Psychologist and philosopher William James (1842-1910) was once invited to be the keynote speaker at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference. There was so much hype about James that more than 10,000 people were expected to attend.
The topic of his keynote address was advertised as “Everything we’ve learned in the last 100 years of Psychological Research.”
People travelled from all across America and the world to hear him speak.
The big day arrived. The gentlemen who had the task of introducing James spoke for half an hour.
He talked about James many accomplishments, his publications, the societies he’d served on, the labs he’d been a part of and so on.
Finally the big moment came and the words the audience was waiting to hear were finally uttered…
“Ladies and Gentlemen William James”
James took the stage. This is what he said…
“They’ve asked me to talk about the last hundred years of psychological research; it can be summed up in this statement…
People by and large become what they think of themselves.”
In the hundred or so years since James’ short speech the simple truth behind that statement has not changed.
And it strikes at the core of what it takes to stay motivated and be successful when it comes to reaching all of your fitness (and life) goals this year…
What you think of yourself is what you become.
So right now you’ve have to decide what you want to become.
Are you someone who has grit and determination and is willing to do whatever it takes to get in shape and improve your future well-being? Or are you someone who makes excuses? Your answer determines your fate.
With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you meet all your fitness goals this year:
1. If you haven’t done so, write down your goals
It’s important. Everything starts here. Take a few minutes right now to write down your fitness & health goals & a specific plan & timeline to achieve them.
2. Make a list of the obstacles in your way and what you are going to do to overcome them
The first step to overcoming obstacles is to identify, then come up with an action plan to defeat them. For instance, if you feel you can’t get into shape because you just don’t have the time, make a list of how you spend your time and cut out things you do that tend to be unproductive (such as watching TV or taking a long lunch).
3. Write out the reasons you want to achieve your goals – What will it mean to your life? How will it make you feel? What will it do for your self-confidence? And so on… Then prioritise them & read the list at least once a day.
4. Remember that life is short. The late Steve Jobs once said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Looking after your health is a big choice. And one that could extend the amount of time you spend with your family and friends. So go for it. You have nothing to lose & everything to gain!
5. Talk like a champion – Now this might seem like a small thing, but words matter. Don’t say “I can’t” or “I might” say “I can” and “I will.” Plus never criticise yourself. Never forget, you are the number one person in your life and you should treat yourself accordingly.
6. Read quotes, articles, books, biographies that inspire you. Reserve a half hour (or more) each day to fill your mind with positive thoughts. Read about people you admire and learn from others who have already achieved what you want to achieve in life.
7. As William James reminds us, never forget that your thoughts control who you become and what you achieve – Banish negative thoughts from your life forever. If they should enter your mind, change the subject immediately. If you’re confronted by a problem, instead of dwelling on it look for the opportunity it presents. And always remember that to have a healthy body, you have to have healthy thoughts and words about yourself.
NBA Coach Pat Riley once said “There are only two options regarding commitment: you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between.”
How committed are you? Have you been living “in between” for too long?
There’s no time like the present to bring positive change to your life. You already have everything you need to succeed. Because as The Beatles so aptly put it “the movement you need is on your shoulders.”
Believe you can and you will. Then use these seven tips and make 2014 the year you keep, reach and exceed your fitness and health goals.