Buckle your seatbelts and grab a brew as this is a long one…..
“Say what you mean” is a simple phrase that can be taken in a number of different contexts. It’s something you may actually say to friends or loved ones – but do you do it?
How often do we actually say what we really mean?
“That’s fine” – is a mantra most of us use in response to a great many things that aren’t really fine at all!
Someone not doing something they said they’d do…..”that’s fine”.
Someone offloading more work on you….”that’s fine”.
Your children apologising when they’ve just stubbed your toe for the 5th time today – “that’s fine”
Your other half being held up at work so you miss your gym class…”that’s fine”
Except none of these things are fine!
Even if you say “that’s fine” through gritted teeth, why can’t we say what we really feel?
We’re being polite.
We’re worried what others will think if we say what we really feel…
The same comes to your wishes to be fitter and healthier than you are now…..
You may be fed up of how you feel now.
You may act miserable because of how you think you look.
You may avoid situations and events because of these feelings and your lack of energy.
So say what you mean…out loud!
Voicing these feelings out loud makes them more real. Plus it’s the first, vitally important step in starting to identify what you can do to address these feelings.
Not sure who to say these things too?
How about your other half or a close friend (who may work with you to improve their own health and fitness whilst supporting you). Some of our Members use our free, women-only group* to hold themselves accountable for their nutritional intake and activity levels.
Accountability is a great tool to use on any health and fitness journey and it involves saying what you really mean to someone.
Being accountable makes your dream/ideal/goal a real target to work towards. Saying what you mean in this way helps twofold:
- you’ve set yourself a target and told someone and you want to stick to what you’ve said as a result – it acts as a motivator
- the someone you’ve made yourself accountable to, can support you, encourage you and motivate you along the way. They can remind you of your goal and reinvigorate when times get difficult as well as helping you objectively review your achievements along the way.
When you make yourself accountable to someone in this way, make sure you share the real reasons why this is important to you. What difference will these actions make to your life? Why does it mean so much to you?
Knowing the ‘why’ behind your drive can be the biggest motivator to keep you going, continuing to improve steadily day by day and week by week.
Saying what you mean requires something else too…..
We all start these journeys with great enthusiasm and excitement – the power that making a positive change for yourself is hugely rewarding. As a result it is so easy to overcommit. Be realistic about what you can commit to in terms of time and effort and possibly money.
Saying you’ll exercise every weekday for an hour when you struggle to find time to walk the dog or water the plants is destined for failure from the off.
Be realistic about what you can make time for based on your current schedule of commitments. Be clear and honest about ways in which you could reasonably change your schedule or even incorporate more movement into your current itinerary.
Understand where you are now.
Committing yourself to run 5k, do 3 weights sessions a week or swim 50 lengths when you’ve spent the last 3 months or so sat on the sofa is simply not realistic. Diving straight in the deep end in this way increases the chances of injury, and places heavy demands on your body that may not always make you feel good….and at the end of the day, that’s what you really want, isn’t it?
Recognise where you are starting from and progress gradually from there.
Say how much effort you are truly prepared to make.
^^^ This one is absolutely key.
It is so easy to go back to the “that’s fine” response when faced with a new nutritional approach, increased daily activity AND changes in lifestyle. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with such a level of change.
Sometimes coaches/personal trainers can overwhelm you in this way. I’ve done it myself with clients I’m afraid. Just because a coach can see a clear path for you, breaks it down into what they feel are manageable chunks and encourages every step of the way – doesn’t mean it’s right for You.
I always say to my clients that I do my best to read their expressions, body language and movement, to discuss adjustments where I feel appropriate…..but I cannot FEEL what it’s like for them.
Saying what you really feel and mean is so important whether you’re making your journey on your own or with a coach.
Feel confident to put your hand up and say: “I’m not ready for that yet.”
^^^ A client recently said this to me and I have so much respect for the lady for knowing her own mind and being confident to voice this.
It can be easy to be swept along by someone else’s or your own good intentions and then carry on because you don’t want to let anyone down……the only person you need to consider here is You.
Be clear when you need to take a step back, to regroup or recharge. Ask questions if it doesn’t feel right, You’re uncomfortable or you don’t understand how your current path will achieve what you want.
We all start these journeys with a view in our mind’s eye that in X weeks/months time we’ll have achieved this, and look like that.
Very rarely do these changes happen linearly.
In my view, if you’re taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back every so often – that’s still 1 net step forward! Be true to yourself in defining what success means to You.
- the woman in the gym can lift 3 times heavier than you,
- the woman next door can run further or faster than you, or
- that new girl in the office is 2 dress sizes smaller than you
– doesn’t mean that any of these things should shape your achievements.
Say what You mean….
^^^ such a simple little phrase that means so much.