In this podcast, I’m sharing an excerpt from the audiobook version of my new book, Muscle For Life, which is releasing January 11th.
Muscle For Life is currently on pre-order, and if you go to www.muscleforlifebook.com, you can learn about the big book launch bonanza that’s underway, where you can enter to win over $13,000 of awesome stuff.
In this episode, I’m sharing chapter 5, which is all about mastering the “inner game” of fitness, and I’ll explain what I mean by that and then get into the details. You’ll learn how to hack your habits, willpower, and mindset so your fitness regimen feels like it’s on autopilot.
Let’s get to it!
Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from MUSCLE FOR LIFE by Michael Matthews, read by Chris Henry Coffey with the author. Copyright © 2022 by Waterbury Publications, Inc. Used with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
0:00 – Pre-order my new fitness book now for a chance to win over $13,000 in splendid swag: www.muscleforlifebook.com/
2:30 – Chapter 5, How to Master the “Inner Game” of Fitness
Mentioned on the Show:
Pre-order my new fitness book now for a chance to win over $13,000 in splendid swag: www.muscleforlifebook.com/
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey, I’m Mike Matthews and this is Muscle For Life. Welcome, welcome and Happy New Year. Thank you for joining me today. And if you haven’t already, please do take a moment to subscribe to the show because then you won’t miss any new episodes and it’ll help boost the ranking of the show in the various charts, and that helps me.
Now, today’s episode is a bit different. It is from the audiobook of my new. Muscle for Life, which is releasing on January 11th and which is currently on pre-order. And if you go to Muscle for Life book.com, muscle f r life book.com, you can learn all about the big book Launch Bonanza that is underway and will continue for a couple of more weeks where you can enter to win over $13,000 of awesome stuff that I have collected up from many different companies to give away real stuff.
PDFs that I say are worth $97, I’m talking about thousand dollars exercise bikes. Five, six, $700, sets of adjustable dumbbells, a hundred dollars kitchen appliances, and a lot more real stuff like that. Stuff that many people buy every day, and that’s Muscle for Life Book. Dot com. And so today’s episode is a chapter from that book all about mastering the inner game of fitness.
And I explain what I mean by that and then get into the details and in case you are wondering why it is a professional reader and not me reading. The book, it is mostly because of the timing. It would’ve required a lot of time in a short period of time for me to do it, and I’m in a temporary housing situation.
I’m in a house that I’m getting ready to tear down, and I don’t have great. Acoustics in here where I’m recording this podcast might have worked, but it also might have sounded a little bit off, but it was mostly the timing. I couldn’t read the entire book in the couple of weeks that I would’ve needed to do it in because I have a lot of other things that I have to do.
I couldn’t sit down and just do six to eight hours of reading every day to get it done in time. And so that’s why a professional reader is reading it and. They probably also did a better job than I would do. So let’s get into it, shall we? Five. How to master the inner game of fitness? Any idiot can face a crisis.
It’s the day to day living that wears you out. An on checkov in his timeless bestseller, the inner game of. Tim Galway explained that every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game. The outer game is played against an external opponent to overcome external challenges and reach external goals, and the inner game takes place in the mind and is played against obstacles like lapses and concentration, nervousness, self-doubt, self condemnation, and other feelings that inhibit excellence in perform.
How fitting that model is to fitness, books, magazines, trainers and influencers usually focus on the outer game of losing fat and gaining muscle and give little attention to the inner game, which is arguably more important. Simply knowing what to do isn’t enough. You then have to actually do it and keep doing it every day, week, month, and.
Priority, discipline and motivation are the biggest inner game barriers. Every week people launch into new fitness programs with resolve and relish, but it often doesn’t take long for their enthusiasm to sputter. They struggle to fit their diet plan into their lifestyle and squeeze their workouts into their hectic schedule.
They experience more physical challenges than they anticipated. And as the days and weeks pass, they see no appreciable change in their body. In short, it’s a lot of pain for very little gain. So it’s no surprise that many people give up on their fitness aspirations within the first couple of months I’ve seen this time and time again.
Sometimes illness disturbs someone’s routine and they never return. Other times they take a week off and forget to come back. Some simply stop. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. I know I have. Fitness is hard and no matter how determined you may be, if you’re not seeing clear and consistent results, it’s only natural for your drive to dry up.
I don’t want this to happen to you. I want to do everything I can to give you your best shot at success on the Muscle for Life program. In fact, if I’m being honest, I want this to be the fitness program that finally makes all the difference and over delivers. That’s why this chapter will help you develop a successful mindset that’ll empower you to overcome the obstacles, resist the temptations, and surmount the setbacks that we all experience in our fitness journey.
To do that, we need to tackle the three ugliest inner game ogres, standing between you and the finish line. One, the purpose Phantom. Two, the Time troll. Three, the consistency creature. Let’s learn how to defeat each prevailing over the purpose. Phantom people with vague, unrealistic, or uninspiring fitness goals, or none at all are always the first to.
These men and women show up in the gym sporadically and often leave before even breaking a sweat. They fall victim to situations and circumstances that cause them to falter, pesky office potlucks. They’re on the lookout for fast fixes and miracle methods. If you’re going to succeed where the masses fail, you need to inoculate yourself against these attitudes and behaviors, and this requires a little soul search.
Different people have different reasons for eating well and working out some like how it feels to push their body to the limit. Others wanna impress a potential sex partner. Many wanna boost their confidence and self-esteem. Most wanna improve their general health and wellbeing. These are all perfectly valid reasons to get.
Looking great, feeling great, having high energy levels being more resistant to sickness and disease and living longer, but it’s important to isolate and articulate your reasons. Let’s do this now, starting with the dimension of fitness that most people find most alluring, the visual. What is your ideal body look like?
A major reason you’re listening to this book is you wanna look a certain way and there’s nothing wrong with that. Every fit person I know, including myself, is motivated just as much by the mirror as by anything else. Don’t misread that as narcissism. There are plenty of self-absorbed fitness twits out there, but I see nothing wrong with playing a bit to our vanity if looking fantastic.
Also helps us feel great, and it does, especially if we consider how this buoyancy enhances our ability to work, love, and play. The better we look, the better we feel and the better we feel, the better we live. It’s really that simple. So let’s talk about you. What does your ideal body look? Let’s go beyond trite words and hazy daydreams.
Find a picture or two, or three or four of the type of body you want. Then save these pictures somewhere that’s easily accessible, such as your phone, or Google Drive or Dropbox. You could even print a couple out and paste them in your fitness journal. Why? When you’re on the Muscle for Life program, I want you to know you’re working toward a physique that’s as real as the page you’re listening.
Not merely a figment of your imagination, not sure what to pick because you’re not sure what’s possible. Start here. How would you have to look to hit the beach in a swimsuit without self consciousness? Find a couple pictures of that, because trust me, that we can do what does your ideal body feel like? A fit healthy body is far more pleasurable to inhabit than an unfit, unhealthy one.
The more in shape you are, the more you get to enjoy many advantages, higher energy levels, better moods, more alertness, clearer thinking, fewer aches and pains, and better sleep to name just a few. And then there’s the deeper stuff, like more dignity, pride, and self fulfill. I want you to imagine what this will be like for you, and then write it out in the form of individual affirmations, which are positive statements that describe how you wanna be like.
I’m full of energy all day, and my mind is quick, clear, and focused. This might seem a bit woo, but research shows that writing and reading affirmations can benefit you in various ways. A study conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania. Found that people who practiced affirmations exercised more than people who didn’t.
And another study at the University of Sussex found that performing self affirms improved working memory and cognitive performance. I like to organize health and fitness affirmations into four broad categories, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Physical affirmations are all about bodily function and physical energy levels, and they can include statements like, I wake up rested every day.
My joints are pain free and I don’t get sick. Mental affirmations concern your ability to focus, remember, and compute. These might be assertions, like I can focus deeply on the task at hand. My memory is sharp and my mind is. Emotional affirmations relate to your feelings of positive or negative sensations.
Such declarations as I find joy everywhere I go, I bounce back quickly from bad news and I give and receive love openly. Spiritual affirmations involve your sense of purpose and motivation, and they can include pronouncements like, I embody my best self and I know I’ll. Here are a few pointers for writing more effective affirmations of any kind.
Keep them short so they’re easier to process. And remember, even four or five carefully chosen words can be powerful. Start with I or my affirmations are all about you. So it’s best to start with you, right? As though you’re experiencing it right now. Not in the. For example, I fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rejuvenated is superior to I will fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Or within three months I’m falling asleep quickly and waking up feeling rejuvenated. Don’t begin with I want or I need. You don’t wanna affirm needing or wanting, but being, doing or having, make sure you’re choosing positive state. Realizing your affirmations may require discarding negative behaviors and thoughts, but your words shouldn’t reflect this.
Think I’m calm, confident, and contented, and not I’m no longer anxious and insecure, or, I enjoy my daily workouts instead of, I don’t dread exercising anymore emotion by including I’m emotion about, or I feel emotion. For example, you could say, I’m excited to follow my meal plan. This will make your affirmations more stimulating and less memorable and persuasive, and can even influence how you experience events related to whatever you’re affirming.
Actually feeling excited to follow your meal plan. For instance, make your affirmations believable. If you don’t think your statement is possible, it won’t have much of an effect, so make sure you can fully buy. If you find something particularly incredible, you can start with a qualifier like I’m open to, or I’m willing to believe I can.
So are you ready to write your affirmations? Great. Let’s start with one affirmation per category, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And take as long as you need to formulate statements that resonate deeply with you. You’ve hit on something meaningful when it sparks joy and positivity.
Now that you’ve formulated your first affirmations, you may be wondering what to do with them. There are many ways to use your statements, but my favorite is reading mine every morning before starting my day and whenever I feel my spirit lagging. This keeps my intentions alive and top of mind and helps adjust my mindset when I falter.
Also, feel free to create new affirmations whenever inspiration strike. What are your fitness wise? Whereas the affirmations above define what you wanna achieve. The next exercise is designed to establish why you wanna do it. Among my favorite things about being fit are the moments when you impress yourself, where you just stop for a second and think, wow, it’s awesome.
I did that with my body. These are moments that put a smile on your face and a spring in your. And sometimes even make your day. I’m not just talking about stuff like turning heads in the coffee shop, but eating desserts, guilt free, keeping up with my kids without getting tired and enjoying clothing, shopping more, the often small but substantial things that confirm you’re on the right track.
I’ve worked with thousands of people over the years and here are a few examples of the fitness wins they’ve shared with. Getting asked for advice in the gym, feeling more confident and competent looking, sexier, naked, being more productive at work, savoring delicious food, pleasantly surprising, their doctor rocking their favorite clothes, setting a good example for their kids, enjoying outdoor activities.
Again, feeling physically and mentally strong, eliminating aches and pains, tackling a new sport. I love. They’re great examples of personal reasons to get into killer shape, simple, specific, and sincere. How about you? Why do you wanna achieve everything you just laid out in your affirmations? Brainstorm your reasons for getting fit and write them in your notebook until you feel pumped up and ready to take action.
Because with the Muscle for Life program, we’ll make them all a reality. Trumping the time troll. I don’t know anybody who can find time to exercise. I’ve never had anyone tell me, Mike, I have too much free time. I think I’ll spend a few hours in the gym every day to get in shape. What should I do while I’m there?
It’s always the opposite. Most of us lead busy lives brimming with urgency and obligations and feel we don’t have time for anything new, let alone something as selfish as working. But almost always that just isn’t true. As much as some people would like to think they’re too swamped to work out. When they analyze how they spend their every waking minute, every day they discover otherwise, especially when they realize how little time it really takes to get fit.
The reality is that people who have transformed their bodies have the same 24 hours in a day as you and me, as well as their share of daily duties to discharge. They still have to go to work, attend to loved ones, attempt a social life and remember to exfoliate, moisturize and have some fun. Now and then the only difference is they’ve decided exercise is important enough to be in the plan.
For some that requires watching less TV or giving it up all together. For others, it means going to bed and waking up earlier. For others. Still it involves asking the spouse to handle the kids in the morning or evening or some other solution. My point is, if you really want to carve out a couple of hours per week to train, I’m positive you can.
That’s not to say that finding the will and time for fitness is easy. It’s often a challenge, and the solution may not be convenient or comfortable at first at least, but who said it should be no matter how difficult or daunting our circumstances may. There’s always something we can do about it. If we can accept that our wellbeing is worthwhile, it suddenly becomes possible.
Whether we act is up to us, and let’s face it, whenever someone says, I would do X, but I can’t because Y, it’s almost always hog wash. Unless Y is, I don’t really want to. There’s very little we’re incapable of, there’s only how badly we. When we lie to ourselves and say otherwise, what we’re saying is that we find alibis more attractive than achievements, excuses, more seductive than excellence and comfort.
More desirable than challenge. Writer Steven Pressfield coined a term for this psychological friction resistance. Here’s how he explained it in his best selling book. The War of Art Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your. It will purger, fabricate, falsify, seduce, bully cajole.
Resistance is protean. It will assume any form if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine millimeter in your face like a stick man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal. Then double cross you as soon as your back is turned.
If you take resistance at its word, you deserve everything you. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit. How do you defeat resistance and turn an I won’t into an I will. You meet it in pitched battle and you refuse to surrender. You refuse to take the easy road out. You refuse to look for reasons to be weak.
You refuse to blame anyone or anything for your condit. When you can do those things, you can tap into a primal and powerful force that sets extraordinary people apart from everyone else. That’s the big secret. What’s more the, I don’t have time, excuse. Can’t pass the straight face test. When scrutinized.
Imagine that your doctor says you have a fatal disease and the only way to cure it is to worldl around in circles for two hours per. After accepting that you do indeed have the strangest disease in the history of the human race, what would you do? Would you slink off and resign yourself to your fate or somehow free up the time to spin winter shins?
Without a doubt that you’d find a way, regardless of how busy you are. Maybe you’d work a bit less banish streaming apps or disappear from social media, but somehow you’d make the time. Now think about. You just admitted you have a couple of hours per day waiting in the wings available for immediate use toward any goal of your choosing, such as transforming your body.
What’s going on here? Many people understand that I don’t have time to exercise, is just another way of saying it’s not important enough to me. But they struggle with prioritizing working out when the demands of their work, marriage, children, and errands pound like jungle drums from sunrise to sunset.
Some of us work more instead of working out, for instance and others. Put the needs of everyone close to them ahead of their own. Also, many women don’t just work full-time jobs, but also carry much of the domestic load, including shopping, supervising kids, cooking, chaperoning, and cleaning. When these people are told they don’t lack the time to train, only the will they bristle and understandably.
On a good day, they have maybe 30 minutes to themselves before bed. After all the important tasks on the to-do list have been checked off. Such situations can seem hopeless, but remember, every problem has a solution. Even this one, many of these people have had to get creative. I’ve helped them assemble simple but effective home gyms for less than they’d pay for a year of gym due.
I’ve helped them create 30 minute body weight and band workouts they can do at work during lunch, in the privacy of their office, or even broken up into several 10 minute workouts throughout the day. I’ve suggested finding a workout buddy with children, which allows for shared babysitting and early morning weekend jots to the gym.
The first step in all of these cases, however, was shifting how these guys and gals viewed health and fitness in relation to their lives. The time given to eating well and exercising regularly is often considered a luxury or worse, a self-indulgence. But here’s the rub. You can make your health and wellness a priority now, or it’ll make itself a priority later.
There is no third choice unless we take effective measures to counter the decline. After about age 35 every day in every way, our body wan. We usually don’t notice it because the changes are subtle, but just as the seasons slowly shift from warm to cold, so does our health and vitality gradually decay.
Furthermore, neglecting nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, and muscle definition and strength speeds up the downward spiral as the years pass. Add in regular alcohol and tobacco use and one can reach terminal velocity. Bob Dylan got it right when he said, if we’re not busy being born, we’re busy dying. But wait, someone somewhere is thinking, my friend’s, cousin’s, doctor’s, mom’s sister is 93 years old and eats like a raccoon.
Smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish, and she still as fit as a bull moose. I’ll probably be fine. This is. Every rule has exceptions and every group has outliers, but that doesn’t negate the principles or patterns. A century of medical literature has proven that as we get older, snubbing, the cornerstones of healthy living greatly increases the risk of debilitating and deadly disorders.
So much so that as time goes on, if we don’t get our act together, our chances of remaining healthy and become vanishingly. If we do nurture our body with wholesome habits like proper diet, exercise, sleep, and supplementation, however, it’ll repay us with a wellspring of vigor and vivacity for living our best life.
Another important element of this discussion is quality versus quantity, because our goal isn’t merely to survive as long as possible, but to thrive, just because your heart is still beating doesn’t mean you still feel alive. So even if we can disregard our health and wellness long into our golden years and somehow keep death from darkening our door, how much will we enjoy the later part of life with a body that suffers and a mind that stumbles?
Why choose that path when we can follow the advice in this audio book instead and enjoy the fruits of beauty, strength, stamina, mobility, and spirit as we get older. So to Mr. And Mrs. I really don’t have time to eat well and exercise. I say, you can choose the rigors of healthy living now, or the penalties of unhealthy living later.
There is no third option conquering the consistency creature. Raise your hand if you know the answer to this question. What’s the enemy of. Chances are a montage of social media posts, motivational speeches, and self-help books just flashed through your mind, all proclaiming that good is the droid you’re looking for.
Good. They cry is what’s holding you back from dreaming your quest and manifesting your visions into reality. Good you must understand is never good enough to achieve greatness. Good must die. You must drive, suffer and surpass. You must go big or go. On and on. This philosophy goes winning wide approval among people from all walks of life.
It rings true because it’s not wholly misguided by definition. You can’t achieve the extraordinary through ordinary ideas and efforts, but there’s a problem. It’s impossible to be great all the time. Usually good enough is all weakened muster, and that’s okay because ironically, a whole bunch of good enough can make you.
And that’s true both inside and outside the gym. In fact, it’s the only way to get to great without losing your nerve or sanity. Think about it for a minute. When was the last time you were outstanding in an activity when your faucet was fully open and you were in full flow? Now, consider how much effort, energy, and presence that demanded and how drained you felt a.
Does it make sense to expect that from yourself continually? Of course not. That’s a surefire way to destroy motivation and mood and burnout, because as sexy as greatness is, it’s equally elusive, like the muse. It can’t be commanded, cajoled, or contracted with. It comes and goes as it pleases. Thus, appreciate the fleeting moments of greatness, but don’t hang your hat.
Instead, demand something else from yourself. Something rather mundane, but also readily achievable and sustainable. Consistency excellence is achieved by becoming great at being consistent, not by being consistently great. And this mostly comes down to being good enough again and again in fitness. This means following your meal plan, workout program, and supplementation routine more often than.
If you can do that, you can make steady progress that compounds over time by relieving pressure and anxiety, reducing the risk of injury and exhaustion, and providing useful feedback. By the same token, did I show up and put in the work is a much more productive question to ask yourself at the end of every day.
Then was I great or even worse? Was I perfect? That isn’t to say that standards don’t matter, and that going through the motions avoiding hardship and swallowing mediocrity is acceptable. Good enough is about embracing what you’ve got and where you are, not what you wish you had or where you wish you were.
It means acknowledging the fact that you can’t microwave real results. They take time no matter how optimized your approach. Take dieting, for example. Most people wanna know the best diet for losing weight, and these days, many of those conversations revolve around carbohydrate intake. Guess what?
According to research conducted by scientists at Stanford University, how much or little carbohydrate you eat doesn’t matter. What does matter is adherence to a well designed dietary protocol, like one that controls calories and protein. That is the people who lose the most weight are the most consistent with their diets, not the best at avoiding carbs or any other foods.
The same goes for training, simplistic workout programming and rock solid consistency beats even the most scientifically sound routines and shaky compliance every time. Less. A few low intensity workouts every week will always beat out a few higher quality training sessions per. Similarly, an obsession with colossal effort in the gym is a vice, not a virtue.
One that inevitably leads to disappointment and flame out. So stop trying to have perfect workouts. Stop trying to be invincible. Stop trying to rush the process. Strive for consistency instead, stay patient and in time, once you’ve given enough good enough, you’ll gain entry to the hallowed halls of great.
Oh, and here’s a spoiler. You’ll make mistakes along the way. You’ll eat too much, sometimes sleep, walk through or skip workouts now and then, and forget to take your supplements when you’re in a hurry. Don’t sweat any of that or get down on yourself when you mess up. The damage is never as bad as you may think, and an abusive tirade of self-criticism will only make things worse.
For example, many people worry they’ve blown their diets after a single instance of overeating, not realizing that the amount of fat they can gain from a meal is negligible a few ounces, and even in the case of an entire day of reckless eating, you might be able to gain up to a half to one pound of fat if you really tried.
Therefore, when you stumble and you will show yourself the same compassion and forgiveness you’d show a friend. Research suggests that this type of response in times of frustration and failure is associated with better willpower and self-control because it helps us accept responsibility for our actions.
And steam ahead unphased to help you make this mental adjustment. I’m officially giving you a stack of hall passes to use whenever they’re. Because as I want to say, in fitness, you only need to get the most important things mostly right. Most of the time. This attitude is especially important as we get older.
The human body is rugged and resilient, but as it racks up mileage, it can’t endure as much abuse as it once could. Therefore, you can’t subject yourself to the punishing workouts of your twenties and expect the same results. You can train hard, gain plenty of muscle and strength and lose plenty of fat, but it’ll likely be a slower process than when you were in college.
So don’t view your time with Muscle For Life as a competition with your former self. That’s a race you can’t win. Instead, appreciate what you’re capable of now and where you can go from here. You also can’t compare yourself to the Photoshopped influencers on social. Let’s see them on hashtag hump day when they’re working 60 hours per week and considering selling a kidney to keep their kids in private school.
It’s also okay if you feel you’ve let yourself go. It probably wasn’t merely for lack of trying. You probably didn’t know what to expect as you got older and what to do to maintain your health and fitness, and probably because of all the moronic and misleading information you were. You probably did your best with the hand you were dealt.
The good news is that none of that matters now. Somehow you found your way to this audio book, and together we’ll make up for lost time by putting you on the fast track to the body you’ve always wanted. As you can imagine, your ability to establish good habits will heavily affect your progress. So I wanna share with you two powerful evidence-based strategies for making the new fitness habits.
I’ll be teaching you stick hacking your habits. The first technique is deceptively simple, filling out a sentence, not just any sentence, though, a sentence that works subconsciously to reduce your need for motivation, willpower, and self. You can use it for many goals, including exercise, diet, health, and everything else.
This sentence exists thanks to a decade of work by a team of psychologists, and it has three parts. What, when and where? A study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath demonstrates the remarkable effectiveness of this formula. In this experiment, 91% of participants who were asked to create an exact exercise plan.
During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on this day at this time, and in this place exercised at least once per week compared to just 38% of participants who were asked to read a few paragraphs from a random novel before working out, and 35% of participants who were asked to read a pamphlet on the heart benefits of exercise and told that most young adults who stick to an exercise program reduce their risk of heart disease.
No, that’s not a typo. By simply writing when and where exercise would occur, follow through, skyrocketed and curiously, education on the benefits of exercise was no better than pleasure reading as a motivator. Similar results have been seen in other exercise studies, as well as those analyzing other positive behaviors ranging from breast self examination to dietary adherence to condom usage, and.
As it happens, there are over 100 published studies on this phenomenon, and the conclusion is crystal clear. If you explicitly state what you’ll do when you’ll do it and where you’ll do it, you’re much more likely to actually do it. For example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ll wake up at 7:00 AM drinking espresso and go to the gym will be far more effective than I’ll work out a few times per.
Every evening after dinner, I’ll sit on the balcony and read 25 pages before watching TV in place of I’ll read every day. Every day I’ll eat a salad and an apple for lunch is preferable to, I’ll eat better every Friday. After I deposit my paycheck, I’ll go home and transfer 10% of it into my investment account will help you grow your net worth a lot faster than I’ll invest more than I did last.
Every workday I’ll drink from a bottle of water at my desk and refill it. Whenever it’s empty, we’ll outdo I’ll drink more water. What, when? Where? Statements are far more effective for regulating behavior than relying on inspiration or willpower to strike at the right moment because they speak the brain’s natural language.
Creating a trigger and response mechanism that doesn’t require conscious monitoring or analysis. I like to take this technique even further and put my important personal and interpersonal commitments on my calendar so they stay top of mind at the beginning of each day. I check that calendar, and every time I review my pledges, I improve my chances of following through.
You can also use your phone’s assistant to remind you of daily obligations so you don’t accidentally forget. For instance, if your intention is to eat a nutritious breakfast every day. You can set a reminder in your phone to prepare the food the night before and grab it in the morning before you go.
Don’t discount the value of such spade work. It can often be the factor that leads to follow through, even when it says mundane is getting into your workout clothes first thing on Saturday morning, so you’re dressed for your lunchtime workout. One of the hidden benefits of preparatory actions like these is they reduce the amount of activation energy required to follow through on our aim.
This is a concept in chemistry that refers to the minimum amount of energy needed to activate a chemical reaction, and it can be more broadly understood as the minimum amount of effort it takes to start or change something. The more mental or physical energy it takes for us to get up to speed, the more susceptible we’ll be to the ebb and flow of willpower and motivation, which can surge and slump for reasons best known to themselves.
When resolve is high, follow through flows like breathing, but when it’s low, implementation feels like waiting into a pool of glue. By taking simple steps to lessen our reliance on these fickle feelings like those I’ve just shared with you, we can greatly boost our consistency, strengthen our wise, and affirm our priorities to help you further reduce the activation energy of eating and exercising according to the.
You can use another type of statement that’s scientifically proven to increase self-control. The if then statement, an if then statement looks like this, if X happens, then I’ll do Y. This works for the same reason. What, where, when statements work, specificity of stimulus and response, and it allows you to provide for contingencies and curve balls and reduce the need for Moxi when things go sideway.
Let’s take a scenario. Given earlier, you’ve decided that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’ll wake up at 7:00 AM drink an espresso and go to the gym to generate complimentary if then statements. Think about what may impede your intentions and what you’ll do in each instance. Here’s a good start. If I’m a little short on sleep, then I’ll still get up at 7:00 AM and do my workout.
If I miss a morning workout, then I’ll do it after. If I can’t go to the gym after work, then I’ll do the workout on Saturday or Sunday at 9:00 AM or what about if then statements for the what, when, where statement? Every weekday I’ll eat a salad and an apple for lunch. If I don’t have time to make my normal lunch, then I’ll go to the salad place near my office.
If I have to eat out instead of following my meal plan, then I’ll eat just one piece of bread and skip. If a coworker offers me a pastry at lunch, then I’ll politely decline every what, when, where statement can be strengthened in this way, especially after you’ve gotten into action and unforeseen difficulties and complications require that you adjust and augment your systems.
This process is akin to running mental simulations to stress test your desired outcomes. Psychologists call it mental contrast. Research shows that it can increase your motivation to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.
Remember, or even review this chapter whenever you need a shot in the arm, and it’ll help you find the power to persevere. Recall it when you’re choosing meals at your favorite restaurants, staring down sugary treats at the grocery store, and rolling out of bed for your morning workout. Like a log off a truck regularly.
Look at the pictures you’ve. Read the affirmations you’ve written and revisit the why and implementation intentions you’ve created. Then when you encounter difficulties or setbacks, you may stagger, but you’ll also be able to steady yourself, breathe, wind back into your sail, and speed toward your goals.
Make no mistake, however, this transformation business takes time. We live in the age of Iati. These days, too many people wear themselves out chasing easy four hour work weeks, six minute abs and 32nd meals. They don’t want processes and paradigms. They want shortcuts and stratums. They don’t wanna plant in the spring and tend in the summer to earn a harvest.
In the fall, they wanna shirk and slack and reap a bounty. They didn’t sew. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t lose 20 pounds of fat in 20 days or reshape your butt or flatten your belly in a couple of weeks. Upgrading your body is a rewarding undertaking, but you have to give a lot to get a lot.
Plus, you’ll learn a valuable life lesson along the way. Fitness is one of those special things. You can’t buy steel or. There aren’t any prizes for lying, complaining, or failing, nor any privileges for status, opinions, or feelings. It’s called working out for good reason. You either put in the work or get put in your place.
Fitness is nothing, if not a tribute to the primacy of effort. In this way, the gym is a lot more than a place to move, grunt and sweat. It’s a microcosm where we can make contact with the deeper part of ourselves. Our convictions, fears, habits, and anxieties. It’s an arena where we can confront these opponents head on and prove we have what it takes to vanquish them.
It’s a setting where we can test the stories we tell ourselves. It calls on us to demonstrate how we respond to the greater struggles of life, adversity, pain, insecurity, stress and weakness. And in some ways, who we really. Hence the gym is a training and testing ground of sorts for the body, mind, and soul.
The gym is also a source of learning because it calls on us to constantly attempt new things. It’s a forum where questions are at least as important as answers, and it cultivates what scientists call a growth mindset by teaching us that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, a worldview that’s essentially for great.
The gym is practical too, not idealistic. It’s a laboratory open to all ideas and methodologies, and it gives clear, unqualified feedback. Either they work or they don’t. In short, the gym can be so much more than merely a place to work out. It can be a refuge from the chaos around us, a world of our own that we create to satisfy dreams and desires.
So if you feel anxious or intimidated about getting started, brace. Because soon you’ll know more about fitness than most everyone at your gym. And once you’re a regular, don’t be surprised if they start coming to you for advice. In the next chapter, we’ll get you a little closer to that milestone by exploring the science of everyone’s least favorite four letter word, diet key takeaway.
People with vague, unrealistic, or uninspiring fitness goals or none are always the first to quit. Different people have different reasons for eating well and working out, but it’s important to isolate and articulate your reasons. Find a picture or two, or three or four of the type of body you want and save them somewhere that’s easily accessible like your phone or Google Drive or Dropbox.
Imagine what your ideal body feels like for you, and then write it out in the form of individual affirmations, which are positive statements that describe how you wanna be, such as, I’m full of energy all day and my mind is quick, clear, and focused. One of the best ways to use the statements you’ve formulated is to read them every morning before you start your day or whenever your spirit is fla.
Use what, when, where statements to reduce your need for motivation, willpower, and self-control. Write a sentence that explicitly states what you’ll do when you’ll do it, and where you’ll do it. For example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ll wake up at 7:00 AM drink an espresso and go to the gym. Use if then statements to further reduce the activation energy of eating and exercising according to the plan.
If I’m a little short on sleep, then I’ll still get up at 7:00 AM and do my workout. That is it for today’s episode, and if you are still listening and you liked it, you’ll probably like the rest of the book, muscle for Life. Again, go to Muscle for Life book.com and learn all about the giveaway.
Preorder the book. Enter the giveaway and you can do other things to get additional entries into the giveaway. You can help spread the word about the book launch. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel, to my other social media accounts and other things. Again, all of the details are over at Muscle for Life Book.
Dot com. And if Muscle for Life is not for you, maybe it’s for somebody you know, if you know somebody who is looking for an enjoyable and a sustainable fitness regimen, that’s gonna help them lose fat and build bean muscle eating food they love and doing just a few challenging but not grueling workouts per week.
And especially if these people. In the 40 plus demographic, if they have a lot of weight to lose, if they’ve never done any weight lifting or maybe even any resistance training before, muscle for Life is a better book and the programs are better for them. Men and women than my bigger, leaner, stronger, or thinner.
Leaner, stronger programs or books because bigger, leaner, stronger and thinner, leaner, stronger are written for a younger demographic, are written for people who are ready to start squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, overhead pressing, and who are ready to get serious about meal planning. And those books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and helped tens of thousands of people that I know of.
Lose fat, build muscle, get healthy. So great information, it works. Great programs, they work, but there are a lot of people out there who, if I were training them personally, I would not start them on bigger, leaner, stronger or thinner, leaner, stronger. We would have to work up to that, and that is what Muscle for Life is.
So again, go to muscle for lifebook.com to learn more, and if you are interested in the book for yourself or for somebody else, I would recommend going now because the giveaway is ending in a couple of weeks. And if you put it off, you might forget and then it might be too late.