By Bruce Burke

Like any other endeavor, you will only enjoy the fruits of your exercise experience if you honestly work at it. It takes a little time and will often take you out of what you currently consider your “comfort zone.” Ironically, this so called comfort zone is often anything but!

People are a product of their environment and the stimuli they encounter. Life in their comfort zone reflects how they look and feel on a day-to-day basis. Can you tell the difference between someone who sits at a desk all day and someone who works out regularly? You bet you can. They are products of their environment and easily identified. If they want to look and feel differently, they have to be willing to live differently. For many, leaving the excuses behind is the first step towards real change and real success.

Here’s how to do it:

Step One: Identify a Prize worth pressing for. Remember, it must be specific and powerful enough to prevent you from engaging in destructive behavior. Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? What do you want to look like? After answering these questions, visualize that person. Is becoming that person important enough, powerful enough, and satisfying enough to help you overcome the roadblocks to getting there?

Step Two: Recognize destructive mindsets, roadblocks or behaviors that will hinder your success. These vary from person to person, but time is a very common roadblock. It is all too easy to let the many responsibilities that accompany our lives, such as work and family, interfere with becoming fit. Ironically, it is often only a matter of time before the opposite is true…that being unfit interferes with the responsibilities of work and family!

Step Three: Determine new mindsets, habits and behaviors that will help you succeed in achieving your Prize. After identifying these problems, create a strategy for overcoming them. An example of changing the mindset of not having time due to work or family could be deciding that you owe it to the people you love, work with and have responsibility for to be healthy and fit for the long term. A new behavior could be to have someone else mow the lawn so you have time to exercise. I assure you, there are solutions to 99% of these so called “roadblocks.”

Step Four: Stay focused on your Prize. This process is ongoing. Continue to focus on your strategy for success. Remember, you are not sacrificing anything! The pleasure you get from that extra half hour of sleep or dessert is nothing compared to the feeling of realizing your vision. You are doing what it takes to attain what you really want, what is really satisfying…your Prize!

Do these things and you will be amazed. Remember, in order to see extra-ordinary results, you’ve got to be willing to do extra-ordinary things.

If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact me at
Bruce is the founder of One on One, Fitness Consultants Inc., in State College, PA.