Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.


Quote of the week:

“The easiest way to screw up a good coaching cue is by asking your athlete to think about more than one at the same time.”
                                                                                          - Nick Winkelman on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Why you should seek joy instead of happiness
  2. The secret to conquering fear
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Why you should seek joy instead of happiness Jonathan Goodman (follow him on IG @jonathan_goodman101)

I talked a bit about happiness two weeks ago.

What I didn’t mention is how deep I’ve gone into the research, and how nebulous that research is. That’s why I try not to use “happiness” as a selling point for anything I do.

Happiness doesn’t exist. Not as a permanent state where you’re never unhappy, which is the way most people seem to define it.

The best you can do is achieve short-term joy. But even that comes with an important caveat:

Every emotion we experience, good or bad, occurs in reference to an existing experience.

To experience highs, we must experience lows. There’s no pleasure without pain. (I describe how I learned this in Episode 53 of the Online Trainer Show.)

We also overestimate both the intensity and duration of an emotional response like happiness. Your enjoyment of anything, from a new car to a beautiful view, rarely lasts more than two weeks.

Maybe the best advice about happiness is something I heard two years ago in a sermon by megachurch pastor Steven Furtick. (I’m traditionally Jewish but a friend invited me to accompany him to this event and I was happy that I went. There’s wisdom everywhere so long as we don’t let our personal belief systems get in the way.)

He spoke at length about being “here” instead of constantly seeking something “there.” Because the minute you get “there,” it becomes the new “here.” And now you have to find a new “there” to seek.

So maybe the best we can do is allow ourselves to find a little more happiness “here.” Find something we look forward to doing when we wake up, and feel satisfied with at the end of the day.

And maybe the less we think about happiness in between those two points, the happier we’ll be.

2. The secret to conquering fear Yusra Es-Haq

Yusra is a Certified Online Trainer who specializes in pre- and postnatal exercise and nutrition.

I’ve stuttered for as long as I can remember.

As a kid, I never read aloud in class, never participated in group discussions, never went shopping alone.

I carried on like that until I couldn’t.

That moment came in college when I had to present my final thesis in front of the entire class. I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I was afraid of standing there in the front of the room with everyone’s attention and no words coming out.

"Hey everyone," I began. The next sentence was "welcome to my presentation." Even without the pressure of public speaking, words that begin with W are the hardest to say without stuttering.

I got as far as “W …” I fought to finish the word for five seconds. Then 10 seconds. It just wouldn’t come out.

What happened next changed my life. Or I should say, what didn’t happen next.

No one laughed. No one looked at me with contempt or pity or even annoyance. They just … waited. They didn’t care if I stuttered.

So I took a deep breath and started again. "Welcome to my presentation" came out this time. And I never again let my stutter limit my life or career.

I talk to my clients. I’ve given presentations in front of hundreds of health and fitness professionals from all over the world. I’ve even started my own podcast.

The way I see it, I have a voice, and I want to use it to talk about the issues that matter to my clients and me.

I still stutter. I still feel self-conscious about it. But I’m no longer scared of it. I no longer worry about people judging me. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.

We all have fears. We’re afraid of starting something, of failing, of being seen as not good enough.

Fears are part of life. But we don’t have to give them the power to stop us from doing what we want.

The less power we give them, the less scary those fears become.

Yusra was one of the coaches we featured in this article:

--> Exercise and Nutrition for Every Stage of a Mother’s Journey, from Conception to Menopause and Beyond
3. This Week on the Online Trainer Show
The Online Trainer Show is proud to be sponsored by PT Distinction. After carefully reviewing all the major software platforms, we recommend PT Distinction because it offers a unique combination of flexibility, coaching tools, and ease of use. That’s why we use it in Online Trainer Coaching, our just-launched personal training business.

Click here to get a full 60-day FREE TRIAL to try PT Distinction with your own clients.

Here’s what podcast cohosts Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones talked about this week on the Online Trainer Show:

In Episode 53, How to Help Clients When Life Throws Them a Curve, producer Amber Reynolds introduces the concept of “toxic positivity”:

When a client or friend tells us about something difficult they’re going through, “A lot of us try to cheerlead them out of feeling negative. We try to be so positive it becomes toxic.”

Sometimes, Amber says, life is just going to suck, and if we try to force someone to look on the bright side at moments like those, it’s not just unrealistic, it’s mentally unhealthy.

It’s also a cheat, Ren says. If you take a shortcut past the sadness, you compromise the growth process. It’s the emotional equivalent of a crash diet. Sure, you can lose a bunch of weight in a short amount of time, but you don’t learn anything, and the weight just comes back anyway.

The team lightens up quite a bit for Episode 54, How to Keep Your Online Clients Engaged.

And it’s weirdly appropriate that an episode about how to keep clients focused includes a discussion of an exercise the hosts find almost unbearably tedious.

“Running is the detention of fitness,” Ren says. “It’s like punishment for something.”

Now imagine that some of your clients feel that way about the exercises in your program. They want the results, but the process bores them. And as Jon says, you need your clients to stay engaged both in individual workouts and over time.

As we explained in this article, an online coach has four tools to keep clients engaged: variety, narrowing the client’s focus, creating a distraction from something the client doesn’t like, and tracking their progress.

The key, Ren says, is to know your clients well enough to understand what will engage them.

You’ll find every episode here:

--> The Online Trainer Show
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you:

1. Grab a free copy of The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training
It’s your blueprint to building a fitness or nutrition business online. --> Click here

2. Join the Online Trainers Unite Group and connect with other online trainers  
It’s our Facebook community where fitness and nutrition pros like you can share insights and advice about starting or running a successful coaching business online.
--> Click here

3. Join the Online Trainer Academy
Our world-class certification course is everything you need to responsibly and profitably coach fitness or nutrition online. --> Click here

**Thanks for reading. What to do next**

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