Michelle Johnson is an Team BeautyFit® Athlete, IFBB Bikini Pro, ISSA Specialist in Performance Nutrition, and Fitness Trainer who is recognized as a national level fitness authority, figure model, speaker and writer.
Her innovative workout programs have been implemented into some of the nation's leading health and fitness organizations. Her articles have been published by many leading industry magazines. She is an industry speaker on topics including weight management, wellness and group fitness.
All of her online services are available worldwide and some are managed in person.
Be a Leader Not a Follower
Strength is more than just about having more physical power. It means staying the course and sticking to game plan. This means not shifting in and out of your focus while you approach your goal. You stick by your commitments no matter how tough it gets. You are resilient. Strength is a mind set and with strength training you will find parallels in your life. Building strength also helps you with all of your pursuits and gives you confidence and poise. People feel it in your presence. We all want to feel mentally and physically strong. It's a sign of wellness. The problem is many people are unaware of their weak spots and what is sabotaging them. Inner strength shows up by how you approach your goals. It reflects in your coping mechanisms.
You may be strong at the onset, but can you handle things when the going gets tough and the challenges present themselves. Would you then be able to finish you start? This is where you can see if there is an anchor on the inside or not. It takes strategy, preparation and mental strength to beat obstacles. Eventually, you master the skill over time rather than quit and restart. You should be gaining a certain amount of momentum the longer you are focused versus losing it once the obstacles hit.. This is when many wind up quitting. They just can't stay the course. The road becomes choppy and their judgement foggy!
If you know you struggle with having the strength reach your goals a good place to start is to evaluate the things that are stopping you. You may even have to sever ties with people and situations that create temptations or distractions for you. This is the dedication it takes to do things well. You have to be willing to make some sacrifices. When looking at people in your life, try not to focus on those who hinder your progress in any way. You don't have to nix them for life, but avoid them while you are in goal mode. For instance, How many times have you sworn off candy and it keeps showing up in your home because the rest of the family loves candy. The odds will work against you and eventually you are bound to have some candy. If it's not today, it will be one day soon.
Some things we may never be strong enough to resist like going to parties and having fun. Maybe going to parties while on a diet may not be a great idea. Maybe you need to eat before you go or skip it all together. Come up with a strategy to buffer your weaknesses. You must create your own life raft and find a way to deal with whatever comes your way.
Think of the days you set out to workout and you have that one person who loves to talk to you at the gym. Before you know it a half hour has gone by and you really didn't get into your routine with the intensity and effort you had planned. Your energy is given to this person just by having a conversation. Now you have an issue because your tired and you are lacking the motivation to get to work. This is the way this goes. You lose your motivation to follow through because of the these folks that I call, "hijackers". It's important you recognize in your life who your hijackers are.
Take an inventory now of who in your life or what situation right now could impact your personal goal or is a threat to your growth. Where are the potential hijackers? You know because most likely at some point earlier this year you made a promise to yourself to achieve something. And by now had you focused is it possible you could be close to your goal or have completed it? You know who your hijackers are already because by now they have surfaced. They are part of the reason you are still TRYING to reach your goals.
You are either killing it when it comes to reaching your goal right now and possibly accomplished it on some levels. All is going according to plan or let's be honest. Is it not looking to hopeful at this point? Are you still saying, "tomorrow" or coming up with reasons to not put your pedal to the metal? Are you going to finish strong or are you going to cave when you get hijacked every time.
When you allow things to hijack your efforts, I call this "taking the easy way out". Blame them. Sometimes it's your best friend, sister, husband or your kids. Forget the guilt about being a mother, a wife, a good friend, sister, etc. Just do a reality check and know that as long as you continue to cave each time this person calls for your attention you can plan on not reaching your goals. People who support you in your life should understand and respect the boundries you create with them when it comes to you accomplishing your goal. If you have not had this talk, I suggest you do and let them know you will return to having more time once you have reached your goal. You may find that people around you start to make some shifts in their goals too and become stronger just by seeing your model behavior.
For us to feel good about ourselves, we all need to feel a sense of accomplishment with what we set out to do. It is important that we don't allow quitting be an option or we will be tempted to "take the easy way out!" You will struggle with the same goal if you cave right when things become challenging. Instead, be creative and stay focused even when the sky seems to be falling. We have a natural need to finish what we start or we lack closure. We often will revisit that same goal at a later date hoping for a better outcome. So we might as well do it now!
The fact is that if you are not reaching your goals because YOU keep caving to that same persons needs or requests than you are to blame. No one can make you follow through. This motivation comes from you meeting your personal milestones. This will not happen if you spend your time fulfilling the dreams and needs of others vs your own. The strength comes in when we learn to focus on what we need to do first. It's like what they say on a plane, "put your mask on before you put on your loved ones".
If you really want success work on facing your hijackers with confidence. Work on avoiding situations that play on your weaknesses. These are sound strategies. You align yourself with those who understand and get the path you are on. You surround yourself with support. Each day you follow through on the plan. It may not be perfect, but you can work on levels of strength each day and how well you did. Do better the next day. The goal is to get better at reaching the goal. You will begin to feel like you can accomplish anything you set out to do.
The reward is always a feeling of "I can do this if I choose". This is better than "life controls me and I have no control over my schedule demands, people in my life and what life presents". The victim mentality is for the weak, not the strong. Your hijackers may be great at manipulating you in the past. They had you thinking the goal you set is less important then the time they need from you. They may not even be aware at how disrespectful they are actually being to your efforts. Demand respect by speaking up and making it clear, "I am on a mission and I have work to do!"
The remedy is simple. Focus on what you need to do, know your next steps and get them done. Set the tone. What you do in turn is become the light for others. They realize they too may need to get things cracking. They will have respect when you say, "I am committed to my goals and caving for me is not an option". If you are in a place of pleasing people you can count on most of your future goals going by the wayside. You win and finish strong when you become a leader and not a follower!