Ever had one of those days when you just can’t be bothered? I have them all the time. I use various techniques to try and get me through. Willpower. Keeping a promise to myself. Thinking about how good I’ll feel afterwards. But sometimes nothing works and I just get lazy.
Can you relate?
If so, you might like to use a little trick I came across recently. Let me explain how it came about.
In February, I attended a BioSignature Modulation refresher course. Charles Poliquin is an awe-inspiring man for many reasons. Not least because the man is in such phenomenal shape and health that you’re practically shamed into living a perfect life just from being around him for a day or more.
Anyway. For those in the class who were willing to lay themselves on the line, Charles set a personal challenge. The challenges were based on what he knew we could physically achieve, so each person’s was different. Even as I queued up to find out my challenge I wondered what I was letting myself in for. I mean, this is not a man who is known for letting his athletes or clients off lightly, so there wasn’t much chance he’d go soft on his students. And even though I was bracing myself I still had a small inward gasp of dismay when he told me what my task was. Because here’s the real kicker – if we don’t meet our side of the bargain, we’ve all agreed to donate $350 to a charity of Charles’ choosing (which is fine) AND to be named and shamed on his Facebook fan page. Which is growing at such a rate it’s almost a cert that basically everyone within and most people outside of the fitness industry will get to point and laugh if we don’t succeed. Not that they would you understand, but the idea of it is enough.
So – you wouldn’t believe how on track I’ve been since then. Sugar-free. And I mean completely. Structured cheating. Eating ENOUGH (protein). Which is not always easy, by the way. In fact, the better you eat, the less hunger and cravings you have, but it’s crucial that you regularly fuel your metabolism if lean muscle growth and fat loss is your goal. And training? I’m doing it like I mean it. Each and every time. Loving the lactic. Of course I’m not a robot – I’ve had one or two slip ups (a Lindt bunny got the better of me over Easter) – but all in all I’m just so darn proud of myself that I might give myself a gold star. Maybe two.
And it’s a great feeling. One that I’ll bet you’d love to get a-hold of for yourself. Here’s how I think you can do that.
In my opinion there are two key reasons why this is working so well for me – and no, neither of them requires you to make a bet with CP.
- Potential humiliation faced off against potential public acknowledgment and the pride that it would entail
Respect is all about making yourself accountable to someone who you well, respect. Ideally several someones. One of the ‘bonuses’ of my bet is that all of the other BioSig students know what it is. And I know what their challenges are. This not only enhances accountability but it results in a great feeling of camraderie and support. And sure enough, we’ve all been checking up on each other, helping each other along.
Potential humiliation may well sound like a negative thing but it sure is an excellent motivational technique. Especially because it comes back to point one – I want to be able to prove myself to me but also to Coach Poliquin and the other students, all of whose opinion (and yes, I’ll admit it, acknowledgment) means a lot to me.
Of course laying yourself open to a public shame walk may not be an idea that’s really grabbing you, but here’s the thing. Reality is that no-one is going to tear me apart or call me names if I don’t meet my goal but have truly given it my all. Okay, maybe there’ll be a few jokes, but I can handle it. Because really, as long as I know I put my all in, I’ll be happy. And as much as I’d like to think I would have put my all in anyway and just for me, the truth is that I hadn’t been. Not 110%, and not every day. So scary as this may be, it sure is working. And it sure beat’s a case of the I-can’t-be-bothered’s every time.
So now it’s your turn.
I’m going to ask you right now to think of a challenging personal goal for yourself. It could be strength and fitness related, it could be purely aesthetic, it could be to do with consistency and determination in your approach to improved wellness. It’s up to you – but make it something that not only inspires and excites you when you think of achieving it, but also scares you a little. Name your goal in the comments section below. The deadline is the beginning of December, same as me.
Life is Now. Press Play.
So what’s my challenge? 9.6% body fat. The healthy way. OUCH.
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