This is not your usual New Year’s Resolution post (and not just because it’s the third week of January…). No resolutions will be made. Nor will there be any mention of S.M.A.R.T. goals.
In my experience, most resolutions and fitness goals tend to be superficial, guided by ’needs’, ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ (“I need to lose 20 pounds”) rather than a true understanding of what will really make a difference in the goal-setter’s life and how they’ll feel when they finally achieve them (“I’ll feel strong and self-confident and know that I can tackle any problem life throws at me”).
I call this ‘finding your why’ (and have written an e-book that just might help you find yours; download your free copy here) and encourage my clients to dig a little deeper and uncover theirs when setting new fitness goals and intentions.
Recently, I attended an all-day workshop based on Danielle Laporte’s best-selling book, The Desire Map: A guide to Creating Goals with Soul.
The book is based on her experience helping life-coaching clients and entrepreneurs find clarity around the question “how do I want to feel in my life?”.
She argues that what we’re all really striving for is more ‘good’ feelings and that knowing how you want to feel is the most powerful way to achieve your life goals and dreams. Sure, resolutions and goals and intentions are fine, but marry them to the feelings you’d like to experience and the sky’s’ the limit.
You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you ~ Danielle Laporte
The book outlines a series of exercises designed to help the reader ‘get clear’ on those feelings they want to experience (their ‘Core Desired Feelings’) in five areas of their life, one of which is Body & Wellness (and includes things like fitness, food, rest and relaxation, mental health and movement). Part of the process is winnowing the list of CDF’s down to just three (three! I started with a list of 20!) and exploring what one might do (i.e., create an action plan) to experience more of those feelings on a daily basis.
I could write a novel about the workshop I attended and how I came up with my three Core Desired Feelings. But because this is a fitness website and most of you won’t stick around for more than about 800 words I’ll limit this post to sharing my ‘feeling words’ with you, explaining how they’re relevant to my fitness goals and talking a bit about how I intend to get more of those feelings in 2015.
WARNING: The following is a bit more ‘touchy-feely’ than most of the posts on this site. Tread lightly
Appreciation: Working in this fitness industry, it’s easy to get sucked into comparing yourself with others. There will always be people who can run faster, lift heavier, do more pushups and look better in a bathing suit than I do. I need to practice appreciating my current level of fitness. Allowing myself to feel good about what’s going well, rather than focussing on what still needs work. That doesn’t mean being complacent and ‘settling’. It just means “meeting myself where I’m at”.
Connection: While it may sound strange given that I work in a social fitness environment (and that I’m always encouraging others to ‘find their tribe’), I don’t have a fitness tribe of my own. When I exercise with friends, I’m the ‘trainer’. When I participate in other instructors’ group fitness classes, I’m a colleague. When I exercise on my own, I’m trainer/friend/colleague/gym staff. I want to feel like I’m part of a group. People who are all looking to inspire, motivate and support one another to achieve more. I experienced this sense of connection and community several years ago when I trained at another facility. I’m looking into going back.
Ease: While fitness is already a habit for me, there are still some road blocks preventing me from making the process simple and automatic. This year I’m looking for ‘ease’. Not to be confused with ‘easy’, ease is all about reducing the activation energy required to make things happen. That means working on a program that’s designed specifically for me, perhaps by another trainer at the facility I mentioned above (personal trainers need personal trainers too). It also means creating a workout schedule for myself that’s impervious to my clients’ requests for extra sessions or changes in their training times.
And because the best way to get more of the feelings you want is to create those feelings in others, I’ll also be focusing on mirroring Appreciation, Connection and Ease;
- Although feel very appreciative of my clients and class participants, I need to verbalize that appreciation more by letting them know that I value their energy, enthusiasm, perseverance and presence in my life.
- I want to create more of a feeling of connection in my group fitness peeps by ensuring that everybody feels welcome in my classes. I’m going to focus on learning new participants’ names and expanding my circle of focus within the class to include participants I don’t already know well (Krys and Linda, that means you’ll be off the hook…).
- Creating a feeling of ease for others by providing simple and clear cut instructions and meeting my clients where they are, not where I think they should be.
Now it’s your turn.
I challenge you to identify 2 or 3 feelings around fitness and health that you’d like to experience more of in 2015.
What will you do to get them? How might they help you achieve the goals and resolutions you’ve set for yourself?
Disclaimer: I have an Affiliate Marketing relationship with Amazon.com. That means that if you click on the text link below the image of the book “The Desire Map” and feel compelled to purchase your own copy (which I highly recommend, Affiliate Relationship or not), I’ll receive a small fee. It’s very small and doesn’t affect your purchase price at all. Thanks for your support!