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The 3 Keys to Fitness Success!

There are three critical steps to achieving a new level of success in any endeavor, including your health, fitness and body fat reduction goals. They are:

1. Know exactly what you want! Clarity is power. You cannot achieve a goal or new endeavor if you are not crystal clear about what it is that you want to accomplish. Know exactly what your target is. Do you want to lose a certain percentage of body fat, or a number of pounds (of fat), or inches? Do you want to have more mental clarity? Emotional balance? Physical energy? Do you want to be more productive at work and at home? Whatever it is that's important to you, write it down. Get specific. Tap into the power of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Will it make you a better parent? A better professional? Friend? A better spouse? Will it give you a self-confidence boost? Will exercise allow you to better handle the stress and demands of life?

2. Get an expert road map! Once you know exactly what you want, your next step is to find the most effective path to get from where you are right now to what you want to achieve. Find an expert and learn from him or her. Join a fitness program or hire a trainer to help you navigate toward your health and fitness goals without wasting time on trail and error approaches.

3. Resolve internal conflicts! The final step, after you know what you want and have an expert road map towards achievement, is to resolve the inevitable internal conflicts (or road blocks) that come up. Anytime you know what you want and have an accurate process to get there, yet fail to reach the destination, an internal conflict is apparent. For example, someone wants to get fit, drop 2 dress sizes, lose 12 pounds, increase energy and be more productive professionally. They get started on a new fitness routine, and eventually stop before achieving their goals. Why? Because she was too busy to exercise - she's a mom and busy professional and just didn't have time to exercise. There's the internal conflict - she wants fitness, yet doesn't have time. You have to resolve those things that hold you back from achieving your MOST important goals in life.

Two things to keep in mind if you feel you don't have time. (1) Regular exercise helps us become more productive. Lots of peer reviewed research demonstrates regular exercise allows us to be more productive, allowing the brain to function at higher levels, more energetic, etc.

Also realize that (2) the ONLY thing that makes all of us identical is we all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. We all have the exact same amount of time. The key is how you invest your time. If presidents Barrack Obama, George W Bush & Bill Clinton can find time in their demanding lives (while heading up the nation) to exercise consistently, I think we all can find time. And there are countless other super-successful people who have crazy-busy lives, yet workout 5 days per week.

Exercise is an investment that provides valuable returns. When you invest 1-hour a day, your immediate return is enhance physical energy, emotional balance, mental clarity and being better equipped to handle the stress and demands of life. Longer term returns include better health, a more fit body, protection from illness, reduction in anxiety and depression, the list is long and plentiful. There's even a study in one well known journal of medicine comparing fit employees to sedentary ones - the more fit employees had higher incomes than their co-workers (all other factors like education and experience being the same), and they were more tolerant of their peers AND themselves.

It's not as much about time, as it is about investing our time in productive activities (like consistent exercise) that give us big returns.

These 3 keys to change work for any area of your life in which you're looking to grow. Get crystal clear about what you want (and know why you what to reach that goal), get an expert road map that will get you there without wasting time on trial and error, and resolve any internal conflicts or road blocks preventing your ultimate achievement.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins