IN YOUR OWN WAY? 5 Solutions to WIN in the GYM.

Does this sound like you? I always lose steam after a few weeks of starting a program!” What gives? Why do some people seem to have such an easy time staying on track while others fall into the ‘start again, stop again’ trap?   Are you getting in your own way? Here are 5 Solutions to Win in the Gym, with your nutrition, and break old patterns that are working against you.

5 SOLUTIONS TO WIN IN THE GYM

When it comes to working out, nothing is more frustrating than making some progress only to self-sabotage and end up no further ahead.

First, I want you to know you’re not alone. We all struggle.

Here’s the thing:

When life is status-quo and our daily routine is unchanged, it’s fairly easy to stick to a workout and nutrition plan.

But what happens when life throws you a curve-ball?

Work stress, sick kids, financial pressure, social functions, weekends, [add yours here]… you get the idea — these little ‘tests’ are guaranteed to show up and challenge your resolve – it’s as if someone is saying, ‘Okay, but how bad to you really want this?’

Often, it can seem that we hit the ground running with good intentions and then take a step forward only to slide back into an eternal ‘dance’ between reaching the results you want and the ‘old’ you. What gives?

Are you getting in your own way? 5 Solutions to Win in the Gym  will help you finally get those results you want: 

SOLUTION 1 – DETERMINE YOUR ‘WHY’

This is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Think about it – we put more attention into planning for a trip, mapping out a car rental and the restaurants we’ll visit than we do into the things that matter most (HINT: that’s YOU).

Jump in the car without a plan and hope you end up where you want to be is the equivalent of firing up a fitness program without clear intentions and hoping it will be different ‘this time’.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Your WHY is the foundation of your success. Getting clear about this will be your ‘rock’ in those times where you feel tempted to skip a workout or eat foods that aren’t serving you.

“Losing weight” is not enough.

“My sister’s wedding is coming up.” is not enough.

…and guess what?

‘Wishing’, ‘Hoping’, and ‘Wanting’ are not enough, either.

However, it is a start – from here, ask yourself ‘WHY?’ those things are important to you, and then ask ‘WHY?’ again and again.

As you peel back the layers and dig deeper into your TRUE motivation, you’ll uncover a deeper motivation to help keep you on track. It may go back to weight issues as a child, low self-esteem, poor body-image etc. Get to the bones of it so you can conquer it once and for all.

Also, determine WHY reaching your goals is important to those you care about. If it’s ‘just’ about us, sometimes that’s not enough.

  • Who is watching?
  • Who is being inspired?
  • What NEW patterns and habits are you creating?

Do you have kids or family members who may benefit from YOU being the best version of yourself possible?

Explore this as deeply as you can.

Once you have this narrowed down to a tight little statement, write it out and let it be your mantra every day. Keep it in your wallet, set it as your screensaver, print it out and keep it clear in your mind as you move forward.

Heck – take it to the next level and video yourself as you make your WHY statement. There’s something extremely powerful in voicing our intentions and bringing them into the ‘real’ (not to sound too woo-woo) ;). Then, you can go back and watch your video in those times where you’re feeling weak or tempted to skip a workout or eat poorly.

SOLUTION 2 – SET RULES

We live and die by rules that we set for ourselves. Often unwritten, we are simply guided by as set of principles by which we live our lives. Those rules blueprint our approach and dictate how we move through our world, how we show up, and how we treat others.

For example, cheating and stealing don’t make up most people’s value systems. We don’t think about it, nor is it a struggle. We just adhere to our own rules which keep us in alignment.

Here’s another example – at the coffee machine in my office there’s a stack of cookies every morning with a note that reads ‘help yourself’. I don’t even see those bleached, processed and packaged cookies as food. ‘Helping myself’ is best achieved by skipping those things altogether. I’m not tempted because they don’t serve me.

Make sense? Good!

SOLUTION 3 – MAKE LISTS

After you have your WHY, and have set rules that will keep you aligned with that goal, the key is to write them down. Don’t just ‘know’ in your head! There’s power in putting pen to paper and locking things in.

Your rules may look something like this:

  • “I will work out at 6:30 PM every other day.”
  • “I will use food as fuel, not as comfort.”
  • “I will plan and prepare healthy meals for the week every Sunday.”
  • “I will drink 8 glasses of water each day.”
  • “I will go to bed at 10:30 every night.”

You get the idea. Establish your list, write them down, and go forth!

SOLUTION 4 – ASK!

I’m often surprised by how many people don’t simply ask for what they want. Often, we assume people just magically know what we’re after and what our goals are and we expect them to support us.

With your newfound WHY and rules written down, the next step is to share these things with the people you care about. No, you don’t have to become a TV evangelist at the office and convert everyone to your methods, but simply sharing your goals and WHY they are important to you with those around you can be HUGE in terms of gaining their support.

In short, make your goals known, share why they are important to you, and explain how your family, colleagues, friends and peers can best support you as you move toward and your goals. Heck, up the ante and proclaim your WHY and goals on your social media platform of choice (verbal or video) – this will put some skin in the game and garner the support of your connections!

“But Mike, how do I keep my eating on track with social functions and family dinners?”

This can be a challenge, but it’s certainly doable with some planning and forethought. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

The first step is to make your goals known and to ask for the support that you need. Next up, it may mean that when you go to that weekend BBQ, you’re going to bring a healthy dish and you’ll be drinking soda water versus cola. If it’s a traditional dinner at Grandma’s and you don’t want to offend, ask Grandma if you can help her in the kitchen or bring a dish over. Focus on healthy options and have a ‘taste’ of the other stuff.

Remember, it’s what we do 90% of the time that counts.

SOLUTION 5 – ACCOUNTABILITY

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of a solid success plan. Holding ourselves accountable on our own can be tough.

Look, we can talk ourselves into or out of anything. When it comes to our own interests, we are master-negotiators. Temptations show up, fatigue sets in, stress moves to town, and we can rationalize anything!

In psychology, this is described as ‘cognitive dissonance’. If our beliefs aren’t in alignment with our actions, we experience stress and discord. This is not a state we want to be in, so one of two things happens: 1) our beliefs and thoughts change to become congruent with what we are doing, OR, 2) our actions change to become aligned with our beliefs. 

Translation: we make consistent progress with a clear goal in mind, OR, we fall back into old habits.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely fallen off course and are tired of starting and stopping your nutrition and/or workout plan.

No problem — to combat this, you need an accountability partner or a group. Team up with a friend that you can work-out with and set a schedule that will work for both of you.

Better yet (shameless plug alert!), join one of our online monthly Challenge Groups. Our groups keep you dialled in and on track for as long as you want to commit (21, 60 or 90+ days). These have been pivotal in terms of transforming habits, mindsets and physiques for our clients over the past 4 years and we have countless success stories to prove it!

Don’t think that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness — it is not.

In fact…

This is called working smarter and the highest achievers that I know bring coaches and support people on-board to help them become even better at what they do.

We hope our post, ‘IN YOUR OWN WAY? 5 Solutions to WIN in the GYM’ has offered some value and we’d love to hear how they are working for you.

Ready to really dial things in and stay accountable
to a small team and to two kick-ass coaches who want you to succeed?

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  • Brandon

    Hi Mike. What a great post! I totally agree that figuring out your motivation is what makes it easier for people to stay in the gym. I once heard from someone that said, if you’re constantly falling off the wagon and wondering why you can’t stick to the program, then you need to figure out your WHY. And you have done just that in this article. So I know you’ll help hundreds, if not thousands of people with this post. So great job buddy.

    Kind regards,
    Brandon

    • Thanks a ton for your feedback, Brandon!

      Definitely – the ‘WHY’ is foundational and grows out of intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation. In other words, ‘fit for a beach wedding’ simply isn’t going to carry a person through. ‘Fit for a long, healthy life and to feel strong, empowered and living with intention’ is a far deeper driver.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • CodyP

    Hey Mike.
    Love this post! I am an avid gym goer and I find all of these to be very accurate. I think #3(Lists) is very important. I haven’t been progressing in my big 3 lifts, but 6 months ago I wrote out a goal sheet of what I wanted my numbers to be, and I have hit 2/3 of those goals! It has helped me very much. So I thank you for this awesome post! Enjoyed the read for sure.
    Sincerely,
    Cody

    • Hi Cody – thanks for your kind words and great to hear you’ve been moving toward your goals. I heartily agree that setting the intention first, and even visualizing what you want to achieve is vital. Athletes are using visualization techniques as part of their training protocol and blowing past plateaus!

      All the best with your training, and here’s to exceeding our goals!
      Thanks for visiting!