In this post, I am going to talk about two things that have held me back in my life:
Throughout my fitness career I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by people who are all smarter than me – including people mentioned in this article.
There have been countless times when I have been given advice that would help me excel, and it’s taken a while to let it sink in or for me to put the wheels in motion.
I think we are all guilty of this at some point. I’m going to circle back to why I brought that point up, but first I’m going to give you some real life scenario examples. Whether it’s your coach telling you simply to add a serving of vegetables to one of your meals, or to stay off of Facebook after 5 PM, these simple pieces of advice aren’t as easy to apply as we might think they are.
An extra serving of vegetables. What is that even? Add a couple spoons of green peas to your plate. Mix some chopped spinach into your chilli. Sounds easy, it’s still tough, people still need to put in quite a bit of effort to implement that behaviour change. I have a point I’m getting at here.
As I expand further, I want to talk about Facebook, and the concept of staying off of it after 5PM or between the hours of 8AM and 6PM or limiting it to 1 hour a day – whatever your strategy is. I’ve known about the importance of this for years. I remember when my friend Dean Guedo posted about how he had cut back on his non-work social media time and how it had helped him progress. Yet even with this valuable context from someone I greatly respect, I still let hours pass me by, going down the rabbit holes of Facebook and letting people’s posts get me upset or consume all of my spare time.
In my past experiences I can often know EXACTLY what I have to do. I can know the EXACT procedure. I can have endless resources to assist me with getting from A to B, yet it will still be a battle to follow through and make it happen.
A trainer or coach can give you all the tools that you need, but you still need some other variables like your environment and support system in order to make it work.
I am a very ambitious person. I always set these really big goals for myself. Yet, even with my ambition, I procrastinate, and my goals just kind of float there.
Carolyn MacDonald suggested I should write THIS article on my website almost 6 months ago when I told her I was keeping myself from watching The Tiger King in order to limit my distractions. THAT is how long I have procrastinated on it.
It’s funny because the whole purpose of not watching The Tiger King was so that I’d use my downtime to complete some continuing education and then ironically I procrastinated on writing the article telling about it all.
Back in October 2018, I had enrolled in the Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. My expectation was that I would get it completed in the next 4 months.
Around the time that my books arrived was when the gym I was working at closed their doors. It was a major turning point for me.
Go find someone to work for, or become an independent contractor early in a training career.
The nutrition course went on the backburner as I moved as many of my clients as I could to a gym across the city, much closer to where I live.
Fast forward to March 2020. At this point I’ve now been at Evolve Strength for over a year. As far as PN goes I had gone through spurts where I’d read the material, but I hadn’t submitted all of the quizzes because I was honestly nervous that I’d fail. I was getting distracted by things out of my control. When I was focused on the course, I’d procrastinate simply because I was scared of what would happen if I didn’t pass.
When the gyms were closed for 3 months and I was left with my own thoughts, I realized how much I procrastinate in life, how much further ahead I could be if I got out of my own way personally and professionally.
I had to control the variables. I know I like to watch TV, I know it can consume me and totally halt my productivity, so I was going to cut that out of the equation. That’s where Carolyn comes in. She knew I was hammering down and finishing the certification as fast as I could and she said it would be a great motivator to finish it and then write an article about what helped me focus which would bring people to my website I had been working on.
I’d hear friends and family talk about Tiger King and at times I was curious as to what I was missing, but knowing that not watching it was helping me achieve my goals was the buy-in I needed to ignore the show altogether.
Another factor was Dr. Ben House’s Beginner’s Mind Mentorship. This was his previous offering that Dean had told me about and it was going on sale for a ridiculous price. Needless to say I cranked it into turbo and realized how silly I had been for procrastinating for so long.
The information I was being quizzed on for the PN certification was very straightforward - more than I thought it would be. I had absorbed more from going to Seminars and reading articles from guys like Dr. Mike T Nelson since I had started the course than I had realized.
So there I was. Gyms were still closed at that time but I had PN Certification under my belt, I had started Dr. Ben House’s Mentorship, and I had a great idea for an article for my website.
So what took me so long to actually write it? What took me so long to tell you all of this?
I was still wasting time reading Facebook, when I could have put all that time into myself.
I think a lot of people fall into this trap at some point. Sometimes we’ve got it under control for a few months and then someone posts a meme and it pulls us back in.
Yet the awareness of this is the differentiating factor.
When I wanted to cross some things off my list, I made rules. No Tiger King. It controlled my distractions.
When I needed to reduce my procrastination, I found external motivation. Dr. Ben House’s course was on for 80% off (or something close to that) and it was the best nutrition education I’d have access to for that price. I needed to jump on it.
So what was it that finally clicked for me in writing this article?
For years, I’ve posted really long posts on Facebook. They take forever to write, and usually I lose track of time as I work on them.
Since I was spending all of that time creating my post, I’d often get distracted by other people’s posts, and then I just went into a vortex.
So I made a pledge to myself. Any posts that I’m really passionate about that are longer than 2 or 3 sentences, are going to be articles on my website from now on.
It’s crazy when you think about it, after reading this whole thing. The act of me separating myself from The Tiger King, literally made me a better nutrition coach than I would have been had I let that show distract me from the task at hand.
As a summary, here are three key takeaway points:
1. It is important to surround yourself with people who are already doing the things you want to be doing.
2. You might have all the tools and resources you need to succeed, but you still need to figure out the implementation in order to be successful. Nobody is going to do the work for you.
3. Set some rules for yourself. If you can assess how much time or resources your goal will take and set boundaries to give yourself that amount of time, you will be more likely to achieve goal.
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