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Be Your Own Best Boss

January 26th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

In a recent conversation, my Dad and I were ruing the cons of being self employed.  As my father is a minister, (his boss is never available by phone, therefore, he considers himself self-employed) he makes difficult decisions, often sacrificing his own free time and putting others before him.  I told him that although I enjoyed working for myself, I was probably the worst boss I’d ever had: no pats on the back and no extra time off for a job well done.
In relation to our own fitness and health goals, we are the boss.  We answer to ourselves, we set our own goals and we are our own support system.  If we think back to the attributes that made our favourite boss stand out, we can cite elements like promotions, fairness, good planning and successful implementation.  Remember, also, that a good boss knows how to delegate and does not try to finish the task alone.
In my own experience of losing weight and getting healthy, I have often been overwhelmed emotionally by the goals I want to achieve.  Put on a business head to attack the task in hand:

•Set an Agenda•
People often know what their final goal is but do not really think about why they want that goal.  Do you want to lose 15 lbs to feel better about yourself or to improve your health?  Would losing the weight help you keep up with your children?  Do you feel bad about not being able to wear 50 per cent of your expensive wardrobe?  Find an ironclad reason for your final goal.
Strive to achieve short term goals
I think the term ‘short term goals’ is underrated because it makes them seem insignificant.  Short term goals are probably the most important aspect as they are stepping stones in the right direction.  Skipping over them, or not recognizing their importance, will lead to disaster.   A short term goal could be completing a week of doing your cardio five days in a row, or cutting out all desserts for a week.  Treat your short terms goals as rungs in the ladder you want to climb.

•Create a support system•
Have family or friends support you in your endeavors.  Cut out people who have anything negative to say, regardless of whether they think they mean well or not.  If you need help in your daily life to be able to  make time for the gym, then ask.  If you would rather keep your fitness goals secret, sign up to an online blog or other websites that offer help and advice where you can remain anonymous.  Do not try to do this alone.

•Be hard on yourself•
Do not give yourself a break if you have not already planned to do so.  For example, if you usually work out in the early morning and you make the decision to work out that evening while you are hitting the snooze for the fourth time, then chances are your day is going to get away from you and you are not going to work out.  Bargain with yourself: if you work out four straight mornings in a row, you can sleep in on Friday.  It is so much easier to gain weight than it is to lose it, so you will have to be your own task master.

•Triumph in every achievement, do not let set-backs set you back•
It does not matter how small the achievement is, relish in it.  I cannot tell you how many times I have had to celebrate for a client when they have lost 2 lbs.  To them, it seems insignificant in relationship to their end goal, but to me it is two more pounds they do not have work to lose.  If you have a set-back do not treat it as though you have failed altogether.  Stand up, brush yourself off and keep on going.  If you want to analyze why you tripped, then do so but do not dwell on it. Pat yourself on the back and tell others so they can congratulate you too.  You didn’t have fried food all week?  Congratulations!  You are healthier than you were last week!  You had a dessert?  Fine, just try not to the next day.

•Reward yourself•
Reward is paramount when you are changing your lifestyle, especially when you achieve your short term goals.  I find that clothing or shoes are great motivators but find something that you can look forward to treat yourself with.
By assessing your fitness and health goals using a simple business model, it takes away a lot of the emotional baggage which can often sabotage even the best intentions.  Be your best boss and not the boss you hated!

Lynda Linforth is a certified personal trainer, licensed nutritionist and owner of Train Inc, a private training studio in Arcadia specializing in weight loss, post-rehab exercise, post-cancer exercise and nutrition.  She can be reached at (626) 447-1049 or lyndalinforth@gmail.com.  Train Inc also offers self defense classes for men only and women only.

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