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The New Year is my busiest season as a fitness coach and every year I hear the same question dressed in a variety of styles, colors and genres. No matter what the end goal may be; lose ten pounds, find a more meaningful career, manifest a soul mate relationship…the question is always the same: “what should I do?”

As a chronic “action taker” and movement expert I am intimately familiar with the need to be in motion toward a big dream. This is exactly the kind of motivation and intrigue that brings clients flooding into my fitness classes and signing up for private sessions this time of year. Most of the people I meet want my secret formula for success and six pack abs. “Just tell me what to do so I can have a body and life that resembles yours.”

While taking action is an important part of the process of creating your ultimate life I’ve come to realize that there are a few more pieces to the puzzle than simply doing what the experts say to do and crossing your fingers that it works as well for you, especially if you want lasting results. And while I can tell my crew what to “do” to shorten the distance between where they are now and where they want to be, in my experience I’ve learned that the journey from good to great will be a lot more fun and fulfilling not to mention a natural and almost effortless expression of our deepest and truest self if we first ask the following three questions:

Where am I? 

Knowing where you are right now sets the foundation for knowing which action is appropriate. If you are hung over and mentally and physically exhausted after a night on the town, you probably do not belong in a high energy fitness class trying to sweat out the guilt and toxins. You will most likely end up in a state of extreme dehydration and become the least popular person in the room based on the smell of last night’s libations pouring from your skin. If you have a moment of inspiration after an evening of binging and feel ready to take massive action by setting a healthier foundation to build on begin first by understanding where you are now, in this moment, so you can take the small yet manageable steps that will lead you toward a more fit body and mind. Perhaps a guided meditation or energy clearing workshop would be more appropriate post party hoping. This kind of inner work gives you a sense of purpose and forward motion without the zero to sixty strain on your being.

Who am I? 

It’s true that you have to try a few different fitness classes before finding the ones that rock your world but before you jump into any old random class consider your personal preferences. What kind of music gets you pumped up? What type of coaching personality is motivating for you? Do you prefer a Jillian Michaels boot camp type motivator or do you want to be loved into shape by a compassionate healer/teacher? If humor is important seek out mentors that keep you smiling through the burn. Knowing your preferences will save you the time and the frustration of being caught in a class that feels more like torture than personal growth and transformation.

Why am I? 

It’s important to articulate your reasons for wanting what it is you desire. Do you yearn to have a leaner more fit physique so you feel confident going after your dream job? Do you want to feel sexier for your partner or get back out in the dating scene knowing that you are representing yourself on the outside as powerfully and put together as you feel inside? Do you have a health condition that could be resolved with a more active lifestyle? Write down a list of your “whys.” These will be your guiding lights when the discomfort of transformation has you wanting to sleep in and ditch the plan to be your most ultimate self.

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