#1 No Good Pain, No Good Gain
In order to achieve results, you have to put your muscles under uncomfortable circumstances. You have to have the body and mind power to push yourself past the limits of comfort and to a place where you felt it was not possible to achieve. During periods of discomfort, your body will have to adapt to the new stress you are putting upon it.
Your body could react by losing body fat for energy, or gaining muscle for strength. At the same time, your body might negatively react by tearing a ligament, so be sure that you understand the difference between good and bad pain. Similarly, in life, you must also put yourself under circumstances that cause you to become fearful, unstable, and unpredictable.
These circumstances will challenge your mind to gain the survival tools necessary to adapt to this new environment it's forced to live in. If you want to grow and develop, you have to take risks, and see how your body, your mind and your spirit adapts to the changes you are placing upon it.
#2 If You Want To Change, Something Has To Change
While the hardest thing to do is identify the problem; the second hardest thing to do is create an action plan that prohibits you from repeating the pattern, over and over again. Just like in life, there are things that we want to achieve, such as saving more money, being kinder to others, or being less angry, but in order to change, something has to change.
So find what triggers your bad habits, and then create a different action to change them.
#3 Every Day Is A New Battle
It doesn't matter how much you lifted yesterday, or if you did cardio everyday last week. It doesn't even matter if you were Mr. Olympia, or just completed your best exercise set five minutes ago?what are you going to do right now to change your life, to progress you even further, to where you want to be in the future?
Every day we begin our day with specific short term goals, and every night we go to sleep having completed, or not completed that goal. But every day, is a new day, and the cycle continues. In life, we have to constantly remind ourselves that this cycle will not end until the day we die.
We have to constantly struggle to be better than we were yesterday, to test and overcome the limits of our body, mind and spirit is what creates a true champion of life.
#4 Get To The Core Of The Matter
Our body is a mobile, fluid, flexible machine that is held together through balance from the core muscles: your lower back and abdominal regions. In order to gain true strength, you must not avoid the strengthening and conditioning of this stabilization area. Bad posture creates muscle imbalances, which therefore places more stress on the core.
A common example is the lower back region, an area where most people will experience some pain in their lifetime. For many, the lower back is stressed due to increasing weight in the frontal plane; whether it is forward shoulders from continued slouching or belly fat that weighs down the front part of your body adding additional stress on that lower back.
As a result, our core becomes stressed due to this muscle imbalance. In life, most of your behavior and habits can be traced back to your brain and how you mentally perceive a problem or situation.
In order to change things in your life, you must get to the core of the problem: you must figure out why you do the things you do, and where it stemmed from, because if you don't, it will reoccur again, and again, and again?until you find the reasons behind your behavior.
#5 Nothing Great Comes Without Sacrifice
There are going to be temptations to eat bad, drink, skip workouts, not workout as hard, etc. However, if you want to realize your fitness goal, you have to make these necessary sacrifices. The amount of what you are willing to sacrifice is what will determine how successful you will become. At the same time, while these sacrifices sound harsh, the good part is: is that the more you make fitness a successful habit, the less 'perceived' sacrifices you will have to make.
In life, everything comes with a sacrifice. If you want to change your life to get to higher goal, then expect sacrifice to be part of the game plan. Be prepared that the road to your destination will not be easy, and understand that nothing great occurs without sacrifice.
#6 Rejoice In Your Uniqueness
In order to win at this Fitness Game, you have to learn the rules and create your own Game Plan. You have to understand nutrition, exercise, supplementation etc. Now that you understand the time tested rules of what your body can and cannot do, now its time to make the plan work for you.
While workout programs and popular diets in magazines and books or helpful, they may or may not work for you for a variety of reasons. Your body's ability to respond to these programs will be dependent on your age, ethnicity, sex, metabolism, past injuries, and muscle imbalances. So it's up to you, to play with the different tools you've been given, and shape it to fit who you uniquely are.
Just like in life, while other people can succeed in achieving your similar professional or personal goals by doing a certain thing, it does not guarantee that it will work for you. You have to understand your different options first, then create a unique program, tailored to your strengths and weaknesses, and then follow it.
#7 If There Is A Will, There Is A Way
Once you are able to process these emotional reasons why you need to make a change in your life, or achieve that goal, then you found the key that will make you succeed. Finding your will, or identifying the emotional reason why you want to complete something is what separates the winners from the losers.
This emotional will is what will keep you strong when times are tough: when you don't want to work out, when you want to eat bad, when you want to give up?this emotional will is what will give you the strength to build mental and physical toughness, because this emotional will is the spiritual element that will guide you when there is no light at the end of your tunnel.
One of the hardest things to do is truly identify when you are goal setting, the true reasons why you need to complete that goal: instead of asking yourself why you want to do this, ask yourself why you need to do this. Just like in life, if you are able to find the deep rooted, emotional reasons why completing your personal goal is important to you: then you are going to find every way possible, to achieve the goal you set yourself out to overcome.
#8 Your Number One Competitor Is Yourself
While we all want to be the fittest person in the gym, or the fastest marathon runner or the strongest person in the world, the only real competitor you have, is you. Your genetic capabilities and your environment will determine how far you can go.
These limitations challenge us to use the tools God has presented us with, and challenge ourselves to see how we can change the evolutionary course of our genes. While competition with others brings out the competitive animals in us, we must ask: what if there was no competition? What if it was just you? By focusing on you, you are able to bring out the best in what you have to offer and achieve.
In life, by focusing on your own personal development, every step of the competition, you are able to tackle problems and challenges because you understand yourself. By focusing on you as your prime competitor, you are able to test your personal limits and focus on your gifts as a competitor of not just fitness, but of life.
#9 Keep A Journal
If you want to make sure that you are doing everything correctly to win your fitness goal, you should document your food, your activity, even your emotions, so that you can always retrace when you did your best. This journal is not only handy to research when you ate or exercised the best, it can also help you understand when you did your worst, and why you did your worst.
While we would all like to have awesome memories, the fact is, is that sometimes we forget. Sometimes the habits or actions we create become second nature to us, so much so, that we don't realize that it has become negative. In life you should also keep a journal.
This journal allows you to not only document your emotions and see how you process them, but also help you reminisce and reflect on the powerful emotions underlying what made you successful, or happy, during different periods in your life. By personal reflection, you find resolution in things you've done wrong, and restoration in things you do right.
#10 Create A Successful Environment
Sure it would be wonderful to have all your healthy meals cooked for you, and your home gym fully equipped with the latest and greatest fitness equipment, but only few can afford such luxuries. But in order to achieve success, you have to perceive success; your environment around you should scream success.
Create an environment that spurs your goal: have your food journal everywhere you go, don't buy bad foods, place your favorite fitness model on your fridge, write encouraging quotes everywhere, hang around healthy people, join a recreational sport, walk up the stairs, park really far etc. Create an environment that helps you become successful.
In life, if you want to achieve anything great, create an environment where you don't have to fiercely battle every day, because lets face it, it gets tiring to face temptation in the eye every day. Be in the company of people with similar professional, physical and personal goals.
Be in an environment that appears controlled, whether it is keeping a clean house, or fixing your bed every morning; create a mind frame that is positive and optimistic, a mind that can believe it can achieve greatness through hope and faith. Create a successful environment that loves you, so that you can love it and live in it, successfully in return.