“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

How many times have you heard that adage in your life? Ironically, like many of these sayings we often roll our eyes at, this one too holds true time and time again. Over my 20+ years as a coach (sports-specific nutrition, followed by Personal Training and Nutrition, to now a certified Wellness/Life Coach specializing in the mind/body relationship) I have become increasingly convinced of the importance of attitude in achieving your goal. As impractical as it may seem to some, I assure you that your attitude toward your physical appearance, combined with the general disposition you have toward life absolutely plays a critical role in your outward appearance. Time and time again I have seen a stark contrast between those that are confident in the direction they are going and the changes they are making when compared to those that do not trust the process, are doubtful that they too can achieve their goals, and how the two are received by others, as well as the rate at which the desired change is effectuated.

Among the most common questions that I am asked is, “What makes some more successful than others?”

Along with a general outlook of positivity and gratitude, there are a few traits that virtually every single successful client shares.

First, every successful client is teachable, or willing to work towards becoming open-minded enough to become teachable. The large majority of clients come to me expressing acceptance that they need help, whether it be in all aspects of their health and fitness, or seeking assistance with how to produce the desired result for a specific body part. Both may be equally important and often require a willingness to put aside old habits and training/nutrition beliefs for a period of time, and instead begin to incorporate some principles that may be entirely foreign to them, or even contradictory to what they have believed to be true for all the months, years, or on occasion, decades of training. Due to advances in science, the principles that were employed to improve physiques and general health even just 10 years ago have changed drastically, and have been updated to reflect those advancements in science and the new information available to us.

Second is consistency. One of Flex Level Fitness’s most successful clients who has undergone nothing short of a miraculous change both inside and out, Mark H., has repeatedly shared with me that he believes his consistency and reluctance to throw in the towel as a result of the occasional short-lived diversion from his regimen has been instrumental in the progress he continues to experience. Those who know me and the basic principles that we at Flex Level Fitness follow know that perfection is not the goal of our work together. Aside from striving to improve by 1% every day in some aspect of our life, we aim for 85-90% adherence to the diet and training regimen I layout. If this is achieved, we have achieved perfection for that day, and are on our way to success. I  stress ad nauseam to clients that we will not allow ourselves to be consumed by the minutiae that are 10-15% of our entire plan, and with few exceptions, are unlikely to derail our progress. Life happens. We have jobs. We have families. We have responsibilities. In short, we have things that are more important than our daily macronutrients totals, and even our time in the gym. Although undeniably important, it is imperative to not allow any setback to result in undue stress which will ultimately do more harm to our progress than any one meal or missed workout has the potential to do.

The third and final trait that successful clients share is their willingness to be honest, both with others, as well as myself. Among the very first conversations I have when onboarding a new client is the importance of honesty in all our affairs. The unnecessary stress caused by living a dishonest life is sure to hinder progress in ways most would never even consider. When referring specifically to a coach/client relationship, the coach’s knowledge and insight is only as valuable as its applicability to a given scenario that is encountered. If unaware of what struggles the respective client is met with, what frustrations exist, what aspects of the regimen are not able to be completed with regularity, a coach can provide little more than accountability, and the client is not allowing themselves to benefit from the countless ways in which any coach worth his/her salt can help.

Additionally, in today’s world honesty is the gold standard when referring to rare commodities one can possess. Experience has taught me that what may begin as one relationship in the client’s life in which honesty becomes the norm, and prioritized, often results in that same individual taking steps toward practicing honesty in areas ranging from employment, relationships, and most importantly, honesty with themselves. It is at this point at which a client is generally ready and willing to identify potential shortcomings and with some introspection, may begin to work on them. The times in which this has happened are innumerable, and where the real rewards are earned. Adding 10 pounds of muscle, losing weight and achieving your desired “summer body,” and even getting on stage, are all worthwhile improvements and achievements sure to pay dividends in your life and likely improve your mood if even for a short time, but it is irrefutable that being able to look in the mirror and match that newly achieved body and improved health with an equally enriched confidence knowing that you are free from any potential past deception coming back to haunt your conscience is a reward that all Flex Level Fitness clients, as well as myself, will unequivocally agree provides a far greater sense of well-being and self-worth than any physical change we can hope to achieve together.

Reflecting on what a trying, frustrating, and solemn week it has been, I ask that together we acknowledge the sacrifice that so many thousands of men and women made over the last 20 years, especially the many that we are fortunate to have as both members and staff at the East Coast Mecca of Fitness, Impact Fitness. We are grateful for your service, and for the many freedoms, we are able to enjoy as a result.

We at Flex Level Fitness and Impact Fitness wish you all a great start to the month as many of you see your little ones (and some not so little ones) off to school for maybe the first time, and many of you return to work, and we feel the seasons change. With some luck and faith, may we begin to see a return to at least a semblance of normalcy as we approach the end of 2021.