I am not a fitness expert. I’m certainly not a ‘gym-bunny’ either. Far from it, in fact. The truth is that I’ve been up and down with weight for a number of years and have always found it difficult to get going with exercise.
What I am is an NLP Master Practitioner and Coach. NLP is Neuro-Linguistic Programming or the art and science of human behaviour.
I’ve had some real eureka moments lately in terms of my attitude and approach to exercise, health and fitness. In part, it relates to my values. It also relates to my behavioural preferences too. With this new understanding, the changes I have started to make already are working, providing real results and forming into new lasting habits.
I expect you can tell me many of your values. No doubt, they’ll include things like honesty, integrity, being happy and so on. Where things get a little more complex is when we dig deeper and also work out the hierarchy. I know that work is a high value for me and that exercise is a low value. There are NLP techniques which can change the hierarchy of values, which can be very helpful.
What I’ve come to realise though is that my health and fitness is important for work and so it’s increased the level of the exercise value.
Where does it fit in to your values?
Extroversion for energy
Do you get your energy from being around other people or are you someone who gets their energy from being alone? This is not binary, it’s definitely a sliding scale and is can certainly be contextual, ie work/home; week/weekend etc. If you’ve ever taken any behavioural preference test which is Jungian principled, such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you may well be familiar with this and know where on that line you fall.
If you don’t want to take a test, here’s a very quick idea of where you may fall:
Introversion: social situations are often draining; you like time alone to recharge; often go to a quiet corner; put headphones on to keep the noise out.
Extraversion: get energy from being with and talking to others; working alone can become draining; will seek out interaction.
External versus internal reference
How do you know when you’ve done a good job? If, like me, you invite feedback, want other people to give their opinion, feel that the client’s view is the most important, then you’re externally referenced. If, on the other hand, you tend to feel that you have a gut feeling or that you ‘just know’, then you’re internally referenced.
Choose the right thing for you
As I get a buzz from being around others and need feedback, a bootcamp is great for me. I get to work with 20-25 other people and have a qualified fitness instructor leading the sessions, who regularly gives me feedback on how I’m doing.
The change in my values back in November gave me the kick start I needed to enrol in bootcamp in December. The understanding that bootcamp is the right activity for my behavioural preferences, allows me to keep going with it.
If you’re going to set yourself a goal around physical activity, help yourself by choosing the right activity for your behavioural preferences: if you’re working in a way which keeps your energy up, you’re so much more likely to succeed.