Eds note: Where do I get my fitness motivation, inspiration, and mindset? Oftentimes it comes from music and workout songs. I look at all forms of writing like a director watches a film: I notice the elements, rather than the big picture. This is not about good songs versus bad songs. It’s how a lyric, a line, or a sequence in a song influences or impacts my mindset. That’s what makes it part of my workout music playlists.
More importantly, these posts are designed to take the lyrics and interpret in a way that adds meaning or value to your life. -AB
The Music: “To tell you the truth, I’ve said before tomorrow I start in a new direction. I know I’ve been half asleep; I’m never doing that again. I look straight at what’s coming ahead and soon it’s going to change in a new direction. Every night as I’m falling asleep these words repeating in my head.” -“Come Downstairs and Say Hello,” by Guster
Success breeds more success. But the real goal is to make the process easier so you will believe.
The Mindset: Don’t Wait for Tomorrow
The fitness industry is filled with wishful thinking.
We want to lose weight. We want to build muscle. We want to be healthy and avoid disease.
Intention is not the problem. It’s execution.
But what’s at the heart of why we can’t execute? Is it willpower? Is it a true desire? Is it laziness? (As so many ‘fit’ people like to suggest.)
I think it’s something simpler: it’s success versus failure. Is there a structure in place that enables you to succeed and then believe?
This song hits at the core of our need to become better. Everything about it takes you through the emotions of change.
The slow, almost-somber start and pace reflects probably what most feel when they take on a new journey: the words are there, but the belief isn’t.
But then at some point a pivot occurs. There’s a pause. A break in the music. A shift in mindset.
The pace picks up. The sound of the music is different. And there’s hope, life, and a genuine belief that this is going to happen.
In this song it occurs right around right around 1:45. You can hear the shift. It’s the proverbial light bulb going off. The spark. And then, just like that you believe. You feel it in full force right around 2:50 and it’s almost as if you’re listening to a completely different song.
So how do you get to the 1:45 timestamp in your life?
Make yourself believe sooner. Restrict the barriers that prevent you from feeling success immediately.
Don’t wait for tomorrow to start. Don’t make the goal so high.
If you want to get back in shape, start somewhere simple. Maybe it’s telling your friends about your goals, or sign up for a consultation or meet with a trainer. Watch a Rocky montage and get fired up to lift some weights. It’s part of what I find interesting in the title of the song: It’s not about going upstairs. It’s come downstairs and say hello. Make it a downhill process.
Every box that you “check off” is success.
Success breeds more success. But the real goal is to make the process easier so you will believe. The ability to reach your goals should be inevitable and not a question.
When that happens, you will go to sleep every night with the words repeating in your head.
You can change. You will change. This time it’s really going to happen.
Why? Because tomorrow you start in a new direction.
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author and, according to The Huffington Post, “one of the most inspiring sources in all of health and fitness.” An award-winning writer and editor, Bornstein was the Fitness and Nutrition editor for Men’s Health, Editorial Director at LIVESTRONG.com, and a columnist for SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. He’s also a nutrition and fitness advisor for LeBron James, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. His work has been featured in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN, and GQ, and he’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, E! News, and The Cheddar.