage, or whatever the label may be.

What is missing in this search is the desire of the individual to truly learn and commit fully to what ultimately is the deciding factor, education. Yes, we must learn about ourselves and what factors in our life have led us to the place we are at in the present. Not just learn, but admit, honestly, who we are as a person, how we make decisions, why we choose what we choose. This education can be undertaken individually, but more often than not we go in search of a guru, teacher, or a “fitness religion” that we feel best expresses who we are or want to be.

Personally, what I feel is needed is a society wide reclamation. A reclamation of our health and fitness from the inner-core of our being. I believe we were not put on this earth to merely feel comfortable, and seek out the path of least resistance, avoiding work, honest, meaningful work to overfeed, drink, and consume ourselves into complacency. In the present, can we be strong enough to forge forward, one choice, decision, at a time? I mean really think about all of the decisions we make and take ownership of them? Good and bad, smart and dumb.

Before we invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars in a membership, guru, program, or whatever it may be, we need to take the time to do a self assessment, including, but not limited to:

  • Lifestyle Factors
  • Career/Job
  • Goals/Desires
  • Motivations
  • Habits
  • Past Failures and Successes

From this you will see some obvious connections between these elements. It is within those connections that you must analyze your pattern of decision making. Ultimately, we are creatures of habit, and we become what we repeatedly do. Understanding this is not easy and most often avoided, but without this understanding we really can go no further.

Reclamation. It is personal. Decisions you make for yourself that lead you closer or further from your goals/wants/desires.

Decide to start on your path. Get to know yourself. Then and only then can you progress.

Enjoy the journey.