This episode we’re going to tackle one of the greatest fundamental challenges that many trainers, coaches and clients face - motivation and program adherence. We may have all the best tools, exercises and program design strategies, but if we can’t get our clients to genuinely commit to showing up and giving their very best to the task at hand, our (and their!) results will always be compromised.
In this month’s video session we talk about the topic of “Accessing Leverage.” In essence, how can we motivate our clients from the INSIDE OUT to be truly committed to their fitness, wellness, sporting performance journey? In the video, I share the simple but powerful process of understanding the role of pain and pleasure in our perception. In essence, we all have a tendency to try to avoid pain while gaining pleasure in life. If we are not mindful of that tendency, our perception of these two forces can work against our higher fitness or sporting goals.
We have a desire to be fit, healthy, faster, stronger. But in our view of what it will take to get there, we often have pain associated with our commitment to the program and pleasure lined up with not following through. For example, we may associate negative feelings around the effort it will take to get to the gym, the smelly locker room, the crowded spaces, the revealing mirrors and the struggle to battle through those exercises we aren’t good at! On the other hand, if we stay home, we can relax a bit more, eat what we want and have a nice chat with a friend. If our association to exercise follows this pattern, we will be very unlikely to stick with the program, no matter how well developed it is… simply because the pain/pleasure cards are stacked the wrong way. Our pain and pleasure associations are lined up against exercising… so, in a sense, it is easy and justifiable to see why we might skip a session or two. In a very basic sense, our mind believes it will hurt to show up and feel good not to.
Once I help a client understand why he has had difficulty committing in the past – by simply asking him to share with me the perceived pain/costs of follow-through – the next step is to open the way for him to see a higher possibility, and to line up his pain /pleasure perceptions in a more productive direction. I do this by asking them to look 3 to 6 months or more into the future and:
Imagine all the potential costs or negative ramifications of NOT committing to his fitness path now. (How will it impact his health, relationships, work, family, etc… if he continues on the path he is on?).
Imagine all the potential benefits of genuinely committing. What is his highest fitness vision? What is the potential good that will come (in all those same areas) if he says “YES” and fully commits himself to the path before him?
It’s a very simple exercise, but if you track in truthfully to why they have not followed through in the past, and then allow them to really experience what the longer term pains and pleasure potential are for their future, you will very likely experience a great shift in their commitment.
From a place of genuine inner alignment, great commitment becomes a natural outcome.