Training With The End In Mind

I played a lot of sports growing up.

Although I can’t say I was ever a star player, it did teach me a lot about life that I still use today such as teamwork, deliberate practice, and competition.

It also taught me something very important about goal setting.

You see, when I was first learning how to sprint in track & field class I struggled—my times sucked. I just couldn’t get everything working together and my movement was sloppy.

Then my coach gave me some advice that I still remember today.

He told me to “focus on the finish line”. 🎯

Simply enough right? The difference was I was so focused on the next step that my whole body was in a constant state of almost tripping.

When I focused on the finish line I experienced what people call “the zone”. Everything else disappeared and my sprinting times skyrocketed.

This is how a lot of people go about goal setting and why it rarely works.

They only think about the next step. 👣

Begin With The End In Mind

Discussed in Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, beginning with the end in mind is all about knowing your purpose and what you’re trying to achieve. 🤔

It’s about asking yourself questions to determine your objectives and the reasons behind wanting to achieve them:

  • What is the purpose of what you are trying to achieve?
  • What outcomes do you want to achieve?
  • Why are those outcomes important?

Answering these questions is absolutely essential in order to “begin with the end in mind”. It’s about fast-forwarding into the future and considering what it looks like there for you.

Why is it so important?

Without an end goal in mind, how on earth are you going to get there? How can you know whether you’ve succeeded, failed, or reached somewhere in between, if you don’t know what you are aiming for?

Knowing your end goal will give you the continued motivation you need to achieve success. 💥

Putting it into action

Think about a person you wish to become.

Describe that person and then measure yourself against them. Try to identify the differences between yourself and that person and pinpoint the behaviors that you need to develop to order to get there.

Once you have clarity around where you are now and where you want to be, you can start mapping out your plan and working on closing the gaps between the two. 👍

This is effective goal setting and what will make the difference in whether you achieve or don’t achieve your goals in the long run.

To a live well lived,

-Adam

PS. Need help with creating goals? Schedule a complimentary consultation with myself and get on the fast track to living a life well lived.

Falling In Love With The Process

I just finished watching a new series on Netflix called Ozark (if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out!).

During the opening scene in the first episode the main character Marty Byrde talks about how “money is the measure of a man’s choices”.

Said another way money is the result of one’s actions.

This got me thinking…

For someone like Marty Byrde, money itself is quite boring.

…but the process of getting it creates the whole basis for a hit TV series.

This is how I think about fitness—I am a lot more interested in the process of getting fit than the actual result of it.

In fact, the more I tend to be focused on the result, the less likely I am to accomplish it.

Why is this? 🤔

It has to do with focusing on the things I can control vs. the things I can’t.

As much as I would like to think I have control over the result, the truth is I don’t. And the more I focus on the things I can’t control, the less I focus on the things I can.

It all about prioritizing what to focus on. Although I have very little control on the outcome, I have 100% control of my actions.

This means if I am not getting the result I want then I simply look at my actions—do they line up with what I know to do?

  • Am I working out as much as I committed to?
  • Am I following my nutrition protocol completely?
  • Am I ensuring to sleep at least 7 hours a night and manage my stress?

…these are the things I can control.

And it’s actually quite fun to refine these actions, it’s part of what made me want to be a personal trainer in the first place.

-Adam

PS. Part of a personal trainer’s job is to create & refine your actions.

If you taking the actions expected of you and still not getting results, then it is our job to refine your actions so that you do.

PPS. Need help creating effective actions? Comment below with your biggest challenge right now and I would be happy to give my recommendation.

The ARM Academy: Our Approach To Getting Results That Last

Back in 2014 (when we were still called ARM Training Systems) we released a very unique personal training menu that consisted of two types of offers.

They were called Foundational Offers and Progressive Offers.

We did this because after years of experience, innovation, and observation we noticed something incredibly important: To become fit and well requires not just hard work but physical education, pattern disruption, and behavior modification as well.

After that, staying fit and well also requires support and guidance, but of an entirely different variety, with emphasis upon variation and progression.

Fortunately, when we were true to this proven formula, our clients tended to achieve their fitness, wellness, and lifestyle goals faster and in a more sustainable manner.

More than 3 years later and we still use this idea, but it has been re-invented and refined through what we now call The ARM Academy.

Something to note was that ARM’s focus has never been on short term results. Right from the start we have aimed to cause results that lasted and knew that doing so would require a completely new approach to personal training.

The problem with most fitness programs is that they are too narrow. Changing our fitness habits alone will rarely stick because it is only a piece of a much bigger puzzle.

A puzzle that most fitness experts don’t want to touch.

That’s why we created a branch of lifestyle coaching at ARM—something to tackle the areas that most experts didn’t.

The result being that we now impacted all aspects of someone’s life.

While this was an important introduction, when it was first launched it lacked something. While our fitness programs were created with a progressive nature in mind these lifestyle coaching sessions were not.

We needed to create a structure that used all of the pieces we knew were important (and in most cases required) to truly transform someone’s life—and we needed to put it into a program that was easily understandable and executed.

So we scanned the global marketplace for business models from which we might borrow structures and/or metaphors and after a full month of exploration, we were surprised but delighted to realize that the organizational model best suited to our wants and needs was that of the college or university.

For example, THE ARM 100 SERIES: INTRODUCTIONS & CONSIDERATIONS is kind of like the informational sessions sponsored by most colleges, institutes, and universities. In our case, it only lasts an hour or two, and it’s completely free of charge. Conducted at our Milton campus (that’s what we’re calling it now) on a one-to-one basis–or in a group setting at your home, office, whatever–ARM 100 isn’t a sales meeting. There’s some actual value there, no matter what you choose to do next. That said, for those who want to move forward, appointments do close with opportunities to apply for ARM 200.

THE ARM 200 SERIES: EXPERIMENTS & DISCOVERIES is a week-long course that opens your mind and makes new things possible–kind of like an associate’s degree. During the course of ARM 200, we help new students understand their bodies, selves, and lives in a new way–and to evaluate what’s possible for all three. This is achieved thanks to an innovative teaching-and-learning format involving five one-on-one life-coaching experiences and five one-on-one personal-training experiences.

THE ARM 300 SERIES: FOUNDATIONS & FUNDAMENTALS is a month-long course that makes sure your mind and body are exactly where they need to be to make it “out there”–kind of like a bachelor’s degree. During the course of ARM 300, we help students correct, improve, and bring balance to their levels of mechanical, adaptational, and constitutional fitness. As with all of our courses, nutritional counselling is fully integrated–no additional fees nor charges.

THE ARM 400 SERIES: ADVENTURES & TRANSFORMATIONS is a quarter-long course that teaches you to set and meet a major project objective–kind of like a master’s degree. During the course of ARM 400, we help students design holistic, strategic, altogether realistic plans to objectively, measurably, and impactfully improve their bodies, selves, and lives.

THE ARM 500 SERIES: REFINEMENTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS is a year-long course, that teaches you to survive and thrive, no matter what–kind of like a doctorate or professional degree. During the course of ARM 500, we help students cultivate winning habits, maintain what they’re already achieved, and accomplish even more–despite life’s inevitable challenges, difficulties, obstacles, and interruptions.

Honestly, I’ve just top-lined our new curriculum for you. There’s so much more to share, for example: all of the luxurious extras that are included with tuition; our small-group learning options, which can reduce costs by as much as fifty percent; our merit-based scholarship program; and our financing options, which make it easier than ever to get ARMed.

Want to know more? All you have to do is ask! Comment below with your questions.

Meanwhile, please remember that, when it comes to your fitness, wellness, and performance, the best step is usually the next step.

— Adam

 

Serving People Deeply: Finding The Right Community

I ended up getting stuck on the highway for over 2 hours yesterday. And while I can’t say I enjoyed it, I did make the most of it by having an incredible phone call with our vice president about serving the right community.

This came from a discussion about refining ARM’s purpose, mission, vision, and core values. The problem we were having was they didn’t seem to flow together as much as we wanted, it lacked something to tie it all together.

What it lacked was a clear and distinct audience that we wanted to serve.

Without this our efforts were too broad, we were trying to please EVERYONE and because of it we wouldn’t serve ANYONE (at least not to the extent we wanted to).

I remember hearing a mentor of mine once say “If you were on a boat that was sinking in the middle of the ocean and had the only life raft, who would you save? Only the people swimming towards you.”

“If you were on a boat that was sinking in the middle of the ocean and had the only life raft, who would you save? Only the people swimming towards you.”

This is one of the reasons I am really opposed to “hard selling” at ARM. I see little value in trying to convince someone they need saving and a lot more interested in helping those that genuinely want it.

But there is an even deeper level here.

Focusing my efforts on too wide of an audience also prevents me from serving deeply.

Spending 100% of my efforts on 100 people means that each would get around 1% of it, expand that to a thousand people and it becomes 0.1%. Can I really help serve someone to my best ability while giving them 0.1% of my attention? I doubt it.

That is why finding the right community matters.

Finding a community where I can be as generous as possible and still fulfill my purpose. A community that if served well, would impact a larger much larger audience.

That’s why you will often see me give away things for free.

It’s not that I am trying to trick or hook anyone. It’s that I know who I want to serve and want to serve them to the best of my ability.

Serving our community fulfills on ARM’s purpose and at the end of the day there are few things more important than that.

-Adam

Why Lottery Winners Go Broke (and Failed Entrepreneurs Bounce Back)

At our latest design meeting, the Vice President of ARM, Jeff Bao Nguyen and I had an interesting discussion about what is required for permanent lifestyle transformation.

We compared the typical personal training model out there to winning the lottery.

Do a little bit of research on Google and you will find countless stories of people who made it big, only to lose it all.

Why is this?

One of the major reasons is that they never learned how to become wealthy.

Being wealthy isn’t as simple as just winning a lot of money, there are skills involved like money management, investing, saving, etc. For someone to become wealthy they have to go through a transformation process first.

At ARM one of our core principles comes from the idea that transformation starts with a declaration of oneself, which causes certain actions, that result in certain outcomes. A new result on it’s own will never be sufficient to cause a transformation.

Declaration (Being) > Actions (Doing) > Outcomes (Having)

So if we go back to the example of winning the lottery we see that although a new result (having money) was present, the actions that lead to it weren’t there.

The outcome? A short lived experience of being rich.

This is also where ARM stands out among the rest in the personal training space.

While most trainers focus on a certain outcome (which is often short lived once achieved), we focus on things like behavior change and causing a complete transformation in who someone is.

The result? Clients that experience lasting results. Sure, some may revert back to their old habits, but they will always have access to the new identity created with us.

That’s the beauty of transformation—at any time you can choose to be whoever you want to be.

And while some people are ok with being a truck, being able to transform into “Optimus Prime” at any time is extremely powerful.

-Adam

PS. One last note on transformation is that it requires a certain style of learning to get. While the typical model of informative learning (through information) is great for some areas of our lives, it does nothing to cause transformation.

What makes a difference is called Transformative Learning, something we introduce our clients to in our ARM 100 series. You can book this free appointment by going to www.ARMsystems.ca.

How to Handle “Breakdowns”

“Everything in moderation”

A phrase I often hear that couldn’t be further than the truth.

My problem with moderation is that it is often used as an excuse to hide behind when we simply aren’t doing what we know to do. It’s sneaky, and it’s preventing a lot of people from hitting their long term goals.

Now don’t get me wrong, aiming for perfection is a quick way to fail as well.

But you don’t have to do that either.

You simply have to acknowledge “breakdowns” as a part of the goal-achieving process.

What is a Breakdown?

Breakdowns are when we take an action against our goals.

They happen all the time. In fact, they are essential.

They help us learn and create better structures for ourselves.

You see breakdowns only exist against our goals. Meaning that if we did not have goals in the first place, breakdowns would not occur.

…think about that for a second, if I did not want to be leaner it would not a breakdown for me to eat poorly.

This is an extremely important thing to understand because it is with this view that we can tackle our breakdowns VERY differently than how most people do.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s say that my goal is to get a six-pack for my winter vacation.

I have eaten well for 6 weeks, exercised 3 times per week, and done cardio in between my workouts. I am doing well by all accounts.

Then one weekend comes around and it’s my best friend’s birthday.

Because I have been so diligent lately I decide to let loose a little bit and eat all the deserts available. I pig out on everything.

I go home feeling terrible about slipping up and spend the next couple of days discouraged with myself.

I go to the gym the next day but instead of being excited about it, I am now exercising because of the deserts I ate and eating super clean to make up for it.

While these habits themselves are not inherently bad, the focus has completely shifted.

Now I am not eating to get a six-pack, I am eating to correct a mistake.

And as most of us know, what we focus on is what we attract…. so guess what? Another “slip up” is right around the corner.

So What Should We Do Instead?

The solution here is rather simple.

When you realize that you have “slipped up” immediately declare it as a BREAKDOWN! From there remember what your original goal was in the first place and take an action IMMEDIATELY that will help support that goal.

This rapid refocusing followed by an immediate action will get you back on track with little to no harm (having a “cheat” meal once every few weeks will do little to nothing, however losing focus on what your goals are can have a devastating effect).

This is also where it is incredibly valuable to have a coach who can work with you in handling breakdowns. A coach will have an objective view of the situation and can offer advice to get you back on track FAST.

The fact is, you are either acting FOR your goal or AGAINST it—there is no in between.

Breakdowns help us understand and manage these moments in an effective manner.

Micro Failure, Macro Success

I used to think that success was built on itself.

It was a momentum thing.

The more success you had the more success you were probably going to have in the future. What I didn’t know was this:

Success is built on a foundation of failures.

Let me expand on this by using a concept I first heard from Gary Vaynerchuk about micro-failures.

You see, failure can be separated into two categories: micro and macro.

A macro failure would be dying. A macro failure would be going out of business. A macro failure would be your wife telling you that she utterly despises you and wants a divorce.

Almost everything else can be can be deemed a micro failure.

The challenge is that most people see micro failures and make them bigger than they are. Something doesn’t go the way they had planned and they freak out. They lose momentum and focus. They spend so much time trying to fix the micro that they forget about the macro.

What needs to happen is a mindset shift. To realize that every single micro failure that has ever happened was there to help you succeed at a macro level.

 

If I were to explain everything going on in my life right now I would have way more things not going well than going well from a micro level.

But overall, in regards to my goals, dreams, and passions—everything is going extremely well! At a micro level I am failing, but at a macro level I am succeeding.

Most people have it reversed. They don’t take chances for fear of failing at a micro level. They play it safe. And before long they stop progressing, and thus they are losing at a macro level.

For me, I deal with micro failures every single day.

I get emails about clients who are injured.  Appointments that need to be cancelled. Campaigns that aren’t performing. Projects that are behind. Every single day there are micro failures that I deal with—I have no choice in the matter.

And I can either resist it or embrace it.

I can use it to build perseverance and backbone. It’s a mindset shift.

Putting myself on the right track from a macro level and realizing that every micro “failure” doesn’t really matter.

It is also important to be aware of how your environment effects your response. Whether it’s success or failure, you have to decide what you are going to do.

The biggest factor on whether or not you are going to win is completely based on how you react to your environment, and not the environment itself. You can read more about it here.

So re-focus. Realize that you have no alternatives in life but to go all in.

Take those micro failures and transform them into macro successes.

-Adam

 

 

 

Are You Committed? Or Simply Attached?

I spent years learning how to set out and accomplish goals in the traditional manner.

I wrote down my SMART goals on a sheet of paper—making sure to have every detail laid out. I would accomplish “x” by “y” by doing “z”. I would determine all the variables I needed to track to know if I was successful or not, and I would ensure I had a deadline to hold myself accountable to.

And while this model of goal setting has been around for decades, it needs an update.

GOAL SETTING STARTS WITH A STATE CHANGE

In order to be effective at setting (and accomplishing) goals you must start with your state. Or said a differently “your way of being”.

What do I mean by this? Let me give you an example…

Many individuals who hire a personal trainer want to be more confident.

And they feel that once they lose weight that will happen (not a bad assumption).

However, more often than not this doesn’t happen. Why?

It’s because confidence is a state of being.

There is nothing you need to acquire to be confident, you simply have to “be” it.

The problem is that most of us don’t create declarations for ourselves. Affirmations, which are often used by top celebrities, athletes, and creative thinkers are not mainstream for people like us.

Here is another problem with the traditional model—when our goals are influenced by our results our chance of success plummets.

It’s easy to lose motivation or get discouraged when we need to HAVE something first. When our results impact our state it creates a vicious cycle.

COURSE CORRECTION

RESULT > STATE > ACTIONS

This is the traditional model of how we interact with the world. Something happens (the result), we emotionally react (our state changes), we do something (our actions). While this works great in positive circumstances, it can be devastating in negative ones.

Now, if we are able to shift this model of goal setting to start with our state first we have:

STATE > ACTIONS > RESULTS

Notice the shift. My state determines my actions and my actions determine my results.

Makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it? And my results are no longer influenced by circumstance, leaving me free to act effectively even when things aren’t going my way.

PUTTING IT INTO ACTION

Here are some questions that you can answer to help you put this into action…

First, what is it that you really want? Dream big here. This isn’t about “getting real”. This is about being pure and true—to yourself; your vision; what’s in your heart and on your mind.

Second, what state is associated with it? What would it feel like if you had it?

Third, what actions reflect you being in that state? For example, if my state of being was “a powerful athlete” my actions would be to workout consistently.

These questions can help you get started with a new approach to goal setting. One that puts you in the driver seat and overcomes the inevitable bumps in the road.

Want to put a more detailed plan together? Reach out to me at adam@armsystems.ca. We will schedule a 60 minute private appointment and put all of this into action.

-Adam

Why Your Story Could Be Killing You

For months I had a story about being too busy.

How was I supposed to find the time to go to the gym when I had so much going on? Clearly anyone else in my situation would agree that I simply had too much on my plate to have the time for anything else.

I even got people to agree with me on the topic…

But do you know what all of that did for me? It gave me an excuse—a way out.

I could justify why I allowed myself to feel like crap. To wake up each morning more tired, more drained, more mediocre 😔.

I got to play the victim.

If I had let that continue, I could only imagine how I would feel now.

Do you know what I did to fix it? I changed my story.

Instead of saying I was too busy, I changed the story to that I was in demand. I was needed. And to serve people better I needed to keep in top shape 💪.

So I let go of some of my “hobbies” such as watching TV every night (and changed it to 2-3 times per week), going out for lunch, and sleeping in when I could.

All of the sudden I had time 🕐.

What I am getting at here is that the story we have about a situation is often more powerful than the situation itself.

And while trying to change a situation itself can seem like an impossible task, changing the story about it isn’t.

The beauty of all of this is that by changing the story your actions will change by default.

And new actions mean new results 💥.

So if you have a story that is stopping you right now, email me at adam@armsystems.ca 📧📧📧.

We will schedule a complimentary consultation and work together on creating a new story.

One that inspires you.

And may just change your life.

To a life well lived,

-Adam

 

Why a Balanced Life is Bogus

As I get back from vacation I am reminded that having a “balanced” life is not only impossible but it is counter-productive to our long term success.

If I was truly seeking balance it would mean trying to do all things at all times (and remaining mediocre at all of them). It would lead to frustration and eventually burnout.

In today’s article I cover the concept of Counter-Balancing.

Taken from the book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary, counter balancing is about prioritizing. It’s about focusing on the most important thing right now and letting everything else be out of balance.

It’s an important part of living a life well lived.

Living in the Middle Means Never Giving Anything Your All

Balancing work, life and everything in between requires us to not give too much of ourselves to anything. That is, to live life in the middle. Unfortunately, living life in the middle guarantees that you won’t be able to focus on what matters most. By trying to keep everything on level ground, nothing will get your full attention.

The middle is mundane. This is one of the biggest flaws of the concept of a balanced life. We think we need to be in the middle at all times. What this philosophy doesn’t account for are the moments when we need to step away from the middle in order to accomplish big goals. Things will naturally go out of balance when you are going after the things that matter most in your life. If you aren’t prepared for it chaos could ensue.

Instead of trying to manage it all equally, we need to find what makes our work and personal lives the most effective. The Harvard Business Review recently outlined research that shows being “balanced” isn’t necessarily effective and managing multiple things at once can be a struggle. The counterbalancing act comes into play when you begin deciding when it’s alright to stay in the middle and when you need to go the extremes to get things done.

The Counterbalancing Mindset

While actual balance isn’t possible, the act of counterbalancing is achievable. This is the idea of going between life and work requirements so that nothing is ignored or left undone for too long, but making sure the things that matter most are given the lion’s share of your attention. This frees you up to spend the majority of your focus on your top priority at the moment.

Some counterbalancing factors to keep in mind:

  • Counterbalancing is divided into two buckets – work and life. Both need to be counterbalanced independently.
  • There are times when you will have to put small amounts of focus on secondary concerns so that they don’t completely get ignored.
  • Counterbalancing requires keen awareness of what is needed most.
  • Nothing should ever be sacrificed completely.
  • Never forgo family for work.
  • Work will require you to be at the extremes for longer periods, whereas personal life requires frequently moving back and forth for tight counterbalancing.
  • The key is determining how long you need to be out of balance.

You can read the original article along with other lies we have been told at: http://the1thing.wpengine.com/time-management/lie-5-a-balanced-life/.