Fit women do things differently. For 34 years I’ve been a fitness leader and life coach for groups, individuals, and VIP clients. I’ve had face-to-face clients from next door and virtual clients from around the world. I’ve spoke to hundreds of large corporate and small groups. The women who follow through and reach their goals think differently. Some start thinking this way. Some change their thoughts to get here.
Fit women, though aren’t, “different.” They’re you. Getting fit and reaching your personal best is both a matter of learning the science, the new science, of fitness especially at midlife, and the art of thinking that what you want is possible. Here’s to opening up and elevating the possibilities.
Surround yourself with people that lift you up.
These same people will push your limits and your buttons. Not by accident they tend to be fit women even when we’re talking career or relationships. They believe you can do it or they wouldn’t be pushing. Coaches, trainers, and or a community who are doing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing are imperative to your support. Increase the time you spent with the right push, support, and encouragement.
“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness.”
Don’t keep getting ready to get ready.
Information gathering is fine. Unless you create a deadline to start, however, you can stay in this space forever.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Consider all the past data.
It never takes one try to reach a goal. The path is rarely linear. Fit women have failed. Habit change is cyclic. An average of seven attempts happens, each time bringing you a little closer to your goal, before you change a habit. Each missed attempt provides a wealth of information to plan the next step.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
~ Arianna Huffington
Know what you really want.
One of the hardest questions for many women to answer is, “what do you want?” If you’re focused only on knowing that what you have you don’t want, spend time identifying your real want before you start running blindly in some random direction.
Focus on goal getting.
Goal setting is overrated. Fit women aren’t program-hopping magic bullet seekers. Yes, you need a plan. Plan twice, in fact, and cut once. Then go like hell to the goal. It is the actions that matter most.
Address your resistance.
Close your open loops. All the unfinished projects and tasks you have are resistance to actually moving in a direction that gets you ahead. You can’t fail if you don’t actually start. Define one singular goal you can focus on now. Enter a race. Take a class. Learn to cook healthfully. Get to it first. Don’t change the stakes as you approach the finish line. Celebrate. Then move to the next goal.
Ask the right questions.
Too often we ask why me. Women who make steady progress catch themselves when they create their own ceiling. They don’t say, I can’t because I’m lazy, I’ve screwed up my metabolism, or I guess I’m just not motivated. Ask the question, “Do I want that to be true?”
If the answer is no, find an alternative statement to flip your mindset. What you tell yourself you will do everything in your subconscious power to make true.
“When the mind believes something, the body will come along for the ride.”
Know your cry why.
Everyone has a reason why a goal is important. It isn’t about weight loss, or about flat abs or toned arms. It’s about confidence, being comfortable in your own skin, or eliminating fear. If it brings you to tears, it’s motivational. No one can motivate you if you don’t know what your why is.
“Reading motivational quotes won’t make you successful. Just saying.”
Take the longer route and get there faster.
All the time spent looking for the short cut is usually time that you could have you on the path, and closer to your destination. Just start.
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
Keep it simple and uncomplicated.
We’re so good at complicating things. Move more. Exercise less. Eat better. Sleep more. Find joy to offset stress. Today that means take a walk, have more vegetables at lunch, go to bed an hour earlier, and do something that makes you laugh. Can you do that?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~Leonardo da Vinci
Celebrate someone else’s success knowing your steps will be different.
Stop comparing yourself and your path to someone else.
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
Never stop learning.
The science of fitness, nutrition, and the human body has evolved. You may have first learned something with the best science available at the time. If that science has been replaced by new and better science, you want to apply that.
“If you’re not growing you’re dying.”
Decide to get of the program-hopping train.
You have all the tools you need right now. If you’re staying in destination addiction thinking there is newer and better around the corner, start looking inside where the answers really are.
Be consistent over perfect.
It doesn’t always have to be your ideal. It may be second best. Some days just call for the if-all-else-fails plan. It still happens. That’s what matters. Fit women will tell you that their greatest exercise partner is consistency. It tends to be less about heavy vs. light, and run vs. lift and more about something done routinely and regularly.
“The more consistent you are, the less perfect you have to be.”
Set Big Hairy Goals (BHG) first.
From these set the actions that you’ll do to reach them. You do need smaller steps. You first have to have something that gives you a face-splitting grin when you think about it.
Set time aside for rest and recovery.
Rest is under-appreciated, under-rated, and mandatory for real success in all things. Sleep is the ultimate rest. It’s been called the athlete’s steroid. It may be the 50-something woman’s bulletproof weapon against all things she wants to avoid.
Never wait until life slows down or you’re not busy.
All the things you’re putting off are not a guarantee. Your body did not come with a warranty.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Make your excuses your reasons.
They, quite simply, are. You have stressors and time takers because you have a meaningful life. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for them.
You don’t have time to cook? You’re too busy to exercise or sleep? That thinking implies that taking care of your body is optional. It suggests that someday you will have more time, a maid, a personal chef, and you won’t have laundry.
Forgive yourself first.
You’re not going to get this right every time. It may not be what you’re eating but what’s eating you. Fit women, who maintain it, are fit inside and out. Purge your critical inner voice and nurture yourself.
Make sure what you’re chasing is something you’ll want to keep.
Losing weight takes effort. Keeping weight off requires more effort. There really isn’t an exit ramp. Start with activities that will bring you joy forever.
“It is not really work if you are having fun.”
~ Pierre Omidyar
Love and respect your body.
Maybe that means a manicure or massage. Maybe it means learning more about the emotion that causes emotional eating. Maybe dressing in clothes you love. It definitely means finding the things you love about your body more often than you find the flaws. Your body is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.
Stop judging yourself based on one thing.
Women have a habit of comparing themselves to others in every aspect of life. Someone else has a more beautiful kid, a better job, a nicer house, and of course, a better body. Yes. They always will. So, get on with living your life and loving what you’ve got. If you’re always focused on what someone else has you’ll never be happy.
Start thinking that you have power to change it.
At 101 Julia Hawkins, recently began competitive running. She reflected not on her 30s or 40s, but on her 60’s and 70’s in terms of the energy she remembers having. No matter how old you are or how late you think it is, time is going to pass anyway, you’ll wish you’d started sooner. So do.
“I don’t have the energy I did when I was 60 or 70.”