There is a lot of focus at this time of year to dredge up all your feelings of inadequacy and failure from the prior year, with the intent (hollow as it can be) to do something constructive about it. A big one, one that generates a lot of money for the health/wellness/fitness industry,are those lines about “losing weight”, “getting fit”, “doing your first marathon”, etc. We’re peppered with highly polished marketing lines that promise you that what they are offering is the solution to your perceived problem.
Except it’s not.
A real focus of marketing in today’s world is to prey on your insecurities. Fear and ego are by far the best tools to use, if you’re playing by the rules of the marketeer. And marketing for the fitness industry really works hard to make sure that you feel like you’re failing in life by not being in their facility.
You may think that this is a stretch, but really, it’s in their best interest to use the same tactics that work for other industries like big pharma or politics. Why? Because people react to fear. It can make people fall in line quickly and give them the urgency without the forethought.
So, let’s get out of that macro and get back to you… You’ve committed to making a resolution, and you feel a little nervous, a little skeptical of your own ability and a bit excited all at the same time.
Why is it that time after time, that excitement wears off nearly immediately and we’re left for another year with periodic moments of regret about not following through on this big achievement we were going to make? Well that’s where it comes back to that larger picture of marketing, and it is also a part of our responsibility to ourselves. A lot of us don’t understand the difference between marketing hype or reality or how it relates to us.
In this case, for a lot of us we have eyes larger than our stomachs — or in this case — brains. (Speaking of stomachs vs brains: A lot of us don’t know the difference between WEIGHT loss and FAT loss, and that’s where a skilled professional can be of assistance. Did you know that muscle is denser than fat? In fact a kilogram of fat occupies almost 4x the space as the same weight of muscle! Perspective is key…)
So, here’s the point of all of this. Visualize your desired end result. And then break it down, and take it one bite at a time. Set a small GOAL. How is a goal different than a resolution? Think about soccer for a minute. The goal is, well, the goal of the players in the end. They want to kick a ball into the other goal, and there are infinite ways to get there. The goal is big, the ball is small. There are so many ways that the ball can be put into that goal, and thus it becomes more attainable. Especially since you’re the only one playing, there’s no goalkeeper, and you can stand as close to the goal as you need to.
Do you see? It’s about choosing something that you CAN do that is quantifiable and realistic. But go a little further, and make a plan. Deciding where to start is often more difficult than picturing the end result. We are constantly bombarded with what we should look like, (insert random cover model here), but we are often left with no idea about what happens in between.
Draw out a long line on piece of paper; at the left end is you now, at the other end is your end goal. Don’t put any dates or timelines down. Start to divide your line; first with a hash mark dead centre, then divide again and again. Try to have at least seven increments in between your start and finish lines, more would be better. Now start filling in the smaller and smaller steps towards your final goal.
Now you have a plan, and the only goal that matters is the first, smallest step to the end. It will be much less stressful looking at a small goal, and will still feel very rewarding when you complete it. Once you’ve completed your goal, move on to the next.
If your goal is weight loss you don’t need to break all your goals into increments of small weight losses. Your first step could be visiting your doctor get clearance to start an exercise program, visiting a sports nutritionist to clean up your eating habits, or buying appropriate shoes for the gym. It could be setting an appointment to sign up at the gym or speak with a personal trainer about goal setting; the idea here is to set each needed step as a goal, ones that you can finish.
How many gym guys from The Strong Side Conditioning Gym does it take to write a piece like this? Well, in this case, three.
Kameron Borsuk, who has a diverse marketing background as well as years of experience running businesses in fitness, real estate and music. As a reformed punk rock musician, he has a perspective that is never routine or boring, and opinions that typically fall between impassioned and that which would be written on the bumper of the car that came through your living room wall.
Byron Delachevrotiere is a coach with more certifications than you have time to read, who is the Fitness Manager. He is an amazing diagnostician who has a love of the technical aspects of movement, and a keen ability to generate results for clients. Beyond that, he’s an avid outdoorsman who rock-climbs, bikes and generally loves most aspects of fresh air. Definitely the guy you want to be around if the big one hits.
Finally, the guy that could bench press both Byron and Kameron at the same time, TJ Sider is the owner of The Strong Side, who somehow has more certifications than Byron, which is hard to imagine. With things like CSCS, NKT and PICP under his belt, he is currently completing his Osteopathy credential. His focus is around body movement and he’s become something of a Dr. House around figuring out how to get rid of clients’ pain that no other professionals can figure out. He is one smart protein cookie.