All of us start training for a reason, even though our reasons may differ. Some wish to lose weight, some build muscle, others improve performance, and some to be better fit for life. We understand we need to train (work out, exercise, move) in order to achieve these results, so we look for how to do so.
Many sources offer information regarding ways to find results. Television ads give us quite a few entertaining fitness inventions along with before-and-after "proof" of effectiveness. Daytime TV shows host some of America's more famous fitness experts, giving simple tips for better health or easy steps to move towards a healthier lifestyle.
Google can open many, many doors if we search "health," "fitness," "weight loss," "build muscle," or any question formed with our desired goal. An overwhelming amount of information has been written, photographed, recorded, and produced to educate and influence those looking for how to find results.
Nowadays, social media creates images of health and fitness through filtered and edited content. Some sources are unedited and offer quality advice, while some are created to establish large followings for a better influence.
So where in this ever-growing monsoon of information can we find how to get the results WE desire?
The answer is not black-and-white like the definite "5 things to..." or "3 easy ways to get fit." Everyone is coming into this search with a history, perception of health, and specific life influences from their years on earth. Inside of our unique life process, we have developed a way of life we live, for the most part, on auto-pilot. We are habitual creatures moving forward using preset processes developed over years. These processes guide us without thinking.
So when we are trying to find results, we need to rephrase the search. We are looking for change. We are trying to reroute these automations set in our lives and input new processes geared towards results, whether those results are lower blood pressure, diabetic regulation, visible abs, or higher physical performance.
Here is the kicker: we do not like change. Change is by nature uncomfortable, and requires conflict and conflict resolution. The theory of cognitive dissonance discusses how we interact with thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes in conflict with ours. When we interact with something contrary to our current perception, we encounter stress. When we experience this conflict, we have two main options: embrace and interact, or dismiss and negate. We can embrace the stress, interact, and have a conversation with ourselves, or we can dismiss it and deny its existence.
Change occurs when we embrace and interact with conflict. Without the challenge of conflict, we will not change because we will automatically throw out the potential of something better. We will, as a result of our current life automations, continue down the same path believing it is the best.
So when we say, "why am I not where I want to be?" we are, most likely, being confronted with our current reality and another we prefer. THIS IS THE BEST MOMENT! We realize things can be better, and this is the time to embrace and interact with the problem.
When we catch ourselves here, we must act! We must take a tangible action in order to challenge our current ways with another more conducive to moving us forward. But be careful: action must be followed by action. Just because we take action once does not mean things are completely changed. We need to act consistently over time to reprogram our internal processes.
If you find yourself in conflict, be excited! You have a great opportunity to move towards the results you are looking for. Identify the conflict, and look for one action to take consistently over time. For most of us, coming to the gym today will get us one step closer. Once we come today, we will come again tomorrow. Come consistently over time, and we will find ourselves changed.
Take action today.
Jonathan de Friess