11.jpgIf you had the ability to succeed in any healthy avenue you desired, would you take the opportunity? Of course you would! We all want lifestyle results, but few understand how to see the process through to the end. Somehow everything always starts out great, and then ends up fizzling out with a weak whimper.

Right now, you may have a serious health problem, you need to lose weight or simply attain a better quality of life because of injury, weakness or pain. Any goal that moves you in a positive direction is commendable. Problem is, talking about it won’t do it. In the end, results require action.

So before setting off on your journey, be careful not to make snap decisions. Clearly define your goals and ask yourself honestly, how am I going to lose the extra weight, regain health or overcome an injury? Among the thousands of diets available, which is best? What type of foods or herbs help the body overcome illness? And what exercise therapy is best suited to your injury?

Without a plan, you’re directionless. It’s like starting a business without understanding your core clientele, specifics of investments, products, advertising, location, or whether you require employees. Every day thousands commit business suicide in just such a way, ending up mired in debt.

So if you don’t want to “Kamikaze” your way into your new lifestyle venture, put together a business plan for your body. Put some serious thought into your training, nutrition, and lifestyle choices because they’re supposed to be long-term. Forget about the 12 week body makeover you saw advertised. If it doesn’t teach you lifelong habits, then it’s another lazy approach that reflect in your long-term results. Why fail time after time? It’s all about the amount of research and effort you put into mapping out your journey to build a base to weather problems and concerns. 

Map The Journey: Your Body Business Plan

The first question you have to ask is, “Where are you today and what do you hope to accomplish?” Be realistic in your expectations. Goals that are too small don’t inspire. Goals that are too big can leave you deflated if not met.

Detail a road map of what you want to accomplish in your lifestyle journey. If weight loss, how much? Set small, realistic monthly goals of 8-10 pounds and meet them. Don’t fudge on your eating. Don’t skip your workouts. No one will hand you the victory if you don’t move your own rear end. Get into a gym, join a fitness class, pop in a CD, go running — anything that works for you. If you can’t motivate yourself that much, hire a trainer to kick your rear end. Do something, anything to get started and stick to it.

If you have an illness, either research to overcome it or hire a competent nutritionist to help you adjust your eating to regain bodily balance. Whole foods are powerful and should be your first line of not only defence, but also offence to overcome. Many whole food nutritional products have a powerful alkaline kick to help along the way. Don’t wait – do it. Don’t expect a pill to get rid of your ill, that’s not the way the body works. You will always have to rob Peter to pay Paul. Drugs have powerful side effects that are criminally minimized to patients.

If you’re injured, then find out how to overcome the injury. There are many natural modalities available that help with pain – chiropractic, acupuncture  physiotherapy, kinesiology, massage therapists or personal trainers with specialties in injury. Being in the business of movement, I’m naturally biased towards a strong body being able to overcome almost anything you can throw at it. Exercise therapy helps the body regain strength, balance, and coordination, lost movement patterns, and motor function, as well as strengthening connective tissue and helping overcome muscle imbalances. 

If you don’t know where to turn, then research. A lazy approach will get you a lazy return of information. I can put in a couple of good hours research and find almost anything today — who does what, when and where, as well as who is best in a given field. Hire that person and stick to them like glue, sponging information and skill shamelessly until your goals are met.

Burn The Boats

OK, now you’re determined to move ahead, you’ve researched and have a detailed plan. You’re motivated, excited and ready to go – except you don’t! What’s missing? Despite your best intentions and a determined commitment to a detailed blueprint for success, you find your initial motivation has suddenly taken a stroll and you’re left with fear and doubt. Can you really do this? Should you and what if you really don’t succeed? What you thought was an unwavering commitment is now nothing more than a tepid decision to quit. It’s natural to have doubts when trying something new and your reasons may seem valid to you, but don’t give in! You’re simply not trusting your initial judgment to get healthier. You’ve now left debating the merits of the entire venture on doubt — a feeling, rather than following the previous logical steps. 

So how will you get over this hump? There is a way and it will undoubtedly secure you victory. But it’s going to require a big leap of faith. You have to “ burn the boats,” so to speak. Imitate the legend of Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes who in the early 1500’s defeated the Aztecs in Mexico. He set sail on the final leg of an ocean voyage that took him from Cuba to the distant shores of the Yucatan, commanding 11 ships with 500 soldiers and 100 sailors. He and his men undertook the outlandish adventure to plunder the world’s greatest treasures of rare jewels, gold, silver, and sculptures. It was an amazing notion, to conquer an empire so extensive in its territories, with so few men, that it could be undertaken only by those with a death wish. So because it was extremely dangerous, and to guarantee success, Cortez decided to do something so outrageous it shocked his crew to the bone. He ordered his men to commit gaining the treasure by burning the boats they sailed on. That’s right, there was no more turning back, it was succeed or die. 

We know today that Cortes’ decision to burn his boats panned out. He became the first man in 600 years to successfully conquer Mexico. Was this act a mock dramatization of bravery, or a cleverly constructed strategy? Cortes had enough knowledge of human nature to understand that having one foot in the boat was simply an exit strategy and doing so would always amount to not fully committing to the pillaging ahead. He, like other great generals of the past, eradicated any notion of retreat from the minds of his troops and had them commit unwaveringly to victory. In such a case, defeat is no longer an option.

What do you think such a strategy does to your level of commitment – when victory is the only option – when what you’re doing is irrevocable? That’s called a brilliant strategy, and you will succeed because you’re committed to succeed. When starting your new health lifestyle, burn the boats (baggy outfits?), buy a long-term gym membership, get rid of junk food at home and buy healthy options, or hire a personal trainer for a lengthier period of time. All these are firm decisions that require commitment. You’re simply headed in one direction only – forward – because the boats (your comfort zone) are at the bottom of the ocean.

Without a long-term mindset, you leave yourself the opportunity to flee. You not only have to implant the idea of what Cortes and his men did, you should imitate it. Do something drastic, undeniably life changing (but safe of course), and see if it won’t make a difference in your mindset. Ultimately, the results you desire are intertwined with the degree of passion you bring to the table.