One of the most common traits that I notice in my new clients is a lot of doubt and negative self-talk. As trainers and coaches, we spend a lot of time building our client’s self-confidence not just through shaping their bodies, but through building up their spirit.

One of the key concepts that I try to impart in every single person that I coach is to change the way they talk to themselves. It is a lengthy process that takes a special gentle approach, and the worse the client feels about themselves the harder it is to change their language, but without fail, when the language changes so does their outlook towards exercise and nutrition. That’s where the magic happens.

Below are the six most prevalent negative self-talk and convenient excuses that every one of us should stop telling ourselves.

  1. Stop telling yourself you “it’s too late to get fit”.
  2. Stop waiting for the perfect time. It will never come.
  3. Stop telling yourself that it’s just your vanity / ego that makes you want to be fitter and healthier.
  4. Stop telling yourself that you should not aspire to have your version of the perfect body because perfection doesn’t exist.
  5. Stop letting your friends and family dictate your pass to fitness, health, and happiness.
  6. Stop telling yourself that fitness is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you have.

The key to changing the negativity is to continuously show yourself that you are capable, that you are worth it, and you are strong enough to make a difference in your life. I know, it sounds too good to be true and may even seem impossible; after all, if you truly believed in being capable and worthy of change you wouldn’t be sitting here, reading this.

Try this: rebel. For a month, adopt a contrarian attitude with yourself. For example, you think that it is impossible to lose weight at your age and that it really doesn’t matter what you do. For one month, openly and without shame go against that belief. Get up and move, eat your greens, hire a coach, talk to a nutritionist, whatever it takes. Much like you would stand up against the injustice done to someone else, stand up against the injustice of your negative self-talk.

If ultimately everything you tried failed, I would recommend talking to a counselor. No, you are not crazy, but learning the tools to love yourself and change the way you talk to yourself will ultimately change your life on many other levels than just health and fitness.


Therapy, vision boards, journals, whatever it takes to keep you on track — use it. The trick to sustainable results is consistency and the key to being consistent is keeping yourself accountable. The tools for accountability depend on your personality and the support structure you have available to you. For some telling their friends and family is enough, for others hiring a coach or a trainer is the only way to maintain forward momentum. Use what works best for you, but you absolutely have to have some vehicle in place to make sure that making excuses becomes that much harder.

Some of the tools I recommend to my clients include:


No, not just writing down your workouts and keeping a diet journal, but actually writing about whatever is on their mind. Put all the negativity, doubt, all of the excuses on paper. Some find it therapeutic to get rid of the baggage they carry each and every day. Journaling really helps to establish a positive language and prevent negative self-talk. Most people see the negative words written down in front of them and realize that they would never let anyone else talk to them like they talk to themselves. It is an eye opening experience for many.

Workout Logs / Nutrition Journals

Some find it motivating to see how far they have come or enjoy seeing pages and pages of small wins. Keeping and exercise journal helps with just that. If you don’t have a coach or a trainer, having the ability to see the progress you have made in your journey to a healthier fitter lifestyle can mean the difference between going to work out and staying home.

Accountability Buddy

Many find that they would never keep a workout appointment with themselves and therefore form small groups of like minded people to encourage and motivate them. Any activity with a community support structure behind it is an excellent tool for those who lack the motivation their goal on their own.

Hiring and Trainer

Hiring the right professional can be tricky, but it will certainly help keep you motivated. In addition to the extra level of accountability a proper coach or personal trainer will help you reach your goals by providing exercise guidance and basic nutrition advice.

Setting a Sporting Goal with a Deadline

Having a goal to work toward with a clear deadline will keep you engaged longer than just having a goal of losing weight or getting toned. Find a race, an obstacle course, a walking tour, or a hiking trip and work towards completing the distance or building strength and endurance.

Make it Fun

I have a group of clients who go on regular walking tours together. They make a map of the historic homes, antique stores, and outdoor markets that they wish to visit and make a day of it.

There is a group called November Project that originated in Boston and spread like wildfire though out the United States. They are a group of people who get together for regular free workouts around most major cities.

There are hiking clubs, rowing clubs, fencing teams, soccer, softball, swim teams, etc. All of these sporting activities and clubs make being active fun and keep you accountable.

Create a Written Contract with Yourself and Enforce It

This may sound ridiculous to some, but creating a written contract and strictly enforcing it may help you be more accountable. Come up with your own or copy this one over.

I, [your name], understand that I am undertaking a process of complete restructuring of my life through fitness and healthy habits. I commit myself to, at least 12 weeks of consistent workouts and proper nutrition. I, [your name], commit to daily exercise, [chose your preferred success tool], positive self-talk, and proper nutrition.

I, [your name], further understand that the transformation which will inevitably follow will force me to deal with issues and emotions that may arise from taking decisive action. I, [your name], commit myself to deal with any and all issues and emotions in a healthy and safe manner which will be beneficial to me at the end of my transformation. I commit to self-care, adequate sleep, and regular pampering for the duration of my transformation process.



Originally published at on April 18, 2016.

Originally published at