Agree to These 4 For Fitness Success
By Lisa Byrne, B.S Exercise Sciences  |  Certified Pilates Instructor
NABBW’s Boomer Women\’s Fitness Expert

Personally, I am so tired of hearing  fitness trainers blah-blah-blah’ing the same message over and over:

  • Write a clear plan of what you want to achieve.
  • Commit to it.
  • Change your attitude about exercise.
  • Make exercise a priority.
  • Push yourself.
  • Think positive.
  • Stare at an old picture of yourself and try to go back there.
  • Believe you can.
  • Take action.

So How’s That Working Out for You?

Is there really anything new to say? Not really. It’s all the same stuff repackaged as new motivational material fresh off the press for the new year. Stuff designed to stimulate you.

You don’t need more stuff.

May I Lend Some Help?

There is a fantastic book called “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Why is it so fantastic? It’s simple and here’s why.  Simple is so clear that simple works.  It’s just that we are always looking for the “answer’ in a magic bullet or system to plug into our lives, especially when it comes to exercise.

The Four Agreements is a simple, but powerful code of conduct for attaining personal freedom and true happiness. Now granted, as in anything, it’s not like you arrive at that place, do nothing, and live fancy free.  The attainment of personal freedom and happiness is a constant tweaking.  It’s about transforming your life to a new experience.

You have the power to do that daily. If you stumble, that power is still there. Your power is never lost. It is simply stored for better use. Unlock and harness it and you’re golden.

While you can’t argue with simplicity you can sure put up a fight when applying it to your ‘getting in shape’ goals. You’re challenged in making it simple when it feels like a struggle. How can you even get to golden when you can’t find the key?

First of all, understand the struggle is in your mind.  Everything begins in your mind before it goes anywhere for action.  Stands to reason that in order to make physical changes, first consult your mind. Easier said than done? Not really.

Be sensible. Keep it simple. Make it practical.

Fair enough?

Take a look at these 4 agreements* to keep top of mind for fitness success. I was careful to not say ‘keep in mind’; rather top of mind. Put it at top of mind and it is less likely to get lost in the marshes with everything else you’re trying to do.

Okay you ready?

  1. Do What You Say
  2. Make No Excuses
  3. Do Your Best
  4. Build Self-Accountability

Do What You Say

Decide exactly what you want to do and name the time frame. Examples: lose 15 lbs. by April 1; eat 50% more veggies from now on; walk 30 min. 3-5/week all winter. Curb your possibilities of failing by naming 2 changes tops. Then, Do What You Say.

Make No Excuses

Excuses are just made up justifications for bailing on what you said you will do. Maybe you see a hole that enables you to justify cheating. Cheaters are losers. You won’t need to excuse yourself if you stop looking for that hole. It’s called inevitability thinking. Stack up the odds to make getting to your goal attainable.  Stop excusing yourself today.

Do Your Best

Doing your best is a learned behavior. Even if this is the 29th time that you have this goal on your plate, you have never been at this point in your life doing it.  This agreement will work best off the previous two. Taking action here is about honoring something that is obviously important to you. Keep it clean and keep your attention on doing your best, always.

Build Self-Accountability

Self accountability is the cornerstone of lasting results and success. Being honest, answerable, and fully responsible for your decisions and accomplishments is a natural high.  Sure, keeping a workout time with your buddy may be a good way to get started, yet your results will be embedded much better in the absence of that dependence.  Talk about a powerful feeling when you rely completely on your achievements to build the next level!  You get to watch from an observer point of view at the same time being the main actor in your own story.  Before you know it, you will never want to let yourself down because of what you have done to get there. What a huge amount of freedom to own your own because you CAN!

Remember; keep these 4 at top of mind, not in the heap of mixed laundry.

Decide what is important to you and do your best. That means no excuses. Watch your self esteem sky rocket because you are getting the results that you always knew you were capable of and well deserving!

* Note: These agreements have been adapted from the aforementioned book, The Four Agreements, where they are listed as: “Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions, and Always do your best.” Author Ruiz is a shamanic teacher and healer of the Toltec tradition and his book, which was reviewed on Oprah, does an excellent job of helping you expose your self-limiting beliefs while presenting a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors.

Lisa Byrne is the owner and chief creative officer at Pilates for Sport, LLC in Bucks County, Pa. She has her B.S in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Pilates Instructor. Lisa has operated her fully equipped Pilates studio since 1999 and has been in the Health and Fitness Industry for 23 years. The studio space is home to private sessions, small group training, and the outdoor circuit buffet, sure to get anyone grooving. Visitors to the movement studio span the range and include average Boomers looking for diversity; young people with Asperger’s-Autism; hard core athletes looking to ‘loosen up’; and those in need of chronic pain management through movement. Learn more about Lisa on her site, Move More Today.