Power to the Partner
Quite often change is hard. This is especially true if that change is “difficult” in nature. I can’t think of a better example of a “difficult” change than adding healthy decisions into your routine. Beginning an exercise routine, making better food choices and choosing to be active on a daily basis are the best changes any person can make to improve their quality of life. However, these changes can be very hard. Exercise isn’t always fun (I know, shocking), especially if you are trying to do it on your own or are trying to follow a routine out of a magazine. And really, if you are the only one in the room, who’s going to know whether you eat those veggies or not? Well if you do it right, your partner will.
I have been in the fitness industry for a while now and have watched countless New Year’s resolutioners come and go. Every year the army of people who want to change or improve their, Health, fitness level or body composition come marching in the doors of whatever gym I’m in at the time. And more often than not, even in the first week, that army decreases in size substantially. The harder someone comes out of the gates, the shorter their march to success. That is a rule that I have become used to, not to mention frustrated by. There are exceptions to every rule however, and I would like to give you a few examples of some New Year’s Revolutioners who were able to remain successful. And if the title of this post is any clue as to what each example has in common you know where I’m going with this. And you know what you can do to help yourself be successful.
#1 The Dude effect
I work on the Navy base here in Victoria as a Fitness Instructor, and I have the privilege of working petty closely with many of the members of our Forces. And believe it or not, Fitness New Year’s Resolutioners exist there too. At the start of this year we had a trio of guys start to come to our Fitness classes, in fact they were coming 5 days a week! They attend a high intensity bootcamp style class three day per week, a spin class twice per week and a flexibility class twice per week. Flex and spin happen back to back. As the rule stands, that should have lasted at most two weeks, well it actually should have been less considering the gusto with which they came out of the gates. However, here we are, mid-march and the same three guys are going strong, in fact they have recruited a couple of friends that now come with them to many of the classes. If one doesn’t want to come, the others “drag” him along and vice versa.
#2 The Van
I also run my own Personal Training and Fitness Coaching business here in Victoria (King Cobra Fit Personal Training). I always do my best to ensure that my clients are getting what they need from our sessions, are seeing the changes they expect and if I’m doing my job right, having fun while they do it. This is how I retain my clients, but sometimes having fun isn’t enough. There are close to 10 ladies that I have had the pleasure of working with for, some of them, close to two years now. They come to at least two group sessions per week and some come to three sessions per week. One of the services I launched this year is the MY Body Transformation Experience. This is a body composition change Experience that focuses on long term changes by providing support with Fitness and Nutrition as well as the Emotional aspect of this life change. One of the ladies participating in the Experience shared that, she has attempted similar changes before with only an average of two weeks of success, but at the time of our meeting it had been 8 weeks and she was still on track and working hard. I asked her what she attributed the extended success to this time. Her answer was “the van”. You see, two to three times per week, One of the ladies drives to each of the others houses and picks them up to come to class. Every week they drive to the gym together, sharing how they are feeling or commenting on the workout that day or the meal plans they have received, or whatever other topics a group of ladies speak about that a trainer isn’t privy to. Over the last year in fact, they have had to add a second vehicle to get everyone to the gym. Again, when you have a group coming to get you, you had better be ready when they get there, or you’ll get a honk.
I’m sure I don’t have to spell it out, but the point is, both of these successful groups have one thing in common and that is built in, friendly accountability. If you know that there are others counting on your support and your comradery, you are far more likely to show up, period. On the other side of that coin, if you know that there are others going through the same experience with you and they are there to support you, you can draw strength from this kind of interdependence.
Now I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t do it alone, there are some parts of the journey that must be walked alone. However, starting a change can be scary, especially if you are trying to do it alone. So, if you would like to make a change in your life, and it is something that you can share with a friend, do it, your chances of success go up dramatically. One of my clients used this Woody Allen quote the other day and I think it rings true here.
“90% of success is showing up.”
Having a system for you and your friends to follow is another important key to your success and is a topic for my next post.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time
King Cobra Fit