Monday, February 1, 2010

Olympic Motivation!

February 2010 – Getting Back On Track!

Isn’t it incredible how time passes us by so quickly?  It is already the end of February which means two months have gone by since we made our new year’s resolutions.  This is a critical stage for everyone as it represents whether or not your resolution is a failure or a success.  If you have made it this far without breaking your resolution then you are most likely to maintain it throughout the year and hopefully your entire lifetime.  Great work!  On the other hand, if you have broken your promise or resolution I have written this article to help you get back on track. 

Always Look Forward

If you have fallen off track do not be discouraged.  The last thing you want to do is to dwell on the past.  I have a motto and that is to always look forward.  Focus on what you can do NOW to make your future brighter.  Remember, a resolution can begin at anytime and you can recommit to your desired goals at any moment.

Now that you are looking forward, the first question you want to ask yourself is:      

What Are My Obstacles?

What is causing you to fall off track or break your promise?  Ultimately, the responsibility to stay on track is your own, however it is important to know what deters you from maintaining your resolution.  A great exercise is to write down all the possible reasons or obstacles that usually cause you to fall off track.  Once you have written down a list of obstacles, write down some possible solutions for each of them.  For example, a common obstacle is – ‘I do not have time’.  How can you organize your day so that you free up some time for a workout, a walk or some sort of activity?     

The second question you want to ask yourself is:

 What Are My Motivators?

Anthony Robbins is a well-known motivational speaker and he believes that we make most of our decisions based on pain or pleasure.  His theory is that when we are faced with a decision we subconsciously (or consciously) determine the amount of pain or pleasure we will feel with each choice.  If the choice causes more pain than pleasure then we will most likely not choose that option and when the choice will cause more pleasure than pain we will most likely choose that option.  I know this may be a little confusing so I will try to explain it further. 

From the years 2001 to 2003, I travelled to Salt Spring Island a number of times to become a Master Power Program Trainer with the Colgan Institute.  From this tremendous experience I learned a lot from one of my mentors Dr. Michael Colgan.  He often said “Nothing tastes better than being lean and mean”.  What this means is that no food gives him more pleasure than the feeling of being lean and in great shape.  Therefore, when he had to make a decision to eat food, he would only choose the foods that would compliment the pleasure of being lean.  In addition, the pleasure of eating unhealthy foods was not as great as the pain he would feel if he were to become unhealthy and fat.      

The importance of this theory is that you can use it to become successful in all areas of your life.  Here is one way to do so.  Take your list of obstacles and create a motivator that is greater for each one.  Please note that in the previous section I asked you to write some possible solutions for your obstacles.  This was more of a mind-dominant exercise or a logical/left-brained solution.  In this exercise, you want to use feeling or an emotional solution for each obstacle.  Some examples are given below:     

1)  Obstacle: I love (pleasure) the taste of unhealthy food  
     Motivator: I love (pleasure) the feeling of being lean and healthy   

(Since both are pleasure-based statements, you must ensure that you choose a motivator that has greater emotional power than the obstacle’s emotional power.  In other words, the feeling/pleasure of being lean and healthy must be greater than the feeling/pleasure of eating unhealthy foods.)

2)  Obstacle: I hate (pain) working out 
Motivator: I hate (pain) feeling uncomfortable about my body

(Since both are pain-based statements, you must ensure that you choose a motivator that has greater emotional power than the obstacle’s emotional power.  In other words, the feeling/pain of being uncomfortable about your body must be greater than the feeling/pain of working out)

3)  Obstacle: I would hate (pain) waking up early to work out
Motivator: I would love (pleasure) to feel good about my body in a bikini at the beach

(In this example, the feeling of pleasure must outweigh the feeling of pain.)

Last but not least:

Get a Coach and Some Fans

Have you been watching the Olympic Games?  Have you noticed how every athlete has a coach?  Why is that?  These are the best athletes in the world, why would they need a coach?  It is because we are all human.  We all lose focus, we all lose motivation and we all fall off track.  Remember, even the best of the best need help to succeed.  A good coach will be there by your side and they will do their best to bring out the best in you.  

Finally, get some fans.  Look at how successful Canada has been in these Olympic Games.  I am certain that a lot has to do with competing in their home country in front of thousands of cheering fans.  Who in your life can you tell about your desired goals that would cheer you on?  Surround yourself with these people as they will support you and help motivate you when you need it. 

GO CANADA GO!        

By Sal Crispo
Vaughan Personal Trainer

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