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What's Important Now

I believe that if you want to be successful, you should observe and learn from successful people and try to adopt some of their strategies. Succeeding in sports, business, or academics follows a similar formula - establishing and maintaining good habits! Relentless enthusiasm, positivity, and a mindset of accountability will go a lot further than pessimism and blaming others. I recently read Lou Holtz's leadership and success-themed book "Winning Every Day." Coach Holtz, as many of you know, is a retired College Football Hall of Fame coach who successfully turned around several programs and won the 1988 National Championship at Notre Dame. Since his retirement he has worked in broadcasting and has been a highly sought-after motivational speaker who has given presentations to many Fortune 500 companies. Although his book was published in 1998, the tenets of Holtz's WIN philosophy (What's Important Now) are just as relevant today as they were a quarter century ago.

Coach Holtz was successful in spite of his shortcomings. He was born with a profound lisp, so he is not the most charismatic speaker. As a player, he was 5'10" and 150 pounds, so he was not considered a star athlete (although he did play college football at Kent State). He was an average student, so he did not ease his family's financial burdens by qualifying for any academic scholarships. As a coach he was not considered an offensive or defensive mastermind, yet he was successful wherever he coached in college football. Notwithstanding Holtz's genetic limitations, he maximized his abilities by being disciplined, focused, having purpose, and setting goals. He notes, "You can't solve your personal issues until you define your purpose. What are you trying to accomplish? What have you done today to bring you closer to your goals? The moment we lose sight of our objectives, we founder." If you have a purpose and set a goal, you then have something to shoot for. Some things happen by chance, but our success (or lack thereof) in any endeavor is a product of our choices.

WIN is applicable in the realm of exercise, not just in terms of achieving some general, specific, and measurable goals, but also during the workout itself. What's Important Now can be phrased in the form of a question, or it can be a declarative statement. Let's say that you have a workout scheduled for 7 AM the next day. Is it more important to go out for a few beers in the evening with your friends, or get to bed at a reasonable hour so that you can be well-rested, focused and energized for your early morning workout? Only you can make that decision, based on what is important to you. Your primary goal is to lose body fat. Does it make sense to stick with single-ingredient whole foods and continue with intermittent fasting, or splurge on bad food choices? The more you think WIN, the more it becomes a declarative statement and less of a question.

During a Total Results workout, is it more important to focus on your time under load (TUL), or does greater value lie in simply giving your greatest muscular effort? Think about the assumed versus the real objective of exercise. Most people assume that we want to perform as many repetitions with as much weight as we possibly can. In fact, the real objective is to thoroughly inroad the musculature and create an effective stimulus, and often those two objectives are at cross purposes. If you compromise your form simply to finish more repetitions you will not only risk injury, but will diminish the exercise stimulus. When movement slows to a crawl or even stops, think WIN! Effort is the name of the game. If you push to and beyond muscular failure, regardless of TUL, you will have achieved your exercise objective. The ability to think WIN is what separates Total Results clients from everyone else.

Creating sustainable habits and developing the right mindset will breed success, and it fits in perfectly with Lou Holtz's WIN philosophy. Do not waste time on the trivial, or the things that are at odds with your purpose. This will impede your ability to reach your goal. You can be the best version of yourself if you identify your purpose, write out your goals, and focus on WIN!

Posted May 17, 2024 by Matthew Romans