For the last year I have managed a large territory, spanning from Kansas City to Sedalia, Mo and up into southern Iowa. I am in charge of 30 health screenings a month, and I lead 1-2 educational health seminars a week in various cities. It is very rewarding work. I work from a home office, and the mileage reimbursement covers my new car payment each month.
But, I am miserable…
The next day I walk into a gym I had trained in back in 2005, and I ask for the owner. He doesn’t seem to notice I’ve gained 10 lbs and I’m not in “trainer” shape. He looks at my new resume (now with 2 years of management experience), and asks if I am interested in a full-time, head personal trainer position in a new club he operates in downtown Kansas City.
I take a $10,000 a year pay cut, but I living my dream again. I end up becoming the General Manager and Fitness Director of that club within 6 months.
I have never left fitness again...
In the fall of 2009 I was blessed to be sent to a two day conference with The Pacific Institute. I was beginning my three year journey as an instructor, for an associates degree program for personal trainers. I was thrilled for the opportunity to assist in launching students into the career path that had shaped my entire life. The college had sent their new hires to this 2 day training workshop. It is there that I learned how to make effective affirmations.
I want to share with you the affirmation process, I learned from The Pacific Institute 5 years ago. I have been using this process every year, to assess where I am with my goals.
Last week I asked you a series of questions which included…
- Who is it that you want to be?
- What different identities or roles are important to you?
- Who are the most important people to you?
Today, I would like you to write down the important areas of your life in a “Balance Wheel’. Using a balance wheel will help you think of all areas of your life when you decide to set goals. You may be satisfied with certain areas, and not satisfied in others. Put them all on the wheel.
Here is my current "Balance Wheel".
Here is my example of my “Health and Fitness Mini Wheel”. Currently, these are the areas that I feel are most important to me regarding my health and fitness.
Some of these areas I am happy with. But some of these health and fitness areas I would like to continue to improve, including body composition and strength/power training.
The next step is to identify your current reality... and then create an affirmation based on what you want your new reality to be.
This is my example of my new health and fitness affirmation (future reality), based off of my current reality.
I will say that it was not always successful. No one who showed up to class and did their work ever failed my classes. I would work as hard as I could to help them understand the material. I would work as hard as I could to assist them in finding an internship that could lead to a job. I would work as hard as I could to get them to see what it would be like as a trainer, and what they would need to work on in order to be successful.
Many times a student would get to the end of their 18 months of coursework, complete the internship, and then decide they “couldn't do it”. They would sit in my office, and tell me that personal training wasn't really what they wanted to do after all. It always felt like a personal failure. It always felt like I had failed in helping them find their way.
But the reality of the situation was that they had to be able to see it for themselves, before they got to the end. They had to see themselves training clients. They had to see themselves being successful in the face of adversity. There was nothing I could do to force them to change their identity. I could only do my best to help them to see themselves in the future.
This same idea holds true in all of our dreams, including those for personal health and fitness. How often do we see others (or we ourselves) get “in shape”, only to go back to old habits in just a few months? When you only see your “dream” as far as the actual attainment of it, where do you go once you have it? What if 10 years ago (when I graduated college with my Exercise Science degree) I took a job outside my field, instead of working 3 part time jobs until I earned full time with the YMCA? What if 7 years ago I never came back to fitness after straying to another health field? What if 2 years ago (when I was left as a single mother) I gave up fitness for a safer paycheck?
I would be a completely different person, and I would likely not be writing these words today. I refuse to give up on that picture I saw of my career when I graduated college in 2004. I refuse to let anything (or anyone) take away the picture I see in my head of myself ...and my life.
I am currently carrying around 7 additional affirmations from various parts of my "Balance Wheel".
One additional affirmation is in the form of my business card. My Facebook friends may have already seen this card in weeks past.
When you truly see yourself as the new person you want to be, then your subconscious has to help you correct your current situation. If you do not see yourself as the new person, even if you get there, your subconscious will correct you back to your old self.
As I truly assimilate my new affirmations as part of my identity, my mind will drive my subconscious (and conscious) actions until the picture in my mind matches reality.
The key is… I have to believe I am the new person right now.
I have to live in that reality now, and practice it in my mind everyday. This practice comes in part by visualizing the future using affirmations.
I will be back next week with tips on how to write effective affirmations... and how to build identity-based habits from those affirmations. This practice will help you overcome obstacles and keep you focused on your goals.
Until then, take some time this week with your Balance Wheel. Write down your current reality, and then write some affirmations with reality as you want it to be.
Note:You do not have to share your personal affirmations with anyone. I have only shared my health/ fitness and career affirmations with you. Affirmations are personal, and you often may run across people who feel like they need to correct your vision. Do not share your affirmations with anyone who will not be supportive. Be careful of who you give the power to speak over your life...especially if they are “stuck” in their life.