First Posted: 10/28/2008 3:25:32 PM | Last Updated: 10/28/2008 3:25:32 PM
Harvard Business School has been studying the difference in success and failure for people of similar backgrounds now for over 30 years. Their studies find that 3 percent of people are successful, 30 percent are moderately successful and 67 percent just exist. The significant difference for the 3 percent who are successful is that they have written down, specific goals. The 30 percent who are moderately successful have a general idea of where they are going but don't have formalized goals. The rest are happy to watch the world go by.
Here’s the interesting part: The 3 percent who have written goals are more successful as a group than the entire 97 percent who are either moderately successful or are just watching the world go by.
Even more interesting to me is that people in the 30 percent category only need to put in a small effort to jump into the 3 percent group. The Harvard studies go on to report that the secret behind the extra little effort is developing habits and strategies that support the goals you set.
This same pattern holds true for people who decide to get fit. The top 3 percent are 100 percent committed to doing whatever it takes to be consistent with their exercise routine. They have established their goals in writing and take all the steps to achieve them. The 30 percent who are moderately successful are still making progress, but sometimes feel stuck.
If you’re in that 30 percent who are relatively consistent with your exercise and nutrition, you have my admiration. And if you’re in that group and are ready for the next level, here are the steps to get you into the top category of fitness success:
1. Put your goals in writing. Look at them twice each day. Where do you want to be six months from now? How do you want your body to look and feel? Get very specific and write it down.
2. Visualize yourself in your ideal body. In your mind see yourself exactly how you want to look, and feel what it’s like to have an abundance of energy and vitality. Realize that our subconscious mind drives much of our behavior. And the subconscious does not know the difference between something that is real and something that is vividly imagined.
Whatever you picture in your mind and consistently think about will drive you to create that exact reality.
A great visualization technique is to invest 10 minutes every night, while lying in bed with your eyes closed, to visualize in detail how you want your body to look. Start from the ground up and focus your visualization on how you want your legs to look, and then move up to your hips and thighs. Focus attention on your midsection, then your chest arms and shoulders.
Finally, visualize your new lean and vibrant face. See and feel how you want to look, act and feel as a healthy, fit, energized new person.
3. Get help! This is a big one here. Unless you’re a mechanic, you probably don’t service your car, just like you probably don’t do your own taxes or perform surgery unless you’re an accountant or physician. So, unless you have an exercise science degree, you stand to benefit substantially by going to see a qualified personal trainer. Beyond the obvious knowledge, trainers provide accountability, motivation, support and are your partner in health and fitness that will pinpoint your path toward achieving your goals far more quickly than most of us can on our own.
Brian Calkins, personal trainer, is the owner of HealthStyle Fitness, a private fitness studio in Cincinnati. Awarded as one of America’s Top 50 Personal Trainers, Calkins and his staff specialize in individual, small-group and boot camp programs, helping Cincinnatians lose weight and get fit. More information is available at www.briancalkins.com. You can reach Brian via e-mail at fitness@CinciPulse.com.