Reach Your Fitness Goals In 7 Easy Steps. What Starting Iron Paradise Fitness Taught Me About Building Your Best Body Ever
You might think building your best body ever has nothing in common with starting a business. But you'd be wrong. In fact, there are clear parallels to be drawn. So here's 7 things I learned from starting Iron Paradise Fitness that might help you reach your fitness goals.
Nothing worth doing is easy. Be that building muscle, losing weight, or following your passion in the fitness industry. One thing I've learned over the years is that being successful is not simple.
Having the will to reach your fitness goals, or any goal for that matter, takes more than desire. That inner drive is important, but you need more.
You see, reaching your fitness goals requires a multi-faceted approach, including skills you might not have.
The journey will be tough. And harder than you ever thought. WAY harder.
But despite all the challenges, obstacles, and trip wires, achieving your goals is never a bad thing. And those trials and tribulations only make victory taste that much sweeter.
The road to sculpting a leaner, healthier, and stronger body can seem daunting from the outset. There's so much to think about, from how many calories to eat, through to what to do in the gym. And it can feel incredibly overwhelming. Like a dark cloud hanging over your head. So, this article will give you a little clarity, reduce the overwhelm, and help you focus on what's important in reaching your fitness goals.
So let me guide you through how these 7 steps built the foundations of Iron Paradise Fitness. And how they can be the build the foundation of your best ever body.
Be Passionate About Your Fitness Goals
"Find the deep, intrinsic motivation that sets your soul on fire."
Being passionate about your fitness goals can't be overstated.
When the journey gets challenging, and you're on the verge of quitting, it's this passion you'll call upon. The will to get up in the morning and head to the gym, when every bone in your body is urging you to stay under the covers. And the motivation to prep food for the week, when all you really want to do is watch Netflix all day.
Iron Paradise Fitness wouldn't have made it off the starting blocks if I didn't have a passion for fitness. A passion for helping people. And a desire to give my all. And the same goes for you.
Resistance training might be the best way to build muscle, but if you have no passion for it and can't bear the process of lifting weights, then find something else. For example, try CrossFit, a Bootcamp Class, cycling, or running.
You see, the fitness industry (including me) is guilty of overusing the word 'optimal'. But what does it really mean to you? In reality, the most optimal way to build muscle is probably unnecessary for you to reach your fitness goals. Simply finding something you enjoy is probably all you need.
Ask yourself what makes YOU happy. Don't force yourself to do something you hate. Exercise is not a punishment (although, lifting weights is always a good idea)...
Commit To Getting Better
"Acquiring skill and knowledge is liberating, not an anchor."
Your first tentative steps into the gym can feel overwhelming. A daunting experience you dread ever having to repeat. And when it comes to nutrition, the sheer volume of information to wrap your head around, causes your brain to do cartwheels.
But here's the thing.
Treat the process of learning these skills and acquiring knowledge as a liberating experience. Each new epiphany, a step closer to feeling comfortable in your own skin. And a step further away from the negativity you feel right now.
And if you're already pretty confident, don't make the mistake of thinking you know everything.
In the beginning, I thought I knew everything about fitness. I knew how to lift weights and get lean, so what else was there to learn? But it wasn't until I accepted I knew very little, that I became a sponge for the knowledge and skills needed to help me be truly successful.
You see, a little bit of knowledge can be a limiting factor of your success. So be open to new ideas and concepts that might challenge your existing beliefs. It's uncomfortable. But I guarantee you'll grow exponentially.
Release the pressure of having to be perfect from day one. Treat your journey as an exciting voyage of discovery, not a sinking ship, flooded by overwhelm and confusion...
Accept Failure As Part Of The Process To Reach Your Fitness Goals
"Every failure is an inevitable necessity if you want to learn and improve."
You will stutter, falter, and fail. Multiple times over. So get used to it.
You will fuck up, go off track with calories, and overindulge when maybe you shouldn't. But that's ok. In fact, these aren't failures, merely learning opportunities.
I think back to the early days of Iron Paradise Fitness and cringe at posts, emails, articles, and podcasts I produced. And that's not to mention all the failed ideas, most of which (thankfully) you've never seen or heard. But those failures were necessary. Without them I wouldn't have learned. I wouldn't have been able to tweak, adjust and improve what I was doing.
And if you want to reach your fitness goals, you need to adopt the same approach.
When the inevitable failure comes, don't cry about it. Don't bitch. Don't moan. And certainly don't complain.
Look at what happened objectively and ask yourself what could you do differently, should the situation rear its ugly head again. If you went over calories because you didn't plan very well for the lavish meal out at your favourite restaurant, how can you make sure you feel in control next time?
Failures only become true failures if you keep letting them happen again and again.
If you refuse to fail, get used to mediocrity. Because nothing good comes from always playing it safe...
Remove The Toxicity
"You are only limited by the negativity you allow into your world."
One thing I learned very quickly was that not everyone has your back and not everyone wants to see you succeed. Often, rooted in the misery and insecurities of their own lives, people reflect their negativity on you. And it's not until you learn to let go, that you can stop letting their words pull you back.
And negativity might take many forms. Some of which you don't even recognise. Friends constantly thrusting chocolate-glazed donuts in your face while uttering the words, "Go on. Don't be boring" might seem innocent. But causes you a level of anxiety you could do without.
"You're training too hard."
"Why do you want to look like that?"
"Live a little. Do you want to be boring all your life?"
These are phrases that don't seem overly negative, but spoken often enough, they can begin to poison your mind, allowing the whispered words of self-doubt to occupy your brain. So think about how much easier it would be to reach your fitness goals if there was a more positive narrative surrounding you.
"You're doing so well. It's awesome you're so consistent with the gym."
"I really admire you. You're really sticking at this."
That'd make you feel better right?
So find ways to eliminate the toxicity in your life. If that means seeing and speaking to certain people a little less, then do it. It might also mean having an open and honest conversation with loved ones about how their words affect you, and how a more positive environment would make you happy.
Be ruthless. Be selfish. You can't give your all to the process, if you don't take care of yourself. So surround yourself with those who want to see you win.
You Can Reach Your Fitness Goals Without Social Media
A lot of your time is spent on social media. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Although it might be, if you're using it as the yardstick by which you measure your own success.
Spending hours scrolling through your feed or searching on the hashtag #bodygoals might leave you thinking reaching your fitness goals will never happen.
Epic 90 day transformations at every turn. Six pack abs, plump glutes, and lean strong bodies seem the norm. But you don't look like that. So by definition, you MUST be doing something wrong...
But trust me, it's not the case.
I used to spend hours, wondering why other online coaches were crushing it, while I was struggling to find clients and scrape enough money together to pay the bills, and buy a few protein shakes. I felt like I was putting in the work, consistently grinding away, and doing everything that should bring results. And you might be in exactly the same place.
You feel as though you're doing the right things, but the changes aren't as dramatic.
In this scenario, social media can add to the toxicity and self-doubt. Because you ARE doing the right things. It's simply that others are at different start points, have different circumstances, and let's face it...they're probably lying through their overly filtered teeth too.
Instead of going on a useless juice cleanse, think about cleansing your social media. Remove what doesn't make you feel happy, inspired, and motivated. Trust me, you don't need it.
Give It Your All
"Don't expect a full-time wage from part-time effort."
You want success. To achieve your goals. And to do it in the fastest way possible. That's perfectly normal.
But what's not normal is expecting it all to happen without effort. We live in the age of the 'hack', the 'shortcut', and the lure of making life easier. But when it comes to reaching your fitness goals, you can't slide by on bullshit. There's no app that can put the reps in for you. And there's no miracle pill, or ultimate fat loss hack.
As much as you'd love to believe magic fat loss beans are the answer, you know deep-down it's all make believe.
Think about it this way. If there WAS a fat burner that worked, don't you think you would've heard about it by now? It would be front page news all over the world. Obesity wouldn't be a topic of debate. And I'd be out of work. Because let's face it, if fat loss was as easy as popping a pill, you wouldn't need me to coach you through the process.
But it doesn't exist.
And I had to swallow the same pill while building Iron Paradise Fitness. Business gurus offering the fast track to a 6 or 7 figure income, were selling the fat loss pills of the entrepreneurial world. It's a tempting route to go down. After all, you're passionate about success and want to achieve your goals so badly, you'll do almost anything.
But hard work is always your foundation.
Choose opt for fads over effort, then don't expect to reap all the words. Half-assed effort = Half-assed results.
Plan Frequently. Execute Consistently. Reach Your Fitness Goals
"A plan that never changes, wasn't ambitious enough."
Planning is key. I couldn't have made it this far without one.
But here's the thing. Planning is an evolving process. When you create a plan, expect it to evolve. You don't know the twists and turns your journey will take. So your plan needs to be flexible and adaptable to the situation you're in.
What Are Your Long Term Fitness Goals?
Start by thinking about your long term fitness goals. How would you define 'what good looks like' (to use a BS management phrase from my past)? Not social media's opinion of the ideal body. What's YOUR definition?
Can You Achieve Them?
Then ask yourself... "Can I reach my fitness goals based on where I'm at right now?"
Do you need help? Do you need to seek knowledge and guidance? Over the course of the first 2 years of building my business, I invested in 3 separate coaches to help me navigate through the complexity of it all.
Maybe you need the same approach. A coach. A mentor. Or maybe just a trusty friend to guide you down the right path. Hurtling headfirst in the wrong direction for months (or even years) was an experience I wouldn't want to repeat, so I pray you choose to avoid it too.
Define The Milestones To Reach Your Fitness Goals
Next, breakdown that long term goal into weekly, monthly, and even yearly milestones. By taking the bigger, more complex goal, and carving it up, it becomes tangible and achievable.
What Will You Do Each Day?
Back that up with daily input goals. These are the things you'll tick off your to-do list each and every day. Think calorie management, step count, and hitting the gym. Complete these tasks and reaching your fitness goals, simply becomes a matter of time.
How Will You Stay Accountable?
Finally, think about how you'll hold yourself accountable.
When motivation is waning and you're tempted to veer off course, what's going to pull you back on track? Because it's all too easy to have the extra donut, the other half of the pizza, or the whole tub of ice cream when you know no-one's watching and won't call you out on it.
When you've got your plan in place, make sure you execute on it consistently and review progress regularly. Taking the time each week to reflect on what went well, what didn't, and whether or not the plan needs to be adjusted.
Plan. Execute. Re-plan. Execute. Repeat.
To Reach Your Fitness Goals You Must Believe In Yourself
"Give yourself permission to celebrate your success."
If your journey to a leaner, healthier life is anything like mine, you'll find it all too easy to fall into the trap of focusing on how far you've got left to go, instead of how far you've come.
Let me give you an example.
12 months in, I'd built a business (from scratch) that allowed me to live the life I wanted to live. While I may not have been drowning in cash and ordering Ferraris, I was doing what I loved and enjoying life at the same time. My podcast had grown massively, and I'd interviewed my idols. I'd built a website, was producing great content, and helping people transform their lives.
But I was guilty of forgetting all that. Of getting lost in the midst of only ever concentrating on how far away the end goal was.
No doubt, you're the same. Forgetting how much you've already transformed from the person you were. Simply transfixed on how much there's still left to do. So change that mindset. Start by reflecting on what you've achieved and what you're grateful for, every day. Use it as motivation to keep pushing towards the bigger goal.
Become your biggest fan and create a mindset of success.
The Bottom Line On How To Reach Your Fitness Goals
If you want to reach your fitness goals, passion and desire has to be at your core. You need to WANT it. But even then, it's still not enough. You need to create a mindset of success, supported by the tools and techniques to make it happen.
Building a business from scratch isn't easy. And neither is building a body you can be proud of.
The process is never without challenges, issues, and moments where you feel there's no point continuing. But if you spend the time implementing the 7 steps in this article, trying to reach your fitness goals will get a hell of a lot easier. So start stacking the odds in you favour.
And if this all feels uncomfortable and alien to you... GOOD! It's a sign these are the things you've been missing and avoiding all this time.
Your Next Step To Mastering Nutrition And Shaping A Leaner, Healthier, Stronger Body
Here’s what to do next to get on the fast track to a leaner, healthier, stronger body. Simply click the link below and I’ll send you my Lean Life Kickstarter Pack. In it you’ll find a free 4 week beginner’s training programme (complete with exercise videos and a workout tracker), a guide on calculating your calories, plus so much more.
If you want it, grab it here.
But for now, all I’ll say is… Keep living the Lean Life and I’ll see you soon.