by: Jeremy Tracey
Have you ever known someone who turns over a new leaf of health and wellness and never looks back? How about someone who does the PUMP UP and fizzle out only days later? What makes the difference?
Your motivation plays a HUGE role on whether you reach your goal or slide back to complacency within days. The F.I.T. formula below will help you to discover motivation that will propel you toward your goals. I use the F.I.T. formula with my clients to look through fresh eyes and see what motivation is all around them.
The F.I.T. Formula = Follow, Invest & Teach
With motivation there is always a push and a pull; the pleasure you would like to move toward or the pain you want to avoid. Let’s look at both.
1) Follow: You can follow others into wellness or into illness. Are you following the right people? Last summer our family spent the weekend with friends at their family cottage. It was an overcast day with spurts of rain. Five boys, ranging in age from 8 to 12, didn’t let weather stand in their way. They were at the beach having fun. The parents, all in our thirties, were hiding from the rain. ‘Heaven forbid, we might get wet.’ Next thing you know Grampa-Leo, 84 years young, marches out of the cottage wearing nothing but a purple swimsuit, a ball cap and a huge smile. “Who’s coming to the beach?” I thought to myself ‘I want to be like that when I grow up. I want to follow that guy.’
At 84, Leo is full of life and far more inspirational than any picture of an airbrushed body on a magazine cover. Whose quality of life do you admire? Who is 10, 20 or even 50 years your senior that you look up to and say ‘I want to be like that when I am that age.’?
If that doesn’t stir you at all, let’s look at the pain side of this equation. Warning: I am going to be very blunt. Go down to your nearest ‘all you can eat buffet’, order a coffee or a water and watch. Don’t eat, just watch. Notice how they don’t have booths because too many of their patrons can’t fit in one. Watch the people who have trouble getting out of their chair. Those who struggle to get to their feet for another helping they don’t need. If being well doesn’t motivate you then look at the opposite end of the spectrum at what you want to avoid.
I bet you can think of two people in your life who are the exact same age but live a completely different quality of life, health and attitude. One is grumpy, sickly and struggles to move their body. The other is vibrant, optimistic and stays extremely active with sports or other activities they love. Who do you want to follow?
2) Invest: You are either investing in wellness or illness. Do your investments match your priorities? If the health of you and your family is a high priority then your investments should show this. Spending money on better food choices, gym memberships and books on fitness and nutrition are great investments. Other great investments include life coaching, massage, reflexology or other wellness practitioners. It is not just about money. How do you invest your time and energy? Do you invest in activities that improve the quality of your life? Is being mentally and physically active a high priority for you? Let’s refer back to number one: Follow.
I know a couple in their mid-sixties who are a great example of people to follow into wellness. They invest in books and seminars, sports and personal training, naturopathic doctors, chiropractic adjustments and massage. The return on their investment is incredible. They live a life that most twenty year olds couldn’t keep up with.
I know another couple of similar age who invest in a nice house, nice vehicles, fast food and large bottles of alcohol. They say, “We can not afford to go to the gym. We do not have time to exercise. That’s great for you but not for us.... do you want a drink?” Their investment pays them back also. In the form of lethargy, stiff joints and a negative mindset. It is not about being perfect all the time. It is about making sure your investments are congruent with your goals. What are you investing in?
3) Teach: You are either teaching wellness or illness. So often people are not motivated by looking after their own health but they are concerned about the health of their loved ones.
Your kids, your friends, your co-workers and so many others are influenced by the example you set every day. I have the incredible opportunity/responsibility of being a dad to 3 amazing little men. They are 13, 11 and 9 years old and are constantly copying dad.
Three years ago I learned to stand on a Swiss ball... so did they. This year I learned to ride a unicycle... so did they. We do many other fun challenges and activities together. You may look at this and say “Wow, that dad sure is motivating those kids to be active.” I look at this and ask the question, who is motivating whom? Are they looking up at my example and being motivated? Or am I looking at their emulation of my actions and being motivated? To look on the pain side of this equation, all I need to do is recall the direction my lifestyle was headed at age twenty. Just the thought of the example and influence I would be having on my kids if I hadn’t made the choice to changed, makes me cringe.
Who is watching your actions? Who are you teaching?
Consider each of the above for your own life. Who do you want to follow? How do you want to invest? What do you want to teach?
Step 1: Decide. How do you want to live your life? Don’t just leave it to chance or let it happen, choose. Make a decision and write it down.
Step 2: Who can you think of that you want to follow? If no one comes to mind, start looking. You will find them.
Step 3: How can you invest time, money and energy into your goal? Think small and manageable investments. They will add up.
Step 4: Write out a list of who could be following your example. I’ll bet you Grampa-Leo has no idea the valuable lesson he shared with me that day, just by being himself. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that no one is watching. Make it a great day.