I’ve become an avid reader over the years and the majority of that material dealt with my profession: fitness programming and nutrition design. It took me some time to realize I needed to understand more about my industry outside of creating workouts and showing people what to eat. Eventually, I stumbled across numerous books that dealt with human psychology, biological evolution, and so on. Most of these books tend to help me improve my business in one form or another. However, sometimes these books are purely “self help” style. One of those books was High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. I won’t go over the entire book but, in summary, it discusses the 6 habits “high performers” appear to consistently work on and improve throughout their lives in multiple areas (health, work, family, etc.). The only part I want to share with you was the very first habit that hit me like a ton of bricks regarding when it comes to our fitness and health journey. That habit? SEEKING CLARITY.
Burchard defines clarity as “the child of careful thought and mindful experimentations.” In other words, it comes from asking yourself questions continually and further refining your perspective on life. It’s a method of discovering and reminding ourselves of who we want to be and figuring out how to become that person. Many of you reading this article set out on a journey to become healthy and fit for many reasons. How many of you still remember the exact reason? How many of you asked yourselves the deeper question ‘Why do I want this?’ Was it a scare at the doctors’ office? Not having any luck on dates? Feeling like crap every day? OK, why did that get you to steps in the direction of progress? Are you afraid of an early death? Are you afraid of being alone? Do you desire a day where you wake up happy instead of depressed?
There’s usually a deeper meaning to why we do what we do. It’s rarely as simple as “I just felt like it.” Dare I say there is always a deeper meaning. Burchard says if we want happiness and a life of fulfillment we to seek clarity in what we are truly after in order to get it.
Many “self help” coaches will offer fun phrases and words of comfort and motivation in order to help us get the ball rolling but I like instruction. HOW do we do this when it comes to our lives and health? As always, the rules are simple but the action is hard.
First, LOOK TO THE FUTURE. Sounds cheesy but I’ve done this practice with another author’s recommendations. Specifically, what do you want 5 days from now, 5 months from now, 5 decades from now? Your future self goals can start small such as losing 5 lbs over 5 weeks. As they progress set new goals. One’s that are challenging but attainable. But, always remember to seek clarity. Remember why you are doing this.
Second, IDENTIFY KEY SKILLS. What’s the point in knowing where we want to end up if we don’t know how to get there? This means finding a trainer or coach who knows how to design the workouts you like or finding a workout program online you can do on your own. This means finding a nutritionist or dietician who can help create your diet plan. This also means making the time and putting in the effort to do it!
Third, OBSESSIVELY DEVELOP THOSE SKILLS. Sure, a trainer can design you a program, a nutritionist can create a diet plan for you. However, none of it matters if you just sit idle. You have to become better at challenging yourself in your workouts. What’s difficult now won’t be difficult in 6 months. You have to refine your diet as you make progress. What works now won’t work in 6 months (sometimes in as little as 6 weeks). Constantly get better at all the things that are going to keep you moving forward.
“If you don’t have clarity of ideas, you’re just communicating sheer sound.” –Yo-Yo Ma
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!