For me, whether it be relationships, family, business, sport and exercise goals, or whatever is important in one’s life – the key to success is positivity.
“I got out of the wrong side of bed this morning”, “it’s just not my day”, these are comments that are self-defeating and in essence negative. If you flipped those on their heads as mere clichés and moved on with your day, I have no doubt that your day and the way you view your day will improve immensely.
In exercise and nutrition, as in life, it is the same. If we are in a bad state mentally, negativity and negative outcomes will undoubtedly ensue. If we start beating ourselves up every time we indulge more than normal in a restaurant or patisserie, or if we turn up to exercise in a bad mind-set, chances are we’ll continue to indulge for the rest of week or that we’ll have a below-par workout. Now and again, one of my one-to-one clients will stomp up the steps to workout. “Hi Paddy” (grumpy voice). Now and again I will turn them around and tell them to do it again. Spring up the steps, “Hi Paddy” (cheery voice) – and that workout will be great.
Life is too short to be negative. We only get one life and to make the most of it, we need to live it. Before you think that all I have for you today is clichés and phrases, here are my top 3 tips to being positive and living a HAPPY healthy life.
If you miss a workout, or take an unforeseen week off your exercise plan (as many of you have just done I think?!), then don’t dwell on this and think that it’s the end of your fitness gains and positive body composition changes as you know them. Forget it. Move on.Take each day as it comes. Focus on doing your best every day. Just as I advise to my clients during their workouts; don’t focus on surviving the workout, focus instead on getting the most out of each rep. Live in the moment and then that session and your long term goals will arrive more quickly and with greater satisfaction, as you’ve enjoyed every minute. If we think about how much we have to do today, sometimes that is very daunting. Don’t. Focus on the next appointment, the next voyage, the next hour of work or training and make the most of it.
The legend that is Will Smith, once told of a story of being put to work by his father when he was young to build a wall of a house. He said, instead of focusing on the entire wall and being daunted by the prospect of finishing it, he and his brother focused on laying each brick in the best way possible. Soon the wall was finished.It is more dangerous to fall in to a diet mentallity, than to not do a diet at all. Hence my last post about low-carb eating – and how I very much discourage dieting. For the vast majority of my clients I have instructed them incrementally how to sustain eating well, according to the tenets of my PowerPack plan. Once you personally discover a healthy way of eating that works for you, then simply don’t stop. Enjoying an indulgent meal or cheat meal is actually physiologically (and motivationally) beneficial to achieving and maintaining your shape. If you cheat more than once however, don’t let that be the signal for the dominoes to start tumbling. Stop. Reset. Keep going. Your goal in training should be steering clear of quick fixes and more on the long-term solution (through taking one day and one rep at a time). Your quest should be a lean and healthy life and to ensure you don’t fall off and get run over by the diet bandwagon.It is important that you don’t strive to be ‘perfect’. That is destined for failure. Firstly, that goal will never come, as you’ll constantly be comparing yourself to what perfect ‘should’ be (friends, movie stars, etc.) Secondly, setting your goals unrealistically makes it much more likely that you’ll crash in to a cycle of helplessness (i.e. bingeing or stopping exercising for weeks on end). Thirdly, the goal of perfection is far too far away. You’ll miss what happened on the steps in between if you focus on the horizon. Focus on the now and do your best with this moment, with this day and be happy with the small, incremental achievements – such as lifting more weight or more reps than in your last session, running that run 2 seconds faster than last month, leaving that second helping of cheese fondue, when everyone else went for it! Don’t look for validation from others, do it for you.
Don’t overthink and don’t overcomplicate. Eating well, living healthily and exercising effectively should not be complicated. A successful workout does not have to involve 12 super-setted TRX exercises, 6 Swiss Ball exercises in tri-sets, Kettlebell-this, Bosu Ball-that. A successful session is often the simplest. It is just necessary to do the right workout at the right intensity, often with full body compound exercises (isolation is appropriate but less often than not, for a vast array of fitness goals).It is very easy to fall in to paralysis by analysis. Too much information available in the media and on the internet. Too many things to do today. Which workout shall I do? What shall I eat today? It’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Seek to trim the unnecessary fat (excuse the pun). By simplifying tasks, avoiding the unnecessary and achieving one thing everyday for example (that’s 365 things a year by the way!), the weight quickly starts to lift from one’s shoulders.Rather than panic on what you are going to do in the next workout and think it over for hours, only to find time has run out or you have conveniently found something else to do, get your trainers on, get your kit on and leave the house. Chances are excellent that you will then find something very simple to do, but very effective. Don’t adopt the “one day I’m going to” attitude.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
According to one Jim Rohn (motivational speaker and self-help guru), you are the average of the 5 people you spend most time around. If you spend all of your time around people who are quick to be critical, quick to be skeptical and are generally pessimistic individuals; this will make you that way inclined whether you like it or not. How often do I see in sport, one or two people’s attitudes become infectious (in a positive way, it’s often more obvious) to the rest of the team. Next time you give someone a call to workout with, choose someone that encourages, that laughs, that focuses on the positives.Do you really need to be reading that Facebook feed that is more often than not critical. Do you really need to be reading the news every day when it’s more often than not negative. Do you really need to spend all of your time around that one person that saps your energy. Probably not. Endeavour to surround yourself with positive people, positive information and you yourself will be more positive.
I am lucky in the fact that the number one person I spend most time around outside of training time, is possibly the cheeriest person on earth (my wife!). This undoubtedly rubs off on me and affects my outlook for sure. I am also very lucky in the fact that I train with and coach troops of happy Campers and one-to-one clients. This makes me happy. I make them happy. It’s one big circle of happiness!!
Likewise, you don’t have to wait and be the one to be affected by the happy-bug. You be the one who creates it and see what happens. Proact, don’t react.
“Smile and the whole world smiles with you”. How true this is. Spread the love.
Take Home Message
Live in the moment, focus on the positives and move forwards with a smile on your face. In my humble opinion, this is the underlying key to success in exercise, nutrition and life in general.
p.s. please feel free to share your positivity by commenting below 🙂
p.p.s. Happy Women’s Day to all my female readers!