A couple of weeks ago, Zozhnik’s readers were well received by Dan John, who dumped the accumulated wisdom in the article ” Training Longevity – How to Be in Shape All Your Life “. Today Dan broadcasts about motivation and goals without pathos.
After the publication of my next article, I receive a lot of messages asking me to write a program. I would love to help everyone, but almost always there is one problem. I don’t want to portray Stanislavsky, but I ask everyone: what is the motivation? Why do you want to bend the bar with this weight? Or add ground flaxseed to your protein shake? Or run up this hill with a backpack, the straps of which cut through the trapezoids, and dumbbells, the bars of which slip out of your fingers?
Motivation is an interesting thing
For some reason, coaches like it when motivated clients come to them. For example, here is a portrait of my ideal patient:
At Julie 3 months meeting of graduates. There will be her ex-best friend, who is now married to her ex-husband, who cheated on with a best friend who was not yet an ex. And then there will be Phil, an old boyfriend whom she has never been able to completely forget and who is now bathed in money, profitably selling Microsoft shares . Only Julie is now 10 kilograms heavier than that funny cheerleader whom they all remember, and asks you to help her lose weight for an important meeting.
If you say “ Well, let’s start by strengthening the ligaments and tendons with preparatory exercises for 10 weeks, ” she will go in search of another trainer, without listening to this recommendation.
She expects something like this: “ So, for a month you eat only eggs, 8 liters of water a day, every morning starts from the gym, in the evenings – sprints. I also have some vitamins prohibited by the Ministry of Health, which will also help . ”
The harshest, deadliest loads will be welcomed. This is not the time for half measures. Julie needs not only to leave her friend, but also to teach her ex- husband a lesson and impress a potential groom; so much motivation that you can plow to failure for 3 months.
However, more often than not, trainers have to work with WORSE clients like … most of us! We understand how we want to look and how much to lift, but we still cannot choose a methodology and do not have a deadline forcing us to take up work. So let’s talk about goal setting and motivation.
Three phases of desire
Usually people undertake to change their lives 2 times a year. The first is, of course, the New Year. Try to find a free treadmill in your gym in early January. The second is the beginning of school, when everyone comes back from their grandmothers and looks at each other. In general, at school or college it is very easy to work on yourself: every day around you are gyms, swimming pools, football and athletics fields, rings and tatami; a bunch of friends doing something ( we are talking about schools and colleges in the United States – an obvious note by Zozhnik ).
And in adulthood, the opposite is true. The friends sitting behind the adjacent partitions in the office are not at all inspired by your offer to go to the hall. And when you walk alone and train heroically, the cheerleader team doesn’t stare at you. So the art of achieving a goal is just for adults.
In my opinion, our desire to work on ourselves goes through 3 stages of maturation . The problem is simple: we know what to do. Again, almost everyone who reads this article knows how to lose fat and gain muscle . Teaching this is like teaching how to brush your teeth.
So, I distinguish 3 phases of our desire to achieve something:
1. “It would be nice”
2. “I can”
3. “It is necessary”
Each can be useful in its own way, but success in life (and in the gym) comes only when we are in the “ must ” stage . Let’s take a closer look.
Stage “Not bad”
From childhood we are taught to this phase:
• It would be nice to go to college.
• It would be nice to find a job.
• It would be nice to mow the lawn.
And these are really good wishes from our loved ones. The only problem is that most of us work out in the gym and diet with this “ would be nice ” attitude . At one seminar, the lecturer kept repeating: “Stop persuading yourself.” It was funny … at first, but then it dawned on me.
After all, this is how we continue to act, although we have already entered adulthood:
• It would be nice to lose a couple of pounds.
• It would be nice to go to the gym more often.
• It’s a good idea to choose healthier foods.
And usually it doesn’t get anywhere. The person notices the problem, but by distracting himself with the TV show and chips, he allows it to still darken life. If you are reading this article, you seem to have grown out of the “Nice” phase, but you know for sure a lot of people who are stuck in it.
Stage “I can”
And then you take the first step to success. In addition to knowing how to proceed, you gain some confidence that the task is within your reach. When a person says “I can,” he already has an understanding of how exactly he will achieve the goal.
• You know, I can lose a couple of kilograms. Play with the calorie deficit.
• You know, I can go to the gym more often. For example, right after work.
• You know, I can follow this diet stricter.
In this phase, knowledge already begins to become power. However, although you have the KNOWLEDGE, you still lack the strength to implement your plans. And, to be honest, all of the above is worth nothing until you get to the “to do” stage. This alone makes champions champions.
The best diet I’ve heard is from (don’t laugh!) Tony Robbins . And he found out from one of his clients. This is called the “Dog Diet” and it works like this: you invite a dozen friends to visit. And you solemnly announce that by the end of the month you will lose 5 kilograms. If not, eat a can of dog food.
Next week, when your hand reaches for the chocolate bar on your colleague’s table, just re-read the composition on the dog food can. If someone offers a piece of cake dripping with syrup, open the can and take a good sniff.
Here we get to the most important thing: people are rarely inspired by the joy of achieving a goal; more often pain makes them work.
Pleasure and Pain
I ask my students to fill out a simple table by answering the questions:
• What pleasures await you in achieving your goal?
• What kind of suffering from failure?
Quite predictable questions.
However, here are a couple more, the answers to which change a lot:
• What kind of suffering from achieving the goal? (Read carefully!)
• What are the pleasures of failure ?
I have worked with dozens of athletes, and few of them could describe the joy of achieving a goal in an incendiary manner. “I wish I could go to the Olympics” sounds sluggish compared to “I’ll have to eat dog food if I don’t get it.”
Pain leads to most victories over oneself! Someone complains that they cannot run even a mile. If you say that his child is tied to the rails a mile from here, then he will not notice how this distance flies!
But can achieving the goal bring suffering? As much as you like! Many athletes moved to a higher league, but soon dropped out of training, unable to cope with the loads. Of course, this is great sport, but the life of an ordinary person is full of examples:
• If you lose weight, you will have to spend money on a new wardrobe.
• If you enter the top ten (in anything), you will be tormented by the question: “When will you be the first?”
• The diploma dilemma: now I have this beautiful little book, but what should I do next?
Is there something pleasant when you don’t reach your goal ? Of course. If people didn’t revel in their failures (I’m still trying to put it mildly), then there would not be so many programs where they cry to the world.
Many sports careers have been ruined by “relationships”, cars, yachts and everything else that takes time and energy. I agree that love is more important than sport, but in general you need to define goals and learn how to combine. Other things can be neglected if you really decided to achieve something in life.
For example, Julie, nothing prevents you from losing these 10 kilograms. She will drop them and more – otherwise she will have to eat dog food! Mindful of the betrayal of her ex-girlfriend and husband, she will continue to eat only eggs and water when most of us spit and return to chips and TV shows. Pain motivates better; sorry, but that’s life.
How to make a goal your duty
A couple of suggestions:
• First, talk to your colleagues in the audience; find those who have already achieved your goal. Tell them you want to do the same and ask for help.
• Second, buy a can of dog food or find another “painful” stimulation . For example, if you do not lose 5 kilos, then your brother will send your documents to the military registration and enlistment office.
Or here’s another idea: create a post on social media by posting your “Before” photo and announcing that there will be “After”. Good friends on the Internet will keep putting this photo up all the time until you fulfill your promise.
• Unusual move: start “acting” as if you have already achieved what you want. Walk proudly along the beach as if those 5 pounds are gone, or buy new clothes (smaller). If you act as if it’s already done, it’s sometimes done effortlessly.
Victory from defeat is most often separated by the same question that has been tortured in acting classes for a hundred years: “ What is my motivation? “So breathe in the magical scent of dog food once more and get back into the power rack!