Success and happiness are often used as synonyms. And they should be! …assuming that your successes are your own, and not defined by others. For example, if your parents want you to be a doctor, but you really want to go to art school, getting into Medical school is not going to feel like a victory, and probably won’t make you happy long-term.
So, we’ve concluded that success on your own terms leads to happiness. What else do we need to be successful? Here is my list:
- Confidence & Belief in Oneself
- Consistency or Good Habits
…and what does being in shape have to do with this?
Getting in shape and staying fit takes and builds all of the skills it takes to be successful. It’s amazing, really. Once you embrace these tools and habits for your health, you can apply them to other aspects of your life for a snowball affect of happiness and success. Use your body as the foundation to discipline your sweet ass in the following ways:
Confidence- Healthy bodies breed confidence. On a shallow level, it helps you avoid looking foolish if you are invited to play a sport in front of the opposite sex. On a deeper level, you are more likely to open yourself up to opportunities and much more likely to win those opportunities.
Consistency/Good Habits- In order to get fit and stay fit, you need to make exercise a habit. It is said that “the habit itself is more important than any one thing that you do habitually.” If you rate your workouts, you know that having a “5” day can be discouraging, while a “10” can make you feel like a whole, new person. But whether today was a 1 or a 10, you are still on the scale, because you have committed to the habit of working out, and tomorrow is a new day. Once you cultivate the habit of working out, you can apply that same habit building technique to any other area of your life.
Persistence- In life, and in fitness, you will have obstacles, and pushing through them is a key part of your success. My most common fitness obstacle is the rain. I constantly use weather as an excuse to cut my workout short or skip it altogether. But once I realized this is my self-prescribed loophole, I was able to counteract it. I made a rain-plan. If it rains, I do yoga in my living room or if I need to do cardio, I promise at least 20 minutes of the treadmill indoors. Or at least I try to. I get it. It’s hard to be persistent; but identifying your own obstacles for success and persisting against all odds, is crucial for success in health, work and love.
Goals- The quickest way to a fit body is by setting goals, both short-term and long-term. I could write a novel on goal-setting, but the most important key is making goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Realistic, and Timely). When I made a commitment to being fit I had goals for being able to do a pullup, something I had never done. I said that I wanted to do 1 pull-up (specific & measurable) by the end of 60 days (timely). I determined its realistic factor by looking up other peoples’ experiences with strength growth before determining the deadline. Finally, I published my goal, so that there is no confusion and it is officially agreed-upon. For me, this meant announcing it to my followers on Instagram, but it can be as simple as writing it down or telling a friend so that you have clarity and accountability. This is probably the most effective success habit– in fitness and in life.
Results- If you are creating SMART goals (like “Grow some balls and ask Rachel out on a date by Friday at 6PM) on a regular basis, you should also be getting results. In
the case of that example, your result is one of the following: She said yes and you are prepping for a date as we speak. Or you now know that she has a boyfriend and you can stop obsessing… or start prepping for the relationship sabotage of your life. Either way, results are important because they help you move forward, rather than flounder. In fitness, results are everything. If your goal is to lose fat, seeing your weight drop on a scale or welcoming a more flattering pair of jeans to your wardrobe can give you enough confidence and energy to work at a higher level. Make a point to be results driven, because unfortunately, in the real world, results are rewarded; effort is not.
Momentum- The more goals you set, the more results you get. And if you’re in a consistent habit of results-oriented success, you gain this amazing bonus…MOMENTUM! Eventually, the structure that you designed for success turns into a natural process and your success begins to multiply. Success breeds more success, in the gym and in life.
If you still doubt the connection between being successful and being in shape, go straight to the source! Ask the most successful people you know about their health habits. Or just look! For the most part, are they in shape?
“…a leading executive search company surveyed more than 1,300 executives who earn $100,000 or more annually. When asked to describe their perceptions of weight and work, 75 percent said good physical fitness is ‘critical for career success at the executive level.’ Seventeen percent, by contrast, said staying in shape is ‘a nice goal, but secondary to fiscal fitness.’ “
Just something to think about if you, like me, have ever said this: “Working out is just isn’t a priority right now.”
Have you experienced the connection between being in shape and being successful? Please share with us in the comments!