How to motivate yourself to get fit and lose weight forever: Part 2 – Extreme Desire

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It’s the day before go-day for most of us with lifestyle-change and weight-loss goals.

Over the last month, we’ve talked about the importance of getting enough sleep, making exercise fun, eating sensibly, managing stress and tapped the survival-aspect of motivation through vital fear. Now, it’s time for the final pieces of the puzzle…

  • Extreme Desire,
  • Belief
  • Readiness and
  • Support.

Now, on to Extreme Desire…

Vital fear gets you up off your couch. Now what? If you jump right into the nuts and bolts of your exercise plan, you are more likely to succeed than before. But, we want to deliver profound results, not small changes.

To do that, we need to further strengthen your drive with the addition of vital fear’s compliment, Extreme Desire. You know what you don’t want, now you need to find out what you do want and why. Then, you need to believe you can get it.

Step 1: Know What You Want.

You’ve gotta have a vision! Don’t’ worry, I’m not going to wander too far off into self-help-land, here. You don’t even need to call it a vision. You can call it a mission, a target or use my favorite phrase made popular in James C. Collins’ bestseller Built to Last—Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Whatever floats your boat.

The point is, you need to create a very clear, well-defined goal that is intensely personal, deeply meaningful and madly desired. This is your vision. It is grand in scope, aggressive in nature, it is not instantaneous and its attainment is not easy. It is, however, more powerful in its motivational ability than all the reasonable, measurable and easily attainable goals you have been told to pursue for years.

It is time to leave behind the modest notion that you are bound by the least common denominator and step into the world of the extraordinary. I know, that goes against everything you have ever been told or tried.

For sure, it will challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone. But let me ask you this, have any of those supposed sage teachings ever actually worked? If they did, you wouldn’t be reading this now. All I ask is that you try it. Once you do, you’ll never turn back.

Visions equal power.

Visions are capable of inspiring an unparalleled level of focus, desire, action and choice. Bill Gates, in his book The Road Ahead said,

People often ask me to explain Microsoft’s success. They want to know the secret of getting from a two man, shoestring operation to a company with 17,000 employees and more than $6 billion a year in sales. Of course, there is no simple answer, and luck played a role, but I think the most important element was our original vision.

Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie. These people didn’t set out to create a computer, a quilt, a magazine, a light bulb or a picture machine. Maybe they started that way, but once they began to believe in their abilities, they set out to change the world, theirs and ours.

The rewards of the visions they were seeking were so astonishing, so capable of infusing their lives with adventure, respect, friendship, accomplishment and vitality that they were willing to make them lifelong priorities. And the impact they would leave on the world would serve as an extraordinary legacy. This is the power of a vision and it applies equally in your ability to transform your body and health.

Indeed, for most of you, the smaller you think, the faster you will fail!

For years, you’ve been told to break your goal into small chunks and forget about the long-term challenge. Take baby steps, that way you won’t get spooked or let down. Guess what else you won’t get…thin, healthy and happy! Use your own experience as proof.

It takes the same effort, the same restraint, the same sacrifice on a day to day basis to lose five pounds as it does to lose 50. Day in and day out, you’ve got to work out, eat less, resist cravings and urges and restructure your life…and for what? To lose five or 10 pounds?! Be serious. Five or 10 pounds?!

I’m sorry, but, with the exception of a precious few, that number is likely so meaningless in the context of what it will do to your life that it will never be able to motivate you to consistently make and act upon the right choices for very long.

If the answer is, however, to lose 30, 50 or 150 pounds, to regain your own and your wife’s respect, to be desirable again for the first time in 15 years, to not die young and to be fit enough to devour life, now you’ve got a vision capable of inspiring sustained, intelligent action. This is not to say that small, short-term goals are useless, but the real importance of these milestones is to continually fuel the belief that your ultimate vision can and will be had. Grand actions require grand visions!

What stops people from thinking grand?

Simply put, fear and conditioning. You fear being judged a “dreamer” when you go public with your seemingly fantastic vision and then being dubbed a failure if you don’t make it happen. This fear is, in fact, very often based on a belief, ingrained for years or even decades, that you are not able to succeed at anything grand and desirable.

For your whole life, you have been told to walk a steady path, live a centered life, do everything in moderation and avoid risk. Risk. It’s a dirty word!

Avoiding it shields you from the pain of the lows when you fail. But it also leads to a far greater tragedy. It purges your life of the outrageous highs, those moments that make life extraordinary, when you succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt said:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. (Paris Sorbonne, 1910)

And, more simply, from Bob Dylan, “Those who are not busy being born are busy dying.” The point is this, the real genius of great visionaries is not brilliance in the technical sense of the word. Rather it is the ability to put their fears on the shelf, break from the notion that they must be mediocre, dare to think huge and then continually take action on their visions. For a rare few, this comes naturally.

For you, this outrageous mindset will come from the process you are in right now. In my book, The Long Hard Fix (download it free when you subscribe to this blog), you will learn the skills, knowledge and day-by-day plan of action that will allow you to take your first giant step toward life-altering change in your body, weight, health and life. But, first, you must define exactly where you are going.

What exactly do you want?

Everyone wants to lose weight, be more desirable, sexually attractive, healthier and stronger, more productive at work, more confident and respected and agile enough to participate aggressively in life. The power of your vision, however, is in the details.

It must be intensely personal, deeply desired, clearly defined and dramatic for the time frame! As dramatic as safety, physics and physiology will permit. Lose 25 pounds in 12 weeks and never regain it, cut 75 pounds in a year, lose 50 pounds and finish a marathon or dramatically change your health risk profile.

These are certainly life-renewing, they’re challenging, they push the envelope and they are doable. Losing 250 pounds in 12 months, however, or running a three-minute mile are beyond the realm of what is either safe or physically possible.

I break visions into 12-week periods. Many of you will have a vision that, pursued passionately, may be achieved in its entirety in 12 weeks. For you, this program will be a vehicle to not only foster your belief in this method, but also to achieve your ultimate vision.

If your quest requires a longer time frame, though, for example, losing 100 pounds, don’t cheat yourself by giving up just because you can’t accomplish the whole thing in only 12 weeks.

Create your vision statement.

In just a minute, I reveal the questions you’ll need to answer to build your health, lifestyle and weight-loss vision. Answer them with zest. Make your vision aggressive and intelligent for the timeframe. Then create a second vision statement for your Ultimate vision. Use your first Vision Statement as the foundation to launch into a series of 12-week visions as you storm toward your Ultimate Vision

Reality Check. “This is idiotic!” you say, “What happened to the real world approach?” Not so fast. What if I rephrased all this vision “stuff” in terms of business?

You wake up in the middle of night in a sweat. Your mind is literally buzzing with excitement. You’ve been working on this idea for a business and, somehow, in your subconscious, it all started to click. But the concept is still very general. You can feel in your bones that this may be the big one, the grand idea that changes your life forever. The one that makes you rich beyond your wildest dreams and excited to go to work every day.

So, what do you do? Do you walk into your $150,000 a year investment banking job the next morning, pull your boss aside and say, “I’m outta here, little man! I’ve got a fuzzy concept that just might make me rich!” Or, do you spend a little more time thinking about this concept, fleshing it out, defining it, testing it to see whether you believe in its long term potential and then writing it down in detail?

Enough said. If it helps, look at your vision statement as the mission statement in an ultra-growth, entrepreneurial business plan.

ACTION SECTION: Define Your Vision Statement.

Focus on the next twelve weeks and ask this question.

“If I believed I could succeed wildly at a dramatic change, what would my body, health and life look like?”

Remember, think grand but physically possible. Glance through the questions below and return. Keeping the questions in your mind, create a very detailed picture of what you will look and feel like and be capable of after 12 incredible weeks.

This is your Vision Statement. Make it color, bring it up close. Then, if you have an ultimate vision that goes beyond 12 weeks, create a second vision statement to capture its power. Now, go back down to the questions and write:

Guidelines: For weight loss, use one to two pounds a week as a guide. For muscle gain, add one pound of muscle a month. For aerobic challenges, five to 10% improvement a month is challenging but achievable.

Describe in detail what you will look like after succeeding wildly on this program.

  • What are you wearing? What size is it? How does it fit?
  • How much weight will you lose?
  • What will you weigh?
  • What will you be able to do after 12 weeks that you cannot do now?
  • How will your health profile change in just 12 short weeks? (resting heart rate, BP, disease risks, HDL/LDL, cholesterol, blood glucose).
  • How will you feel about yourself after achieving your vision?
  • How will others see you?
  • How will your spouse’s, partner’s or lover’s perception of you change?
  • What other dramatic changes will you achieve in weeks?

Record your Vision Statement in spoken form. Using an audio cassette recorder or other digital voice recorder, read your answers to the above questions, one at a time, as you record your Vision Statement. You may play music that you enjoy in the background. We will use this tape/recording every day in the 12-week plan of action.

Step 2: You’ve Gotta Know Why Your’e Doing it.

What you want is the door, believing you can get it is the lock, but why you want it is the key. You can bang your head on the door all you want, without the key, you’re stuck with a wish and a headache. When you understand why you want your vision, then the pursuit of that vision becomes not just dramatic, but meaningful, and that creates intense, behavior-altering desire.

Back in my personal training days, many clients came to me and said, “I want to lose 30 pounds” and then I ask why. They look at me like I’m crazy. “What do you mean ‘why,’ because I want to be skinny.” And then I ask again “why.”

Usually, they take a few more moments to answer this. It seems so obvious, but this is the question nobody asks. Maybe your workaholic, overweight colleague is suffering through cardiovascular disease and you, being in the same boat, are scared. Maybe you are sad because you feel undesirable at your current weight. Maybe you are upset that you struggle for the energy to be more involved in your child’s play. The reality is, the reason is different for everyone and it gets down to emotions not beliefs.

ACTION SECTION:

Return to your Vision Statement. Then answer these questions…

  • Why is it so important that you succeed?
  • How will it make you FEEL!!!?
  • What will this complete physical transformation give you that you want so badly?
  • WHY MUST YOU SUCCEED?

Write it down:Now, go one step further. Why is what you just wrote vitally important to you? If you cannot open up enough to answer this question, you will very likely not succeed at your vision.

Step 3: Critical Belief–believe you can succeed

O.K. You know what want you want and why you want it now. You can taste your wildest fantasy. So, why aren’t you bouncing off the walls with excitement? Probably, because you don’t really believe you will succeed yet. Here is the challenge, if you can muster even the smallest belief in your ability to succeed this time, then, maybe for the first time ever, your vision becomes possible. But, without that belief, you cannot succeed. The reason is simple.

Belief drives consistency.

And consistency, not magic foods or exercises, as so many would have you believe, is the difference between wild success and devastating failure. To achieve a massive vision, physical or otherwise, you will be criticized, laughed at and challenged along the way. You will stumble, make mistakes and have a thousand mini-challenges. And, you will need to make a choice each day, believe you can succeed or not.

If you believe you can succeed, you will take the actions every day that are necessary to attain results. The more you see results, the stronger you believe in your ability to succeed and the more committed to your endeavor you become. This launches a belief/results cycle that inspires ever-increasing action, delivers phenomenal results and fuels an unstoppable mindset.

If, however, you choose to not to believe in your ability to succeed, then each challenge will bring less inspired, more sporadic exercise and poorer nutrition choices. This, in turn, will yield unremarkable results that further deteriorate your belief in success and lead to even less action and commitment. This destructive cycle spirals you quickly into completely abandoning your endeavor. It virtually ensures failure, even in the context of a program that, followed doggedly, would have yielded dramatic results.

No matter what all the quick-fixers tell you, massive change brings massive challenge. To succeed, you need to accept the fact that your success or failure is not a matter of fate, but of choice, and you need to choose to believe in your ability to succeed.

But how do you create that belief if its just not there?

As far as you are concerned you’ve got an ironclad reason not to believe you can do this. “Its frickin’ impossible!” You’ve tried a million times and failed! Why is it any different now? Because, as you will learn in a moment, your disbelief is grounded not in intelligent experience, but in a frighteningly powerful mind trick created by years of failing at ineffective solutions. Let’s use the case of the four-minute mile as an example.

For years, the international running community believed that running a mile in under four minutes was a physical impossibility. Thousands of the most elite, well-trained runners in the world had tried and failed. The human body, people believed, was just not designed to permit such a speed. It was, for all intents and purposes, impossible.

Then, one day in 1954, a man named Roger Bannister stepped onto the track and shattered the four-minute mark, proving to the world that human beings did, indeed, have the ability to run that fast. In the year that followed, 37 more broke the four-minute barrier and a year after that, 300 more followed. Today, thousands have done it.

What allowed all of these people to magically do what had previously been thought to be impossible? It wasn’t a change in physiology or training. It was, in fact, that, in one defining moment, their falsely-held limiting beliefs were destroyed and replaced with a belief in their ability to succeed and a relentless drive to share in the glory.

This same paradigm applies to dramatic weight loss and physical change.

For decades, you and most everyone you know have failed miserably every time you tried to get lean and fit. All this failure has led you to believe that dramatic weight loss is simply impossible, no matter how hard you try. But, here is the catch, just like the sub-four minute mile, it’s not that it can’t be done, rather, it is that you’ve never seen it done or been given the opportunity to experience success yourself. I will introduce you to the thousands of Roger Bannisters of the weight loss world who will obliterate your limiting belief, prove that your vision is eminently possible and then I will give you the tools to achieve it.

Starting to sound a little like Saturday morning TV hooey, right? Not quite! Listen, I’m a New Yorker. And, in addition to being an lifestyle/business-coach, I’m also a businessman, a recovering-lawyer and possibly the world’s biggest skeptic. Indeed, many of my clients have come to me with the same mindset.

In developing my approach to lifetyle-evolution, I’ve had to be sure the information is so powerful and so true that even the biggest skeptics believe it and build upon it. There are armies of motivational speakers, therapists, gurus and others touting hundreds of different methods to re-program your mind for success, to make you believe. These include thought-stopping, affirmations, neuro-linguistic programming, biofeedback and meditation, among others.

Over the years, I have experimented with many of these techniques with an open mind and, indeed, many of them work. The problem is this, to the average New Yorker, they are the Amway of positive thinking. There may be some real benefit, but most people I know get hives and run screaming the second you broach the idea.

I remember running early one morning with a client as he recounted a story about his sister. The two grew up in a small town in upstate New York. He moved down to the city and she stayed. A few years ago, she was up early one morning and caught a motivational infomercial. She ordered the program, followed each step like clockwork and achieved every one of her goals within six months.

She got a great job, a husband, a car and a new house. After telling me this story, my client added, “the funny is, if she lived in New York City, it never would have worked. We’re too smart for that crap!” Well, this program has been designed for all us “smart” folks.

It’s time to believe you can succeed.

What would it take to undo years of belief meltdown, overcome fear and make you believe you can achieve wild success? I posed this question to our team of 1,400 online challengers and the top four answers were:

  1. Seeing others succeed,
  2. Believing in a specific method,
  3. Visualizing success and
  4. Tasting personal success.

So, here we go:

Meet the Roger Bannisters of the Weight Loss World.

Thousands of regular people have been able to do what you think is impossible! While you and others have tried and failed countless times, thousands of others just like you have succeeded wildly at dramatic, lasting weight loss and physical conditioning. We need only look to the 3,000+ names on the National Weight Control Registry as proof.

These are people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for over a year. In fact, most people on the list have lost closer to 60 pounds and kept it off for more than five years. Just like you, they tried so many times before and failed. Yet, they didn’t give up. They all realized the problem was not that it couldn’t be done, but that they simply hadn’t found the right method yet.

So, they kept trying until they found what worked and, as a rule, they didn’t turn to the “fad diet du jour” to succeed. They implemented sensible, personalized lifestyle change programs and reconditioned their minds to succeed. These documented successes tell us one thing, anyone who says it’s not possible is just plain wrong! It is possible, very possible, the real question is not “if,” but “how!”

The mindset-driven method works: I have worked with, mentored and directed the transformation programs of more than 1,500 people who tried and failed so many times before. Fantastic results are possible, they happen, it is just a matter of finding the right guide and the right approach.

Testimonials: Read the stories in The Long Hard Fix from others just like you. You will meet friends who are succeeding using the very same program every day and, of course, we encourage you to share your stories as well.

Visualize success: By the time you complete Part 2, you will have created a very powerful set of visualization resources that will help cultivate a sustained belief in your vision. We will tell you how to use them in greater detail in the 12-week plan of action.

Seeing and hearing about thousands of people just like you who have done what you believed was impossible opens you up to the fact that a massive change is possible. But, for many, it doesn’t leave you completely convinced that you can do what they have done. That is O.K.

For now, it is enough just to have broken your belief that you are doomed to failure. Once you begin to implement the lifestyle changes in this book and program, your own results will prove, beyond any doubt, that you, too, have found an intelligent, no-holds-barred methodology that will allow you to recreate your body and health for life. For now, all I ask is that you remain open to the possibility, commit to your quest and let these next twelve weeks be your proof.

This is the final step in cultivating your Extreme Desire.

You know exactly what you want, you know why you want it and, now, you believe that it is possible to succeed and you will let your results continue to fuel that belief. With the cultivation of your vital fear and extreme desire, you are now equipped with two outrageously effective tools for success. But, we add a few more pieces to your toolbox before you head off to the lifestyle renovation zone.

So, here you are all dressed up for the ball, but…

Readiness: are you really ready to lose weight?

Are you ready to allocate anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes a day, every day, to exercise?

All the great attitude in the world won’t make you lean and fit if you are not willing and able to give a certain amount of time and energy to your quest every single day. This is no easy feat. Our most precious commodity is no longer money, but time.

As a beginning personal trainer many years ago, one of my greatest challenges was to get people to allocate time to exercise when I was not with them on their off days. Clients would continually tell me they wanted to go for a run, but just didn’t have time. So before you kick off your grand adventure, you have to make a choice. Is your transformation important enough that you are ready to give up a small chunk of your most precious commodity every day. No rain delays, no running late, no big meeting. Are you willing to make this as great a priority as your job?

If not, then you might as well stop right here.

But if the reason is that you think you just don’t have the time, I’ll tell you right here, right now, you are wrong, dead wrong.

Take the example of the now legendary queen of the internet digerati, Esther Dyson. Dyson was one of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley. She founded Edventure Holdings, invested hundreds of millions in and helped grow some of the most famous dot.coms in the country and headed up the worldwide standards committee for the internet, ICANN.

Dyson also flew a reported 250,000 miles a year. That is 5,000 miles a week. If anyone had a valid excuse for ‘blowing off’ exercise, it would be Dyson. But, even with her excruciatingly busy schedule, as she has reported many times, she spent one hour, every single morning at 4:00a.m., swimming. That’s right, swimming!

Dyson was, unequivocally, one of the busiest people on the planet. If she can do it, anyone can, because time is never really about time, it is about priorities.

The “I don’t have time” excuse really translates to “this is not a high enough priority for me to fit it into my day.”

We assign priority based on how much joy, power and ability a particular activity or person adds to our lives. In the case of exercise, most people associate the endeavor with feelings of boredom, discomfort and stress.

We have been bombarded for years with activities that are maniacally mind-numbing and that take us away from other things that we perceive having a higher priority, like work and family. And as much as the fitness culture would have us believe otherwise, we have trouble buying into the notion that the act itself can add joy, power and ability to our lives in any meaningful way. As a result, exercise ends up low down on the priority list and we don’t make time in our days for it.

In my recent article, How to make exercise more fun than sex, you learned an approach to exercise that dismantles your belief that exercise must, by its very nature, be devastatingly dull. You actually learned a way to move that will add joy to your life.

This change alone will raise exercise many rungs on your priority ladder and make it worthy of your precious time. But, beyond this, you must also understand that..

Exercise is the oil that keeps your engine running…

while you voraciously consume all the challenges, joys and richness that work and family bring.

And, just like a fine racing machine, the harder and longer you drive without it, the more likely you are to experience tramatic engine failure!

I have worked with some of the busiest, highest profile professionals and celebrities in the world. These are people whose time is so in demand they could easily work 24-hour days and not do half the things they would like. I have also worked with young mothers raising kids, keeping a house and working part time jobs.

Somehow, when shown how critical exercise was, they all found ways to bring a daily program of health into their lives. Plain and simple, they made a choice. They decided that no matter how much time their jobs demanded, their health was a priority. They realized the one thing that allowed them to push so hard and spend so much time on other areas of their lives was the fact that they had bodies that could take the punishment.

They also were intelligent enough to see the flip side of that equation.

That the very body that allowed them to work so hard was, in fact, beginning to fall apart, and without this body, they had no career and, indeed, no life. So they made time. And do you know what they realized, without fail? The world waited for them! The deals got done, the kids got picked up, the cases were won and at the end of the day, they got to bask in the peace of mind that came with renewed health, a leaner body and a revitalized existence.

Are you ready yet?

Are you ready to make exercise a priority and commit the time and the energy? Here is one last tidbit, just in case you are still on the fence. You know how people are always telling you that you can get so much more done when you are fit? Well, here some interesting proof.

NASA studied a group of employees to determine how exercise affected their productivity. They found that the employees who exercised were twice as productive during the last two hours of their eight-hour day as those who did not. What does that mean? NASA’s fit employees accomplished in seven hours what unfit employees accomplished in eight. Guess what, that gave them an extra hour to exercise every day! The message is that you really do operate on a higher level at work when you exercise regularly. In a way, exercise creates time.

Now, are you willing to make this a priority?

To commit 30 to 60 minutes a day during the week and 30 to 90 minutes a day on the weekends to pursue your outrageous transformation? If the answer is yes, then lets go. If not, I encourage you to revisit the last section on Desire. There is simply no justification for the excuse that goes “I don’t have time.” Find it!

Support and accountability: the final piece.

Nobody, not even the greatest professional or athletic visionary, does it alone. A 1999 University of Pittsburgh study demonstrated this point beautifully in the area of health promotion and weight loss. In that study, only 24% of the participants who lost weight without social support kept it off for six months, compared to 66% for those who lost weight with social support.

We are no different. Our effort is greatly enhanced by the recruitment of a team to support your effort. Indeed, any program you choose to follow will be vastly more successful with the help of others. From these allies, you will draw support, encouragement and guidance and to them you will, at least in the beginning, be held accountable. That’s right, accountable! As much as you are beginning to believe you can succeed, at least in the beginning, you may need a little help staying the course.

Your Inner Circle

Your inner circle should include a small group of friends, family and close colleagues. These people will be your basic support network. You will need to explain to them that you are about to embark on a quest that is very important to you and would like them to help you stay true to your plan, at least in the beginning. Tell them a little about the plan and its demands and ask that, as part of your team, they regularly ask you about it and monitor your compliance and encourage you.

Request that they suspend judgment and simply be there to support you. Remember that these people might not understand or believe in the program because of the fear and programming for mediocrity we all battle with. Actually, for this reason, I very strongly encourage you to enact this program along with a friend or small group of friends and strive for your visions together. If you cannot find them nearby, look for them on the community boards at our website.

Who will make up your Inner Circle?


ACTION SECTION:
Choose five people who will make up your Inner Circle.

1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________
4. ___________________________
5. ___________________________

Your Mentor.

Almost without fail, great businesspeople will point to a mentor as a key element in their success. A mentor must be sincere, insightful and willing to take an active role in your journey. She must also be credible. Credibility comes from conviction, clarity, sincerity, intelligence and a history of prior success.

These are elements that I have tried to bring to each of my personal clients over the years and my speaking audiences. This approach to lifestyle evolution has been designed to allow you to rely largely on the lessons in the articles I’ve shared, the book I am giving you for free when you subscribe to this blog and the forum created by this blog for much of the knowledge and inspiration provided by a mentor.

These all will serve, to a great extent, as your teacher and your guide as you progress through quest. I’d also strongly encourage you find qualified experts in health, fitness and lifestyle to seek advice from.

Experts in the Field.

Very few of us are experts in the area of our vision. When Thomas Edison was working on the light bulb, he kept failing until he brought in a more educated young electrical engineer. Richard Branson created a music and aeronautical empire without knowing how to cut an album or fly a 747. They saw fantastic opportunity, but knew that to succeed on a grand scale, they would need to rely upon others who are experts in the many different specialties that make up their vision. Well, your quest is no different.

I’ve drawn upon my experience transforming bodies and lives to provide a selection of highly effective activities that may be combined in a different way for each person to produce maximum gains and create a plan that may be continued for life. And, I have enlisted the counsel of my wife, Stephanie, and numerous other experts over the years.
As you begin to develop a better understanding of your body, your activities and your nutrition, however, you may desire more personalized guidance from specialists in the activities you have chosen or from experienced nutrition professionals who may further refine your program to ensure safety and accelerate your results. And, I encourage that level of investment in guidance strongly.

Surround Yourself With Success.

Find people who have already achieved physical transformations or who are further into the process than you. Make these people a part of your daily life. This is a prime rule of business visionaries, but when it comes to our personal life, we do the opposite.

Why? Because being around fit, lean, energetic people is a constant reminder of personal failure when you are not pursuing your own physical vision. It makes you uncomfortable.

Newsflash! When you are aggressively pursuing your program, you won’t feel intimidated any more, you’ll feel connected and supported. Take a chance and try it! Return to basic rules of business super achievement. Surround yourself with health achievers and use them as resources and your intimidation and fear will very quickly fade. In fact, you will be amazed at how much respect and friendship these other achievers will begin to show you once they see how genuine your effort is.

There is another big reason to surround yourself with success. In creating and pursuing a powerful vision, you will be pursuing the very thing that has eluded and terrified the vast majority of people. Misery loves company and if others see you trying to succeed, it may make them uncomfortable being around you. Their response may be to attack you so you fail and make them feel better.

This often is not a conscious effort and it happens with eerie frequency among spouses and family members. Most people have never created or achieved huge success, because they’ve never had access to, or belief in, a method that would walk them step by step through the journey. So, they don’t understand how very possible it is and they will have trouble supporting it.

Constructive criticism is great, but the impact of destructive criticism can be stifling. Once your critics actually see you flying down the road to success, they will beg to know how you are doing it. Your achievement will be your biggest advocate. But until, then, the presence of positive, success-oriented friends will help keep you focused and put criticism in perspective.

Create Accountability.

What is the single greatest value of all of these people? External accountability! It is the same reason that most people go to a personal trainer: to have someone to whom they are held accountable. It is an essential and powerful element of your quest.

Your Inner Circle will know about your activities, your desires and your plan. Make sure you choose people who you not only trust, but also who you know are strong enough to play an active role and not just allow you to stray. They will have the task of checking up on you and holding you to your plan until your results become self-motivating.

This will not take long. Once you begin to experience results, your belief in your ability to achieve your vision will grow stronger and, along with your desire, become a powerful motivator.

Maximize your environment.

Now that your Inner Circle is in place, it is time to focus on your physical environment, your home and your office. Take a look around these locations. As you do, you will notice a variety of foods and other items that will conspire to taunt you into straying from your vision. Well, its time to clean house and do a little rearranging.

Get rid of all the foods you know are subject to impulsive consumption. You know, the celery, the carrot sticks and the sprouts. Just kidding. Don’t we all wish these were our craving foods.

Clear out your cupboards and make a commitment to keep them healthy during the program and thereafter. That goes for your office cupboards as well. Even if you allow these foods in your program, don’t keep entire packages of them in your home or office. More on this later.

Download your free 84-day plan and journal this week.

If you’ve read all the articles in my lifestyle-evolution series over the last month, you should be pretty well prepared to get going with your quest tomorrow. You can apply everything you’ve learned to nearly any sensible lifestyle-change or weight loss “plan.”

But, as I’ve mentioned, many of these articles have been adapted from my first book from 2000, The Long Hard Fix.

That book also includes a detailed 12-week nutrition and exercise plan and an 84-day journal. It’s not the perfect plan for every person, because, as I’ve mentiioned before, that one-size-fits-all plan does not exist. But, it’s pretty robust and will be highly-effective for a lot of people.

And, when you subscribe to this blog by the end of this week (Jan 3, 2008), I will include a download link to an e-book version FOR FREE as a New Year’s gift.

No scams, no up-sells, nothing, it’s just a gift, pure and simple.

Make this blog your inner circle.

As you guys all know, I’ve got some cleaning up of my own lifestyle to do, as well, so I’ll be immersing myself in my own 84-day quest. And, I’ll be reporting back on my progress, my challenges, my discoveries and opening the journey up for questions right here on the blog every Friday for the next 12-week. I invite you to keep checking back, sharing the journey and cultivating a community of support and accountability for everyone who wants to finally make this year different.

Also, please feel to pass this article around and rally your friends to create your own local lifestyle evolution teams, too.

To all who aspire to accept what is wonderful and human about themselves and evolve that which holds them back, I wish you massive success!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and stories in the comment section below…

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5 responses

5 responses to “How to motivate yourself to get fit and lose weight forever: Part 2 – Extreme Desire”

  1. Adeline says:

    BELIEF is so powerful. I’ve been working with this concept and it truly is powerful – when I think I am struggling, I try to find the source and almost always its in my mind (my thoughts)…not in my physical, emotional and intellectual ability; my legs are still running and my lungs are still breathing – its my mind that is saying I can’t go on. I have all that I need to be successful in achieving my goals in many areas of my life – I just need to believe it to my core.

    “Believe it and you can achieve it.”

    Priorities – yes, I need to make what I love to do a priority in my life and let the mundane wait until I’m done. I’ve created a vision board to keep me focused – seeing it every morning helps set the tone for the day. I’ve added some quotes to it…BELIEVE is now on it.

    Support – we all need support, even if we are great at supporting others. This is a great opportunity to share and support each other.

    Thanks Jonathan.

  2. Allan Moult says:

    You’ve got the “Those who are not busy being born are busy dying” quote wrongly attributed. It comes from Bob Dylan – not Dillan.

    A minor quibble in an inspiring piece of writing.

  3. sarena says:

    J, did I tell you I am competing in my first Olifting meet in early Feb. Talk about a vision…
    How about it, mentor?? Time for some guided meditation?

  4. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Adeline- belief is the biggest key for me and also the toughest challenge to cultivate. But, when you do, nothing is impossible!

    @ Allan – Thanks for the catch, man! Will fix it asap! That’s what happens when you write with one eye open! 😉

    @ Sarena – awesome!

  5. Anton says:

    Great post.

    Despite what most people think, motivation is NOT a feeling, but something you do. Successful people don’t wake up everyday thinking “wow, I’m so motivated! I can’t wait to attack the day!”. Instead, they just do it. Doing whatever is necessary to get the job done becomes a habit, and therefore motivation is just a prolonged effort to reach the goals that you originally set sight on…day in, day out. When starting something new, just about everyone comes out guns a blazing, but the real secret to long term success to just show up – and don’t quit. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people come into the gym I train at, start spouting off how bad they want to improve or that they maybe even want to fight competitively someday, suddenly disappear after only a few weeks. That’s why its so important to first recognize WHY you want to achieve a certain goal, and then establish what NEEDS to be done day in, day out to reach that desired goal. And then just do it. There will be good days and bad days, but mostly a whole bunch of average days. Just make sure to PLAN AHEAD and realize that you’re not going to “have it” everyday – the best learn to fake it when its not there.