You find a new workout program that sounds like it will really help you get lean and mean. You get all pumped up, make a workout journal and hit the gym 2 days in a row.
Then an unexpected appointment comes up, and you miss the next workout. From there you continue to waver off until finally you haven’t been to the gym in 3 weeks.
Does this sound like you???
(Raises hand quietly…)
It’s incredibly easy to get motivated to hit your new goal…only to crash and burn a few days later like a sugary energy drink. I put together plenty of motivational tips below, but before you dive into those you MUST understand what it really takes to hit your goals.
Unlike most fitness gurus out there, I’m not here to lie to you and tell you “this is gonna be easy” or “just take these pills and you won’t need to workout”. I don’t have a magic bullet to sell to you (and neither does anyone else). Real results don’t come from miracle diets, infomercial ab machines or shady weight loss pills. They come from three basic things…
- A good nutrition program that is followed correctly (NO CHEATING!)
- A good training program that emphasizes intensity
- A relentless effort and dedication to your goal
I know that’s not “sexy” or what you probably want to hear, but it’s the TRUTH.
As my buddy Mark Rippetoe says, “There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you, means that you’re a pussy”. That might be a bit vulgar for some of you, but it’s the truth. Too many people these days are looking for a quick fix for everything. Whether it’s weight loss, or making more money or finding a mate in life. Anything of significant value takes hard work and patience to achieve.
By being a “doer” instead of an excuse maker, you’re one of the few who actually is taking control of your life and paving your own path. There’s an air of confidence that comes along with taking charge of your life instead of just being along for the ride.
What it boils down to is life is too short to settle for mediocrity. Do you really want to go through the rest of your life wondering if you could have done better? Do you really want to just put it on cruise control and coast to the finish line? You have an obligation to be YOUR BEST SELF. Do it for yourself, or for your wife, or for your kids, or for whoever means something to you in your life. Stop making bullshit excuses and commit to 31 days of being your best self.
Now I know a lot of you are probably still afraid. “What if this is really hard” or “what if I mess up and look like an idiot at the gym” might be running through your head. If getting in shape didn’t take hard work, everyone would have a nice set of abs at the pool this summer. It’s actually a good thing that it’s hard. This way all the slackers and excuse makers get weeded out, and the only people left at the end are the ones who TRULY want it.
Deep down, you have to REALLY want to hit your goals. If you’re out with your friends and they coax you into slamming 6 beers with them and eating McDonald’s afterward, then you really need to reexamine your willpower. We’re talking about 31 days here… You can do almost anything for 31 days. Seriously you could prolly stand on one leg for the better part of 31 days.
It’s time to commit to being your best self…
Now that you understand that, here are some strategies that will help you hit your goal…
- Picture yourself as the person you want to be – When it comes down to it you have to see yourself as the person you want to be at the end of the challenge. Whether that’s stronger, skinnier or more muscular…we have to see ourselves as that person. You’re prolly thinking “Vic this sounds like some new age mumbo jumbo”. It’s not. If you always think of yourself as being fat, you’re going to “snap back” to being a fat person no matter how much you workout. You’ll find some way to mess it up and fail because at your core you think you are fat. And if you think you’re fat, everything you do in life will be in relation to that. See yourself as the person you want to be at the end of the 31 days…
- Action item: Take 10 minutes each day and picture yourself how you want to look and FEEL at the end of the challenge. Think about it in the present tense though. As if you have already achieved your goal. Think about all the feelings that will go along with reaching your goal such as smiling more, being more confident or even fitting into your old jeans. Do this for 10 minutes each day and TRULY feel what its like to be the person you want to be.
- Compete only with yourself – If you are trying to get rid of lower belly fat and you lose 6 lbs in 31 days, DO NOT be discouraged if someone else loses 9 lbs. If you are pushing yourself and giving it your all for 31 days, you have nothing to be ashamed of. NOTHING. Listen, you’re part of the 5% of people in the world who actually care enough about their health to partake in this challenge. You’re taking control of your own life, and that’s something not very many people can say they do…
- Set a SPECIFIC goal for the challenge and write it down – Vague goals mean nothing to the human brain. We are geared to strive for specific things that we want to achieve. If you want to increase your deadlift by 15 lbs, then make that your goal. If you want to lose 8 lbs, fit into your old jeans and be comfortable taking your shirt off this summer then make that your goal. Whatever it is, make sure it is specific amd WRITE IT DOWN.
- Action Item – Get out a notecard or piece of paper and write down your exact goal for the 31 day challenge. Tape it up in your room or at your desk at work. Wherever will motivate you the most.
Take action today on these. Our challenge starts on Friday, May 1st. I will post all of the workouts and nutritional info on Friday. I am sorry if I don’t respond to all of your comments right now, I am busting my ass to put all of this together before Friday!
I’m really looking forward to this, and can’t wait til we start. See ya Friday!
P.S. – I will send all updates for the challenge via the newsletter. If you’re not on it yet, just put in your name and email below and you will receive Shredded For Summer updates!
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I love this post. You’ve got no one to thank and no one to blame but yourself. So get on with it and don’t let yourself down for christ sake!! 🙂
thanks for this!
Last year I dropped 25 pounds… it was not easy, and I did it the old school way: healthy food and heavy weights. But at times when temptation comes, you need to be prepared, because it WILL come at some point. This following clip was a great motivation for me whenever despair sneaked in:-)
He pretty much sums up the attitude you need to find to this challenge.
LOOOOVe the shortcut comment.
I think I’ll be stealing that one.
Our society loves convenience don’t they?
Beautiful Vic, beautiful.
Looking forward this challenge. I’m working my way to achieve my goal for 5 straight months and I’m for all but quitting. I gained ~6 kg with a solid nutrition program and lifting weights. It might now seem much, but for the ectomorph that I’m and lightning-fast metabolism it really is something! And we are talking all muscular mass here of course. I’m really satisfied at how it goes, and my goal is getting to 70 kg by the end of this year (I’m 185cm tall). Whatever I do and however I do it, I just want it to be healthy and not forced.
Thanks for the motivation-up! 🙂
Terrific post, Vic!
The quote from Mark R. is priceless…love it! So true and something that’s good to think about every so often.
Very motivational…and your pics are totally inspirational! Love your site! Thanks!
right on Vic. I re-read your posts when i’m feeling a little weak, and they keep me on the straight and narrow
BRAVO!!! Great post Vic! Way to get the blood boiling!
Brilliant Vic. You are so right 31 days is nothing. I just wish it didnt conincide with 2 bank holidays and social events this end……..and I know that sounds like a bullshit excuse but the fact is, it’s bad timing for me…..lol
Still, 4 days out of 31 aint going to be a deal breaker as long as I dont go overboard 😉
I’m ready……………see you tomorrow,
Just a heads up. I was unable to sign up using my Mozilla browser. I never saw the sign up links you kept noting were “below” and finally realized the problem. I had to dig out my dusty old Internet Exploder and easily found the sign up there. Am I the only one using Mozilla Firefox???
I can’t wait to get started with the 31 day challenge. Hopefully it will be long enough to allow me to develop a few new good habits to keep with me! Thanks!!!
Thanks for the heads up…
Are you on a PC or a mac? We have a ton of readers who use FF (including me) so Im not sure why it isnt showing up on your screen.
I’m on a PC. Being somewhat computer illiterate I wonder if it is some other security feature I am using that doesn’t operate on IE? I have friends set up my computer so I really don’t know what might be the source of the problem. Thanks again!
I’m sending out a post in about 2 hours. In the “PS” part of the post I’ll make sure and talk about your challenge. You should get a couple hundred visitors to check out this challenge. I like what you and Justin are doing with this site!
I can’t wait for this challenge. Tomorrow is Rutgersfest [basically a giant campuswide party with a concert, fun, games, food, and booze]. Its gonna be a bad way to kick it the challenge off since, to be completely honest, I’m not willing to sacrifice the event of the year, but I’m definitely gonna hit it hard from then on. Can’t wait til tomorrow man!
I find setting goals and making sure that others know those goals is what motivates me….. and keeps me honest. So I am going to go out there and say I am looking to lose another 3.9kg (~9lbs) and lose another 6cm (~2.5inches) off the stomach. Another goal is to build muscle and lean mass but the above two goals are the most important over the next 31 days. I am aiming to bust those goals real quick!
Man am I up for this!
This came in my inbox a few days ago but I deliberately put it aside so I could read it peacefully. I know now from experience which of your posts require a calm frame of mind and some time to chew over the wealth of good common sense advice you give! I too loved the short cut comment. No one seems to want to work on their bodies and relationships any more!
Thanks, Sangita. I’m glad you are finding the information useful. And having to take time to ponder can be a good thing. 🙂
Kick starting the challenge tomorrow. Lets see how much i lose 🙂
Hey Vic great post. It’s so true that everyone is their own worst enemy. I tell my clients to schedule their workouts just like an appointment because they are just as important. Creating the specific goals is an awesome idea because it gives people excellent focus and drive toward the goal at stake. I find people think that exercise is a means to an end until the next best thing comes along. It is up to us as fitness experts to change their way of thinking and make exercise and fitness a normal part of everyday life. It’s so motivating to read these ideas and just take serious action, and get people to follow your lead! Great job.
This motivation tips would actually be a great help to keep you motivated all the time.