Let’s be Honest

They say the biggest lie in fitness is, “I’ll start tomorrow.” As long as you say it every day, it’s not a lie. There’s always a tomorrow waiting for that first step. If we’ve established Accountability, and rooted out who’s to blame for our condition, what’s left is making sure we’re being honest with ourselves.

Why do we lie to ourselves? The answer is complex and varied. We make plans without considering the details. We overestimate our free time. We underestimate our commitments. We misunderstand the investment. These are easy mistakes to make and easy to correct. It’s when we don’t make the corrections that the mistake becomes a lie. Oftentimes when I talk about lying to ourselves, the assumption is that I’m referring to lying about what we can do to be healthier. There’s a much more common lie that I hear in my line of work. “I’ll start tomorrow,” isn’t the biggest lie in fitness. It’s “I can’t do it.”

Remember the success cycle? Belief gives potential which leads to action, that yields results which reinforces or gives a new belief. What happens when we throw a lie into that mix? We believe something that isn’t true, our action yields poor results, therefore our doubt is reinforced.

The impact of lying to ourselves is significant. Failure to meet a goal and personal integrity are at stake. The greatest casualty of lying about what we can’t do is fear of being honest about the things we can do.
If you find that you’ve been less than honest with yourself about your health and commitment to wellness, take heart. The good news is that it’s easy to make the necessary adjustments to maintain personal dignity and move you closer to your goal. In our conversation about Accountability, we talked about using checkpoints along the path. If you wait until Saturday to uphold your promise to workout 5 times a week, you’ve created your own obstacle to honesty. For starters, 5 was probably unobtainable. Waiting until the end of the week rendered it impossible. So, use those checkpoints along the way. Set your sight on the end of the week, but take stock of your activity on Monday and Wednesday. Then make the necessary adjustments to make good on your commitment. If you promised yourself you’d eat better only to slip up and have dessert, you can still hold to your promise tomorrow. Grab some almonds for your next midday snack. Learn from the error and do better next time. Don’t let a moment of weakness make a liar out of you. Celebrate the win that gave you a strong result and an even stronger truth will be inspired.

Worry less about what you can’t do and focus on what you can do right now, tomorrow, and this week. “I can’t,” is the most dangerous lie because it’s the easiest to believe. So, how do we change our belief? We look back to the success cycle. We make an honest assessment of what we can do, we commit to it, get it done, and adjust our beliefs. Exit dishonesty, enter the truth about your abilities. Reap the rewards.