“FIT CLUB” Secret Admission Price
Do you joke about not being one of the “fit people”, while secretly wishing that you were?
That’s what I used to do…
You know who I’m talking about — those annoyingly lean, toned, well muscled people carrying yoga mats and drinking skinny lattes at 6AM, AFTER their workout. Their clothes fit so well, no bulges to hide, long smooth lines from every angle. Watching their firm, well-muscled bodies move with ease & agility made me feel like the Michelin Man. So I made snarky comments to mask my feelings of inferiority and reinforce my belief that I could never be one of them because they must spend all day working out, admiring each others’ firm glutes and eating lentil soup and kale salads.
I was wrong…
5 minutes a day can change your mind, your body, & your life…
If you set a goal — like losing 20 pounds or getting six-pack abs — you’re setting yourself up for failure. Why? Because you’re setting the wrong type of goal. You’re treating change as an event, when in reality it’s a process. You don’t want to be a chubby person who has to order protein shakes from an infomercial or buy a “diet” book to lose weight. You want to be a lean, toned, disciplined person who is always in control of their nutrition, their body, and their weight. You want to become a different KIND of person. So you’ve got to set a different kind of goal.
Results-based goals and Micro-habits
A neuroscientist named B.J. Fogg studies why people don’t make the changes they say they want to make. His conclusion is that most people set results-based goals, which simply don’t work.
Your beliefs about yourself form your identity. Those beliefs are nothing more than electro-chemical circuits in your brain. Neuroscientific studies have proven that these circuits can be changed through a process called “neuro-synaptic rerouting and long-term potentiation”. But you don’t have to be a neuroscientist to get the key point — they CAN be changed.
Positive feedback — Behavior to beliefs to identity
Fit, healthy people exercise every day. So if you want to be one of them you have to first change your belief about yourself — tell yourself that you ARE the kind of person who exercises every day – the price of admission is just a few minutes a day.
Now convince your brain…
Thinking it, saying it, believing it will all help, but your brain won’t buy it unless you actually DO IT. So set a ridiculously simple goal that you know you can keep – 5 minutes every morning.
Now you’re inevitably going to start looking at the world differently. Look around – how many people jumped out of bed this morning ad did something physical? how many look fit and energetic? How many are just dragging themselves through life? Those circuits in your brain that define who you are will start a positive feedback loop that reinforces your identity as one of the fit ones.
The Power of habit
When you’re in the shower, you don’t have to think about which body part to wash next, you just do it by habit. Same thing goes for brushing your teeth. So here’s a few tips to trick your brain into treating your daily workout the same way…
- Devise a pre-game ritual
- go to sleep a few minutes earlier, wake up a few minutes earlier to prepare.
- Buy special workout clothes
- pretend you’re preparing for an olympic event every day – narrate it in your head or out loud, make your narration funny, cheesy, inspirational. Channel Bill Murray in Caddyshack
- take time getting dressed like it matters
- wear a headband
- recite an inspirational saying to yourself
- listen to a inspirational song
- Build a motivational “on-ramp” — take a few minutes to set up your space, lay out your mat, turn on the music, a fan. Going through the motions will get your mind into the zone
- Just show up and start —it’s easy to talk yourself out of doing something, so talk yourself into it by saying you don’t have to commit to the whole thing, just the first minute.
Big scary monsters
That seemingly impossible fitness goal, that big scary monster, is now reduced to the simple daily ritual of showing up and getting started. Now you ARE the kind of person who exercises every day, just like the cool kids.
What about time?
I know what you’re thinking — “my doctor and my trainer told me I have to work out for an hour” – they were wrong. Recent research shows that when it comes to exercise, increased intensity can make up for lost time. So much so that even one minute of intense exercise can confer all of the measurable health benefits of exercise that an hour of cardio 3 or 4 days a week can give you. So you can no longer use time as an excuse. The second best day to start is tomorrow. Guess what the best day is.