Every morning, my personal assistant drags me out of bed, pours me a cup of hot coffee, and leads me to my desk to get organized.
Then my personal trainer shows up. And before I have time to protest, she’s already got me started on a 5-mile run. After that, my personal chef hands me my green juice and gives me the list of items I need to prepare all my healthy meals for the day.
What would I do without my team of people who motivate me to get all this done?
I do what I always do: do it myself. And unless you’re a celebrity, I know you do, too.
It’s not easy to push yourself every day to get up, work out, and eat healthy. Yet somehow you manage to get it done (most of the time). And it’s especially hard when you don’t feel like it.
So how do you do it?
You talk yourself into it — you coach yourself.
Whether you realize it or not, you have a coach’s voice inside of you. But it’s probably not speaking very clearly or loudly.
The problem is that there are other voices competing with it. There’s the Lazy Girlfriend, who would rather drink wine and binge watch Netflix. And there’s the Mean Girl, who loves to remind you what a loser you are every time you fail.
You have to amplify the voice of your inner coach or else those other two voices will drown it out.
And the inner critic we all have is especially loud. It’s imperative that you turn the volume down on that one, or it will sabotage all all the positive steps you’ve made — and prevent you from making more.
You also have to be your own coach because a lot of the time it feels like you’re not making progress. And it’s easy to think that it doesn’t really matter if you skip that one workout or eat that one cookie.
But it actually does matter, because small steps add up to big results.
And believe it or not, you are making progress, even though doesn’t seem like it. It may feel like you’re in the same place, but you’re not — because what’s different is you. And you’ve just made another distinction that you’ll be able to use next time.
The hardest thing you will ever do isn’t running a marathon. It’s getting out of bed, putting on your shoes, and taking that first step out the door. And you need your inner coach to help you do these things.
Fortunately, there are proven tactics you can use to ramp up the voice of your inner coach and make it more effective. Here are a few:
Say “you.” There’s evidence that talking to yourself in the second person motivates you more than talking in the first person does.
Success coach Brendon Burchard studied 100 of the most successful people alive today to find out what practices they have in common. One was addressing themselves as “you” instead of “I.”
When you’re talking to yourself — mentally or out loud — speak as if you were another person. Instead of saying, “I know I can do this,” say “You can totally do this.”
Doing this automatically and effortlessly turns you into a coach. It’s like an invisible person is standing next to you, cheering you on.
And if the world’s most successful people do it, why not you?
Know when to push yourself. You have to strike a balance between pushing yourself and giving yourself a break. The trick is to know when to do which.
Everyone is different, so you’ll have to listen to your gut and know what’s right for you in each situation. If you don’t feel like working out but you know you could push on through, be a benevolent drill sergeant and tell yourself to get moving. But if you are truly wiped out from all you have going on in your life, then take the day off — and be nice to yourself!
Always phrase what you say in the positive. If you need to push yourself, tell yourself how much better you’ll feel afterward. And if you need to take a break, acknowledge all that you do and recognize that self-care also includes meditation, relaxation, or maybe a facial. Sometimes a dead sprint on the treadmill isn’t what you need.
Celebrate your wins. An excellent coach knows that celebrating wins is critical to keep motivation high. Unfortunately, we tend to spend more time beating ourselves up rather than celebrating anything.
Even if you don’t work 9 to 5, you actually do have job — many of them, in fact! Chances are you’re a cook, a housekeeper, and a professional organizer — and if you have children, a chauffeur and a 24-hour nanny. All of that in addition to maintaining your health.
So instead of constantly berating yourself for how often you fail, celebrate the times when you succeed. The green salad you ate, the brownie you said no to, the workout you did when you didn’t feel like it. Celebrating what you did right keeps you motivated to continue.
The biggest thing to celebrate is the fact that no one is showing up at your house, making you do anything. Every positive thing you do is because you’re deciding to do it. And that is definitely something to congratulate yourself for!
Awareness is everything, so pay attention to what you say to yourself and especially how you say it. You’re already coaching yourself somehow, so make that voice as effective as possible.
And once you mold your inner coach into your biggest, most supportive ally, train her to speak more often — and be sure to listen.