Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort
Ever since I can remember, I had goals. Without knowing the definition of goal or having an adult explain, in my heart, I knew. In kindergarten when anybody asked me that predictable question. “What do you want to be when you grow up little Tony?”
I looked up at the giant humans and responded,
“I want to be President of the United States.”
Please forgive my innocence. I obviously didn’t know better (I was five.) I simply thought of the highest goal imaginable, something noteworthy. Something, anything to help my situation. My upbringing was less than spectacular, and dreaming was all I had. So, I dreamed and dreamed…
Dreaming is Free
Struggle became quite familiar. Our broken family crippled by financial problems. I would close my small eyes and imagine a better life. A life where my mom didn’t need food stamps, a life where we didn’t need to ride the bus, and a life where Santa didn’t skip our house.
It killed me to watch my mom struggle. I asked the tall people for help. The adults preached education. But, I didn’t need an education, I needed money. The giants explained education would earn a scholarship to graduate from college, to get a job, and then get money.
And then get money?
It seemed far away, but okay. I figured if I went to school every day, this would help my goal of graduating college. My very first goal was set: perfect attendance.
My Perfect Attendance Quest
I went to school everyday. Even the days I didn't feel like going, I went. Day in and day out, I showed up. Being poor sucks, and if this would help. Control what you can control. Showing up is the first step in accomplishing any goal. For 8 years I didn't let anything stand in my way, I didn't miss ONE day in school from pre-school through eighth grade, not one.
Showing up is the first step in accomplishing any goal.
As I stood receiving my first award for perfect attendance. I stood 10 feet tall that day. Every year Jack in the Box would give the perfect attendance recipients a coupon for a meal (a brilliantly sly marketing move.) The only time I could afford Jack in the Box. I felt like I needed the finest silverware for my cheeseburger combo. I sat like a young prince, eager to eat my well-earned meal.
Fall in love with pride.
Total Body Project Goals
Over the years, my goals evolved. Graduate college, move out of the Southeast L.A., help my mom, and start my own company to name a few. I’m proud to say, Total Body Project has helped hundreds improve their lives. Our recent goals consist of our first Get Me Skinny training course, our newest book, Get Me Skinny…Again and the much anticipated release of our on-line training.
But life is meant to be abundant.
Goals must be both professional and personal.
Enter the Ironman Triathlon… Unfortunately, I have a unique ability to make drowning look like swimming. Pools did not exist in South Los Angeles, neither did swim lessons. But I figured, I'm an athlete, let's go for it.
I almost drowned in my first half-mile ocean swim…
I recorded the longest swim/drown in history. The ocean tossed me like a rubber duck for 47 minutes. It took everything in me, not to quit. Somehow I crossed the finish line. I coughed up salt water for days.
Don't be scared to fail. Failure and success go hand in hand. Success cannot exist without failure. My first triathlon was one of the biggest public failures of my life. But I let this moment be the spark, I let it be my motivation for my next attempt. The Ironman Triathlon, approximately 5 times the distance of my first failure. My biggest failure would be followed by my biggest triumph.
The Ironman Triathlon
2.4 miles of swimming followed by 112 of biking and then a 26.2-mile run. When I told people about this goal, some laughed. But laughing at my goals doesn’t anger me, it inspires me. Laughter represents the right direction for my goals. They laughed when I started my own company. People questioned my reason for leaving engineering. Others are surprised when they learn of of my Engineering degree. A few even ask who wrote my books.
When people laugh, I know I’m on the right track.
Two years after my swim/drown I completed my first Ironman triathlon. The joy overwhelmed me. As I crossed that finish line after 13 hours of racing, I realized any goal worth achieving will require hard work, it will require you to show up, and it will require failure. But any goal can be accomplished. Any goal.
What are your goals? Are they big enough? Do they scare you? Are you willing to do the work?
Let me know how I can help you.
NASM Master Trainer
Happy New Year!
I love the New Year, it's the only time everyone is motivated to make a change. To start and finish your fat loss program, to change your life. Maybe your goal is to quit smoking, earn that promotion, close that big deal, listen to what she says… even if you're tired… and have work… so she doesn't get upset and you can spend the weekend with your friends without any judgement. You know, the normal resolutions we all have. Smell the air, the optimism is euphoric. Welcome to day one, the first day of a new beginning. A new chance for success.
Day one, means we begin the road to fat loss. Losing fat can be tough, but thankfully many of us were gifted the tools of success during the holidays: a new gym membership, a yoga mat, some dumbbells, or even a fancy elliptical machine that is currently… still in the box, waiting to be assembled. And while our ambitions are at an all time high, they'll soon fall if we're not properly equipped. Not just with tools but the RIGHT tools for success.
Before you start make sure you know what to do. Take our Fat Loss Quiz to see if you know the right stuff.
Fat Loss is Like a Marathon
We're all on the start line right. We know the finish line, but our nerves are on high alert. If we don't pace ourselves, we'll give up and fail. Trust me, I know this all too well. At the start line of every marathon, my training partner Tony and I, always had a plan. I would repeat this plan over and over again.
“Remember Robert, take it easy in the beginning, get a rhythm, and then set your pace. You got this!”
The race starts and the plan goes straight out the window. I'm darting down the course as if I'm being chased by a pack of wild dogs. I can't tell you how many times Tony has caught up to me and reminded me of our trusted plan.
I always let the start line excitement get the best of me. Unfortunately, that's how most of us are with fat loss. We sprint like a madman, only to be pulled back to reality. Our minds know what to do, but once the gun goes off, logic disappears. We've all done it. We've started 90-day workout programs, only to give up after 7 days 🙁 We've meal prepped for an entire week, only to throw away most of the food by Friday. We take off sprinting and forget we still have 26.2 miles to go.
Quick shameless TBP plug. Starting off too fast isn't the only fitness fail people make during the new year. If you haven't already, check out TBP's ANIMATED VIDEO on fitness fails. It's hilarious and oh so true!
But just because we aren't sprinting doesn't make it easier. We still need the right tools to get us to the finish line. I'm getting tired of these marathon metaphors, but last one, I promise. The tools below are the ones you need before the race even begins. Without them, you're setting yourself up for failure. It's called the MAD PLAN.
These are the three most important tools needed to successfully lose fat. Simple, direct, to the point. But much like that elliptical machine still waiting to be assembled, many of us will leave these tools in our box waiting to be assembled.
Number one is MOTIVATION
Why the hell are you doing this?
Ask yourself this question. What's motivating you? What's going to make you get up early, stay up late and put in the necessary work? Don't give me the classic BS excuse: I just want to be healthy? No, you don't. There's something else driving you. All of our motivations are different. You may want to look sexy in that dress that doesn't fit. You're sick of asking yourself, “Does this make me look fat?” You're sick and tired of feeling and looking sick and tired…
Maybe you don't want to be a 232 pound fatty being made fun of because his suit is too tight at the wedding of your close friend who hasn't seen you in a few years and comments about the fact that you can't button your suit. Yup, that's me! Look at those chipmunk cheeks.
Whatever your motivation, it must be deep enough to inspire you to not give up. Find your BIGGER BURN.
Number two is ACCOUNTABILITY
Nobody can climb Mt. Everest alone. We need Sherpas, a team of other climbers and a crew at base camp telling us about the storms coming ahead. Losing fat is the Mt. Everest of health. We can't do it alone. I repeat, we cannot do it alone. Once you've found your MOTIVATION, it's imperative we have supporters who are part of our Accountability Alliance.
Who's going to help you?
These are people who will hold your feet to the fire when times get tough. When you want that pizza slice, who's going encourage you to make a better choice? When you want to go out for beers, who's going to remind you about that 232 pound fatty that… You get my point. It can be a friend, a family member, or more importantly, your significant other. If your partner isn't on board, your fat loss success diminishes. The reason why TBP clients are successful is because we hold our clients accountable, weigh-ins, measurements, pictures. It allows us to gauge our success in short periods of time, in order to reach our long term goals. Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint. The stronger your alliance, the higher likelihood of success.
Number three is DISCIPLINE
Making the correct decision, even when you don't want to. Easy peezy? YEAH freaking right! We're bound to slip up. Sunday brunch? Happy hour? We'll fail, because if it was easy, everyone would be a Victoria Secret model (my dream, not yours). We won't be perfect all the time, but we have to listen to that little voice inside our head.
Listen to your little voice.
You know the one. That voice that creeps up and says don't do it when you're driving home and you're a little hungry. You have everything you need for a perfectly good sandwich waiting for you, but you inexplicably pull into an In-N-Out drive thru, order a triple-triple (yes, those exists) with animal fries, pay, while asking for a box with a lid to keep everything warm (I knew it was a problem when the cashier knew me by name). That voice needs to be your guiding light. It can be trained to be powerful armed with the right Motivation and supported by strong Accountability Alliance. Your little voice can take over your choices and automate decision making. Discipline is limiting the decisions taking us away from our goal while maximizing the decisions moving us towards our goal.
If you're still reading, first off, thank you. It means what you've read makes at least a little sense. You've found your true motivation and have people in mind for your Accountability Alliance. You even promised yourself to try harder to listen to your little voice. What I'm about to ask of you next requires you take a leap of faith with me. And you can't laugh. Ok, you can laugh but you have to keep an open mind. Deal?
Get the Right Tools
I need you to fill out a workbook. And not just any workbook but the Master Trainer, Tony Arreola's Secrets of the Skinny workbook. Go ahead, finish laughing, I'll wait. Before you brush this off, we've used this workbook as homework for our individual personal training clients and it really works. Trust me, when Tony first sent it to me I was a skeptic. But it works because it teaches the secrets you need to master before you step foot into a gym.
Stop Being Fooled
Are you still with me? I told you I needed you to trust me. If this sounds silly, it's probably because you've been taken advantage of before. The fitness industry has tricked you into believing you can lose, 10 pounds in 10 days. Juice cleanses that jump start your metabolism. Or the top 5 fat burning exercises. As a member of the fitness industry, I'm sorry we lied to you, and this workbook is our mea culpa.
Use the Right Tools
If you have failed to lose fat in the past, it wasn't because of lack of effort. You weren't equipped with the right tools. Now you have them. Use them and more importantly learn from others mistakes including mine. We want to make your fat loss journey as easy as possible. Take that leap of faith. If I can do it, you can too. Capitalize on the motivation before it goes away.
What goals do you have this year? Please share with me in the comments. I promise to try and help as much as possible.
NASM CPT, WLS, BCS
- Clark, M.A., Lucett, S. C., & Sutton, B. G. (2012). NASM Essentionals of Personal Fitness Training (4th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.