Everything You Do Takes You Here

A friend of mine in the fitness industry is a legendary Scottish personal trainer named Alwyn Cosgrove. He moved to New York in the 90’s, built up a large personal training business, met his wife, and moved to California to open a gym in 2000. He’s a real no-nonsense guy, and always learning and improving. He’s also a breath of outspoken fresh air in an otherwise boring industry. One of my favorite Cosgrove quotes is:

“Everything you do is either moving you closer to or farther away from your goals.”

This is a mindset that I try to instill in all fat loss clients. If they decide to sleep in and skip a workout, that takes my clients away from their goal. On the other hand, if they choose to say “no” to the pizza and doughnuts in the office and eat their healthy lunch brought from home instead, that takes my clients closer to their goal. Every choice they make – and every choice you make – takes you closer to one of these places – success or failure.

In the past fourteen years since I earned my first personal training certification, I have witnessed body transformations that are so shocking I would not have believed them if I didn’t have photographic evidence. Clients have lost over 34 pounds of fat in 12 weeks, while others have lost over 100 pounds in 10 months.

However, I believe that losing 100 pounds is much more difficult than achieving financial success. While many of the principles are the same, today’s social and nutritional environments are much more difficult to overcome for fat loss than personal achievement. If these folks can lose 100 pounds in a year, then you can build a side business or boost your income by adding value.

Making a transformation, in your body or in your career, starts with personal responsibility. We need to accept that everything about success is under our control. If we plan and prepare properly, we’ll move in the right direction. If we are lazy or make poor decisions when we should know better, we’ll struggle, or worse, we’ll regress. This is an important mindset shift we all need to make. The sooner, the better.

In order to move closer to our goals we eventually need to do things we’ve never done before. We have to get out of our comfort zones and past routines. For my fat loss clients, that means planning and preparing their nutrition schedule for the week ahead as well as scheduling mandatory exercise appointments.

For myself, this has meant eliminating all Internet access during my peak productivity time – no surfing from website-to-website checking out the morning news. Instead, I must start the day writing on a computer that is not connected to the Internet because the most important responsibility of my day is creating the Early to Rise essay for you.

If I sleep-in, I miss out on my magic time where I have the most productive writing time of my day. That makes it much more difficult to get the ETR essay done on time. On the other hand, if I properly prepare my workspace and write down a few primer notes at night, the essay writing comes free and easy the next morning and I rapidly move closer to my goal of creating the best content for you.

It is tempting for us – myself included – to remain in our comfort zones. But that is not where we grow, improve, and make the changes necessary to dramatically move ahead. Your challenge is to do the opposite. Look at what you are doing to stay in your comfort zone and think, “What is the opposite action of my instinct? And would this opposite action be the better solution?”

For a fat loss transformation client, their natural preference is to wake up with just enough time to shower, dress, and drive to work while picking up a coffee and possibly a pastry for breakfast. Then it’s work until they are starving, rush out for a fast food calorie-bomb lunch, fuel up with more coffee for the afternoon, and then rush home from work to take care of the family. After dinner, the instinct is to relax with some unnecessary calories (such as ice cream, alcohol, or snack foods) and television programs.

Unfortunately, this entire day would take them in the wrong direction – away from their goals of being fit and healthy. This daily schedule would not allow them to be the best that they can be. Instead, they must make the choices that move them closer to their goals. This includes getting up early to exercise, preparing their meals the night before, and implementing rituals that helps them avoid eating excess junk food at night.

Likewise, if your goal is to be the most productive worker in your office or industry, then following our natural inclinations to show up late, to gossip with colleagues, to surf the Internet on company time, and to take long lunches and breaks would move us in the wrong direction.

Instead, to achieve success, and to pursue your American Dream, there are several changes that would need to be made. Showing up early, blocking off your ‘magic time’ when you are most productive, and planning out the next day’s work schedule before leaving each night would move you in the right direction.

Having witnessed hundreds of fat loss transformation success stories over the years I believe these are perfect examples of what can be done when someone identifies that what they are doing now is not working. The parallels are numerous between achieving a successful fat loss transformation and creating a successful business or career.

In both cases, the successful person realizes that things must change if they want their situation to improve. Preparation is key. Habits must be revamped. Time must be blocked for productive activity. And social support, via hanging around positive people who support their goals, is an essential component of success.

You make these changes by setting rules for your new life.

The fat loss transformation client says:

• I will eat according to my fat loss plan 90% of the time.
• I will have only one cheat meal per week.
• I will workout on these days at this time – no excuses.
• I will do my weekly shopping and food preparation every weekend.
• I contact my social support group every day to check in and get motivation.

Those are the rules that will take them closer to their goal. These are non-negotiable. When a client makes this level of commitment, their success is a given. Everything else is just details. I’ve witnessed it over and over again in the three transformation contests I run in my business each year.

Similarly, if you want to build your business, improve your career, and achieve the American Dream, you would be best served by creating a similar set of rules.

• I clear my schedule so that I work on the toughest projects during my mental magic time (the time of day when you are most productive).
• When I am at work I eliminate time wasters such as surfing the Internet, checking email obsessively, and engaging in idle conversation and gossip.
• At the end of each day I plan tomorrow’s workday so that I get off to a good start and work through the most important tasks on my to-do list.
• I will contact at least one person per day to build relationships and add value.

These simple rules will take you closer to your goals. Breaking them will take you farther away. Success, as you can see, is a simple equation.

If you want to transform, simply remember that every action is under your control. What you choose to do determines the results you will achieve.

Never forget that, and never give up on your goals.

Craig Ballantyne

“Ask yourself if you could go back and start over – would you be doing different things now. Don’t be scared to start over now. If it’s education, your career, your life, your fitness program – don’t be afraid to continually grow so much and so quickly that you need to stop and rethink everything you’re doing.” – Alwyn Cosgrove

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A New American Dream

In the winter of 2009 I started working with a coaching client. He was young, brash, and ambitious, although like most, he grew up in a family of modest means. At the time he was a schoolteacher, but his goal was to sell fitness and nutrition products on the Internet.

As we began our coaching calls, I quickly realized he was the most prepared student I had ever worked with, having studied many marketing masters and copywriters. Four months later he released his first product, and the very same day he made his first sale online, he also made his 1000th sale.

This young man, Joel Marion, has gone on to do multiple 7-figure product launches in the fitness industry. But he’s not a technical expert. He doesn’t build websites or advertise on Google or Facebook. Instead, Joel has simply transferred his passion for helping people into a business that adds value to tens of thousands of people around the world every day.

It’s the ultimate international business and one that is possible for all to model. His next product launch starts tomorrow and will be an incredible learning experience for you. You can watch how he does it at www.247FatLoss.com.

Discover how to achieve your American Dream and Financial Independence here.

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  • Great stuff. So true. Being conscious of what we’re doing at every given moment (“Awake”, “Aware”) is where it’s at. I love your idea about writing on a computer with no Internet access. It prevents temptation of course but I believe what we’re really doing is telling our brain, “No”, too.

    Thank you Lesa!!