Issue Date: February 2011 Web Features, Posted On: 2/9/2011
Training Wheels: The "All or Nothing" Mindset By Shelby Murphy
It's the most dangerous idea a new
client can have, but it's most likely what drove them to you in the first
place. It's the "All or Nothing" mindset, the "If I can't exercise everyday
and eat perfect then what's the use?" excuse for not achieving
success. These clients are generally the
ones who seem the most gung-ho to begin training, five days a
week, and want to follow a super low-calorie food plan. And they assure you that
this plan is very realistic for them...
...Until life throws them the slightest
curve and then all bets are off. The minute their son's baseball team calls an
unexpected practice and interrupts their training schedule, the plan is
completely derailed, never to recover.
Most likely, you too have encountered
this type of client. And most likely you've been fooled by their initial
enthusiasm. But experience eventually teaches us to give these clients some
coaching early on -- let them know that this isn't an all-or-nothing
proposition. That exercise and eating right need to become a part of a
lifestyle shift, a change that you lean into and become better and better at as
time goes along. They need to know that nobody -- including the professional
athletes with the greatest bodies and eating habits -- aren't perfect all the
time. And as trainers, we don't expect them to be perfect either.
Interruptions will occur. Plan with your
client how to handle them. And share with them that consistent effort makes much bigger change
than striving for perfection.
Shelby, I know that I personally have fallen prey to the all or nothing mindset! It is a great reminder that having a plan is critical but to realize that life happens and we need to be able to adapt and change in response.
I think the more information you have about your business, exercise plan or whatever is getting you trapped in the at mindset the easier it is to see other options available to you.