Have you ever wanted to reach a goal – WEIGHT LOSS, a new job, whatever – and weren’t sure where to start? I’ve been there too🙋, and I’ve got the help you need!
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, I’m sharing simple, straightforward suggestions that you can use right now⏰ to get the clarity you need to GET STARTED on just about anything! And the super good news📰 is that this process involves only ONE STEP!
Want to GET YOUR GOAL🏆 in the coming 12 months (or literally any time of the year)? Click on the play button and we’ll get STARTED!
NOTE: Pahla B’s Book Club pick for January is “How Emotions are Made” by Lisa Feldman Barrett. First-time Chirp Audiobooks users can get $5 off any purchase by using the code PAHLA5 – this link will take you directly there AND apply the discount: https://bit.ly/JanuaryChirpBookClub
(And previous Chirp users can snag this title at just $2.99 for a limited time!)
Canadian friends: this book is available on Chirp in Canada too!
REGISTER this month’s LIVE Book Club event on January 30th here: https://bit.ly/JANBookClubReg
If you’ve got friends or family who also want to get started on reaching their goals, SHARE this video! 💛
Where to START (full transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B and this is episode number 219, “Where to Start.” Welcome to the Fitness Matters podcast where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon-to-be author, and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness and mindset that matters to you? Me too. Let’s go.
Well, hello and happy Sunday to you, or whatever day you’re actually listening to the podcast. It’s always a happy day when we are together. And you guys, we are going to have the opportunity this month to actually be together when we talk about “How Emotions Are Made” by Lisa Feldman Barrett on Sunday, January 30th. That is when we are going live on Zoom for this month’s Pahla B Book Club, which is run in partnership with Chirp Audiobooks.
You guys, Chirp is an audiobook retailer that offers incredible limited time discounts on all kinds of books, including this month’s pick, which is just $2.99. I mean, you guys, Chirp is cheap. And first-time Chirp users in the U.S. and Canada can snag $5 off their first purchase with the code PAHLA5, which is P-A-H-L-A and the number five with no spaces in between. If you need to, there’s a link in the description box or the show notes (depending on where you’re watching or listening), that will take you directly to the book and already apply the discount so that you don’t have to remember that. It’s super easy peasy. There’s also in the show notes or description box . . . Make sure you actually open that because there’s a link that will send you to Zoom to register to attend the book club meeting. Make sure you do that. It’s a Zoom thing. I have to tell them who’s coming. Otherwise, you can’t get into the meeting. So go do that and I’ll actually see you there. So exciting, so much fun.
Hey, let’s also talk about what we’re talking about today, about where to start. Now I really, specifically for today’s podcast, I did not finish that sentence with like where to start with weight loss or where to start with your goal or where to start with making money, or whatever. This is actually where to start with literally any goal you might have. Here in January . . . I mean, really kind of all year long, but really specifically in January, I do talk a lot about setting goals and starting with your goals. I want you to know that this topic is surprisingly relevant year round. I was thinking about that when I was putting together my notes for today and thinking about where to start. This is a principle that I have understood for a very long time.
Literally, I vividly remember when I first started doing money mindset work, which for relatively new listeners, let me just tell you, I actually came to mindset work through thinking about money. I had already achieved lots of health goals, lots of fitness goals. I mean, that sounds terrible, but I didn’t really struggle with fitness and health. I did in the sense of like I’ve gained and lost over 30 pounds several times in my life, but I never struggled to the point where I felt like, “Oh, I’m never going to be able to lose this weight.” Or, “I’m never going to be able to do this fitness thing.” I’m thinking really specifically of running a marathon, which I did struggle with. I didn’t finish my first one. I did struggle with my weight. Again, I’ve gained and lost 30 pounds several times. I struggled with these things, but never so that I felt like I needed to explore some other avenue in the way that I did with money.
With money, I made it . . . Well, when did I start making money? Just three years ago. So I’m 52. I made it into my late 40s before I actually earned anything that could be considered a living wage. It was rough for me. I struggled for . . . Well, at this point, almost my entire life. I do not struggle anymore. And that is why I love to share mindset work with you because it changed my life. It literally changed everything about my life, but it really specifically changed my ability to earn money.
So when I came to that kind of work, I remember that one of the first things that I was introduced to was essentially the law of attraction. And you guys, I really specifically avoid saying “law of attraction” around here because to me personally, it has a lot of connotations about, “Oh, just think happy thoughts and everything will be okay.” It’s not wrong, but it’s also just not how things work. So for me, I don’t really like to talk about the law of attraction, even though that really is a lot of what we talk about around here.
Anyway, I remember watching this one video. Oh my gosh, what’s her name? Her first name is Carrie and she runs the Female Entrepreneur Association, and she has videos on YouTube. I have no idea what I searched for. Oh my gosh. I’m sorry, but I can’t come up with her last name. I’ll have something in the show notes. I’ll look it up later. But I remember watching this video where she talked about the thing that I’m going to talk about today. And it was so simple and so straightforward, much like today’s podcast episode is going to be. And yet here I am – I’m going to say six years later – still working on this. Even though I have built this as where to start, I want you to know this work is ongoing. This is the kind of work that you can come back to, first of all, for any goal you have ever. Like literally ever, what I’m going to teach you today has applications to any goal.
I’m definitely going to be giving you weight loss examples, just because that’s what I do. I’m a weight loss coach, but you can apply this work to every goal you have and you will find yourself – not even might find yourself; you will find yourself – revisiting this work long after you’ve gotten started. This is the kind of work that you can continue to come back to again and just settle into again. So what is the work, you guys?
Here’s the thing that’s really funny. There’s really only one step. I want to set this up a little bit because here’s what I think most of us do when we get started on a goal. We think of something that we want, and it’s kind of vague. It’s kind of out there. It’s kind of a little bit airy-fairy, a little bit like, oh . . .
I mean, I vividly remember 15 years ago or 16 years ago. Oh my gosh. It was longer ago than that, wasn’t it? I’m going to say 15 or 16 years ago when I wanted to lose weight. My goal was: “I don’t want to be fat anymore.” That was it. That was as precise and as good as it got. And then I looked around and I mean, the internet existed, but social media didn’t exist. This was in 2006. I think I was on MySpace, but Facebook to me . . . I think Facebook actually did technically exist then, but people weren’t really on it the way they are now. I didn’t join Facebook until 2009. So I didn’t really have an Instagram. Gosh, remember when Instagram used to only be a service to be able to put your pictures on Twitter? That I would’ve been like . . . Gosh, 2011, 2012, because I remember signing up for Instagram back when I used to have a Twitter account, which is also hilarious, but I had a Twitter account when I very first became a personal trainer, which would’ve been January 1, 2012, and that’s why I signed up for Instagram.
I mean, I didn’t have the resources available to me to do what I think most of us do today, which is to say that most of us start following all kinds of influencers and say, “Oh well, what’s she doing?” I honestly, because of the volume of comments that I get about, “Oh, what do you do? What do you eat?” I know that this is what we all do. I know it is. We have this vague goal, and then we look at what somebody else is doing, and then we’re like, “Okay, that’s what I’m going to do.” And then we just start trying to do that and . . .
Okay, again, you know how I just struggled to tell you how long it’s been since I lost a significant amount of weight? I actually just lost weight about two and a half years ago, which was seven pounds. I mean, that was pretty significant. It was very significant for me personally, in terms of how much mindset work I had to do to be able to lose that weight. But here I am. I’m talking really specifically about my fitness and the way that I eat. I’m many, many, many years into this journey. I have been working on my fitness for 15 or 16 years. So when somebody who is brand new to getting in shape or working out, looks at me and says, “What do you do?” it’s incredibly irrelevant, like completely and utterly irrelevant to somebody who is starting out, what I do. Which is why I try to make videos just FYI in case this is their first time around here and don’t know who I am. I have a workout channel on YouTube called Pahla B Fitness.
Anyway, when I offer you workouts and say, “Hey, here’s how you can get started. Here’s what you can do. Here’s what works for weight loss,” blah, blah, blah. People still want to nail me down on what I am personally doing, and it just doesn’t work that way, my friends. It doesn’t. Actually the reason we do this is because it’s one of the fastest ways to quit. When we set ourselves up like that with some super vague goal and then ask ourselves to do like 12 times what we’re doing right now in terms of really specifically with a weight loss goal, like exercising or the way we eat, you guys . . . I mean, here, let me come back to my story really quickly.
When I lost weight, I actually lost weight by eating exactly what I had already been eating because it was absolute junk food. And if I had tried to clean up my eating at the same time that I was losing weight, never in a million years would I have been able to lose weight. It took me well over three years to clean up what I eat. I’m still working on cleaning up what I eat. Every once in a while, I look around like, “Could I make this less processed? Could I possibly have less sugar?” Which is funny. I never actually try to eat less sugar. I mean, I don’t have a lot of sugar, but I do have sugar every day. I ask myself these questions every once in a while – still 15, 16 years into this journey – the same way that I ask myself this “where to start” question, even though I’m long, long into my journey.
When we do that thing where we have a vague goal and then we ask ourselves to do way too much, way too soon, that’s way outside our comfort zone, it actually keeps us in our comfort zone. And the thing that’s really funny about that is because we feel like we’re stretching, we feel like we’re pushing ourselves. But it offers us the opportunity to quit and stay the same when we ask ourselves to do too much at once. It’s not just uncomfortable to do too much at once. I’m not going to say it’s impossible. Literally nothing’s impossible.I mean, as long as you’re following the laws of physics and biology and chemistry and stuff, but you can do anything within the confines of reality, space, time, continuum, et cetera. But when we ask ourselves to do too much, we are honestly – we’re giving ourselves more of a challenge than our brain is, generally speaking, capable of handling. Especially if we are not doing the work that I’m going to talk about today. Here we are 12 minutes in. Yes, I’m going to tell you what the work is. Here’s what the work is.
There’s one step and then there are parts to it, but there is literally only one step to getting started. You need to know exactly what you want. I know that sounds so simple and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, now what?” I know you guys. Every time I give you advice, I know what it sounds like because I know how I feel when I’m tipping my toes into water that maybe is – not maybe – IS outside my comfort zone or outside my current realm. I just want to know what to do. Tell me what to do. I do have practical advice, but I want you to sit here for just a minute and really take in what I’ve said. Knowing exactly what you want is the most important part of your journey. The most important. Yes, I said those words. It’s not just a part of it. It’s not just step one. It is the one. It is the thing. And it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Coming back to my story about when I found Carrie, whose last name is beyond me right now . . . Oh my gosh, this is bothering me so much. I think I’m going to click on YouTube and find her, except that I know that it’ll take me way too long. So anyway, it’s okay. I’m going to put it in the show notes. When I found this video, she was talking about picturing exactly what you want so that you can bring it to you. This again was “law of attraction” stuff. And so she had, I think it was like a meditation that was probably five to seven minutes long where she was like you’re walking down a set of stairs and you’re breathing deeply. And as you get to the bottom step, you open this door. And the thing that you want is in the room. See it and smell it and touch it and taste it. And what is it exactly? Bring all of this into your mind.
I remember listening to this meditation over and over for probably like six months. Not every day, I wasn’t that good. I wasn’t that dedicated, but I came back to it really, really frequently and every time I was like, “I have absolutely no idea.” I really, really didn’t know. At various times in my YouTubing career, I have pictured different kinds of things about what success would look like, what success would feel like, what success would be like, what I would do if I created success for myself. And I tell you what, this is actually something I am still working on. I have done the other parts of this work, which I mean is here. Let me just tell you really quickly.
The thing that you’re going to do is know exactly what you want. The way that you are going to know exactly what you want is by picturing it, defining it, feeling it in your body and checking in with your negativity. I know you’re going to love all of these. Let’s actually talk about each one individually. Remember that all of these are parts of the whole. Your task is to know exactly what you want.
I’m saying that step one is picturing it, even though like I just said, picturing it is honestly the hardest part for me. Picturing what that is going to look like as you get your goal. To me, what I often picture is clicking onto YouTube and seeing up in the corner when I go to my behind-the-scenes YouTube page (as a creator, we have a different page than you see as a viewer). So on my creator page, there’s a big window that has my number of subscribers. It’s right at the top. I picture that number being a million. So picturing what you want is literally just that. It is a picture in your mind. It’s a visual in your mind. This is why making something like a vision board or having a written goal can be really helpful. Seeing it anchors it in your brain in a different way than other things, for example.
Not really step two, but part two: defining it. When you define exactly what you want, it has numbers. My friend, I cannot stress this enough. I know that for lots of us, what we want is to be healthy. What we want is to be happy. What we want is something that we think we cannot put a number on. I’m going to encourage you to define your goal with a number. I know you don’t want to. I know how hard that is. That’s why part of what we’re going to do – we’re not there yet, but part of what we’re going to do – is check with your negativity because those thoughts are not helping you. When you cannot define what you want, you cannot have what you want, because what you want is essentially nothing. When you don’t have a definition of the thing that you want, it is indefinable. It is amorphous. It is not a thing that you can have. You are putting yourself in the position where you are destined, not for failure, but for frustration. You are destined to not get what you want because you don’t even know what you want.
The next thing you’re going to do, and this is the thing that comes really, really easily to me. And it’s actually why I put it third because you’re going to find that different things come to you differently. Maybe putting a number on it is like the easiest thing in the world. You’re like, “Oh no, no, no. I know exactly what number I want. I know exactly where I’m going. This is it. Boom done.” And maybe picturing it is kind of easy for you. But this one – feeling it in your body – feels like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Pahla.” This one for me – when I told you that my goal was to not be fat anymore – it’s really, really interesting to me. I very, very automatically did this particular thing that I didn’t even know I was doing, and I really truly had no idea that this is like the secret sauce. This is the thing that really makes a difference: when you feel it in your body.
For me personally, when I said I didn’t want to be fat anymore, there was a real specific . . . And it’s hard to explain in words, but I can still actually feel it in my mind and in my body. There was a feeling in my stomach of lightness. Not lightness like I don’t weigh as much, but lightness like a lack of stress, like a lack of heaviness. Sounds so silly when I say it out loud, but it’s exactly what I’m picturing. There was almost like a . . . Not even like a hollowness, but just such a sense of not being weighed down. I wish I could describe it better than that because I know if I could describe it better, it could be more helpful. And yet truly me being able to describe it has nothing to do with you being able to find your feeling in your body. You don’t need to describe it in words. And that’s why this is so important.
This is why we define it in words and numbers. We picture it visually, and then we feel it in our body when you are engaging all of your senses, just like my friend Carrie was trying to tell me to do. When you are engaging all of your senses, you will bring your goal to you because you will have it fully realized already in your brain. It will be attracted to you. Yeah, here we go, law of attraction, because in your brain it’s already so real. It’s already so essential and part of you – because you can picture it, because you can define it, because you can feel it in your body – it will simply feel very much like something that you already have. Therefore, it won’t feel like something that is beyond you. And simultaneously it will because you will have thoughts about this thing. We all do. Every single one of us. This is what we talk about here all the time. Even though I don’t call it “law of attraction,” we do talk about mindset work, and mindset work means finding your thoughts and deciding if they’re helpful.
My friend, if you were currently capable of having the thing that you want, you would already have it. The reason you don’t have it is because you have thoughts about why you can’t have it. You do. You just do. It happens to all of us. It is the way of the world. And therefore, rather than judging yourself for having thoughts, because now I have pointed out to you that you have negative thoughts about the thing that you want, let’s just move into being really okay with that. Of course, it’s okay that you have negative thoughts. Everybody does. We have like 60,000 thoughts a day and something like 80% of them are negative. I can’t actually prove that, but I’ve read it on the internet. Therefore, I may keep telling you that.
Here’s the thing. You have negative thoughts. It’s okay. What we do is we find them and we recognize them as negative and we recognize them as thoughts. We talked about this last week. Recognizing them as thoughts, recognizing them as negative, puts them in that category in your brain so that they will be discounted. So that by picturing, defining, and feeling what you want in your body, the negative thoughts – because your brain will define them that way – will recognize them as thoughts and it will put them in that category. Those negative thoughts won’t be available to block you anymore. You will, here we go again, bring your goal to you, attract your goal to you because it will feel so real and you won’t have the mindset blocks in your way.
My friends, here’s why this works. And really specifically, here’s why feeling it in your body is so essential. Your feelings, and this is actually where I’m going to point you to the episode called Feelings (Ep. 039 Feelings https://pahlabfitness.com/feelings/). There will be a link in the show notes or the description box. Your feelings, like your emotions, are actually just vibrations in your body. They are not outside of you. They are not beyond you. They are not anything other than a biological and chemical reaction in your body. Your feelings are a collection of different things that are happening in your body. Things like your heart rate, your breathing, your sweat rate, your skin tingling.
Those kinds of vibrations or sensations in your body, we, as a society, have learned through social learning because we teach our kids this. It means that you feel happy or that you feel sad or that you feel angry or that you feel whatever. We have placed language onto physical sensations. And because we have placed language onto it, we sometimes almost disconnect from the actual vibrations in our body, but your body knows. Your body knows what those vibrations are. When you anchor what you want with a feeling, a vibration in your body, a sensation in your body, you are creating for yourself the blueprint of something pleasurable. My friends, let me be really, really clear here. Psychology 101, which is the only one I’ve ever taken. We are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And the way we define pleasure is not with language. It is with vibrations in our body.
When you anchor the good feeling of achieving your goal into your body, by picturing a sensation, a vibration, a feeling in your body, you do not have to define it with language as you clearly heard me having so much trouble defining it with language earlier when I was explaining how, when I wanted to lose weight, how I had that feeling in my stomach. Another time I had a goal that I achieved, which was running a Boston-qualifying marathon. Every time I ran, I pictured the feeling in my body that did not have words beyond it. I can describe it to you now as a feeling of elation and surprise and exhaustion, kind of all rolled into one. I remember exactly what that felt like, that exultation of “I just did something amazing and it was a physical exertion to do so.” And it’s exactly what I felt like when I crossed the finish line, just so you know. In my body and my mind, that feeling was so real that I just continued to create it for myself and then I created it on race day.
You can create a physical sensation for yourself, the physical sensation of lightness, the physical sensation of success, the physical sensation of getting your goal, whatever that feels like to you. It’s a lightness in your stomach, an airiness in your chest, a heart-pounding sensation – whatever it is to you. When you anchor that in your body, your brain will see that as something that is possible for you, and it will seek it out. That is a pleasurable sensation that your brain wants. From that, my friends, your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings drive your actions, and your actions get you results.
You create for yourself that physical feeling in your body, whether you put language on it or not. And here’s where I literally just told you your thoughts create your feelings. Even if you don’t have words to feel that feeling in your body, you are having a thought. You can find it if you want to. It might be helpful because then you will have the language to create that feeling in your body. From that feeling, you will do actions that will get you the result that you want. My friends, when we create thoughts for ourself by defining what we want, when we create feelings for ourself by anchoring that pleasurable sensation of getting your goal in your body, when we can picture what we want, when we can sift through our negative thoughts, you will not only know exactly what you want, you will get exactly what you want.
I know I said that this was how to get started, but my friends it’s actually how to finish too. This is how to not just get started on your goal, but how to get your goal. This is the magic formula. It’s magic. It’s woo-woo. It’s airy-fairy. It is attracting it to you, but it’s also really, really, really practical. When you do these very practical steps of knowing exactly what you want by picturing it, by defining it, by feeling it in your body, and by checking in with your negativity, you will not just get started on your goal. You will get your goal.
This is not a one-time thing. I mean, I know I’ve already told you this, but I’m going to tell you again, because I told you that way at the beginning and you were like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Just tell me what it is.” And that’s why I’m mentioning this again. This is literally something you can do every single day. I wholeheartedly recommend that you start your day, not just start your goal journey, but literally start your day with this exercise. Yes, I’ve said “literally” like 5,000 times in this podcast. I’m sorry, I’m distracting myself. But you know how sometimes you start to notice how much you say something? I say “literally” way too much and I don’t . . . I’m not going to make it a resolution this year, but I am going to try really hard not to say it as often as I do. Because I very frequently mean “figuratively” rather than “literally.” However, I do recommend that you literally start every day, not just your goal journey, but every day with this relatively quick exercise. Truly, this does not have to take you very long.
Picturing what you want can be as simple as picturing yourself, for example, for a weight loss goal, stepping on the scale and seeing the number. It can be as simple as defining that number. It can be as simple as feeling that lightness in your body, that feeling of whatever it is. Again, this is the one thing I really can’t help you more with. The feeling, the physical sensation in your body is going to be very unique to you and I do encourage you to spend the time to conjure that up for yourself. And then the thing that will take you slightly longer, I’m going to say five to 10 minutes. It does not have to be a long and involved 45 minutes or longer kind of, “I had to journal about everything.” Spend about five to 10 minutes just sifting through your negative thoughts. You guys, this is . . .
I don’t know if I’ve actually told you guys this. I recently renovated, which isn’t the right word, but I recently updated. I recently updated The 5-0 Method, which is my completely free ebook that talks all about weight loss, with much better journaling pages, a more robust explanation of how to journal, how to find your negative thoughts, what to do about them, and journaling pages that really help you walk through this step-by-step process. Even if you already have The 5-0 Method, I’m going to encourage you to come and download the new version. It’s still under the same link (The 5-0 Method https://pahlabfitness.com/programs/the-5-0-method/). It’ll be again in the show notes or the description box depending on where you’re watching or listening. I have so many links for you today.
If you guys don’t know how to open the description box, you can always go to my website (www.pahlabfitness.com) and simply click on “Podcasts” up at the top, and then find this episode. It’s really easy to get to. There’s a link at the top that says Podcasts. And then this one, if it is still the newest one (depending on when you’re listening to this), it’ll be right at the top. So open that up, click on the links, register for the book club, go get your book from Chirp Audiobooks, click on the other videos to watch or podcasts to listen to. All those kinds of things. I got so much stuff for you. And download The 5-0 Method if weight loss is on your radar this year. Honestly, even if it’s not, the book is really helpful because of those journaling pages. It follows the two-step tool where you find your thoughts and decide if they’re helpful in a really practical step-by-step way that I think, personally, is going to be incredibly helpful for you. You could tell me though. In fact, you always do. You guys, I love to hear from you.
I hope today’s episode was helpful. I hope all the links are helpful. I hope you come join me for the book club. I hope, I hope, I hope. No I don’t. I know. You guys, thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you again soon.
If you are getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love to get your goal, coaching and accountability group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life, on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands on. It’s fun. And it works. Find out more at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal and let’s get your goal.