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How to Structure a Well-Lived Life


How to Structure a Well-Lived Life

As the year is well on its way towards spring, it is likely that ‘we’ - San Francisco professionals - are feeling overwhelmed. As much as we’d like to structure our time to live a more balanced lifestyle, we end up prioritizing our careers over our health, personal development, and loved ones. What we’re always telling ourselves to do, and what we may often try to do, is “find time”. This, however, should be looked at differently - you need to make time.

As San Francisco professionals, we value knowledge, and we value experiences. We trust experts to help us, whether it’s through online research, counseling, or coaching services. However, do we really take full advantage of these insights and services? Or do we just go through the motions to get a little help, without actually living the lessons that we’re taught? The key to forward progress in almost any aspect of life is structure (funny, I know, coming from a guy whose thoughts are always racing a million miles per hour). However, what I’ve come to notice about myself, my family, employees, and my hundreds of clients and athletes over the years is that what gets us off track is the lack of effort in structuring our lives. After interviewing some of our top P4L athletes, we found that one of the main cravings that they have is the need for more balance in their lives, and the need for more structure in their training regimens.

What I would recommend is this: ask for help. Yes, you heard me. This actually means two things. The first: hire someone to help you with the lack of structure in a given area. If your nutrition is out of whack, make it more of a priority and hire a nutrition expert or food-delivery service to help guide you. However, there’s a second component many people lose sight of after hiring an expert or purchasing a service. Setting expectations with them about how the service is structured and making clear what you need from them is essential to success. Take a moment from time to time to reassess the value you’re deriving from the service, and also to note any progress made. From there, you can decide whether the progress is coming along great or is subpar at best. There should always be ample opportunity for discussions around how you and the expert expect to improve the structure of the program if you feel that it’s lacking. Make sure to keep in mind what’s realistically attainable in the time that you’ve given yourself. Overall, remember to not get discouraged. Structure is a good thing, and so are goals, but if you don’t reach them, keep moving forward. A little forward progress is better than no forward progress at all.

Structure helps us get the most out of our time, our services, and our lives in general. Here at Perform For Life, every new athlete’s fitness journey begins with a designed alliance: a contract that outlines the expectations of both trainer and athlete. This gives the athlete the chance to talk about his/her goals, requests, or even any worries they may have, while also giving the trainer a chance to discuss their planned exercise program structure and to get the athlete’s thoughts on it. We want to ensure that the athlete is involved in the plan every step of the way, and also that the plan is always aligned with the athlete’s goals. Goals often change, as do people, and that should always be expressed so that the trainer can adjust the structure of the program accordingly.

We know that structure is essential to success in almost all facets of life. At Perform For Life, it’s the key to our athlete’s success. Make a structured plan, stick to it, and go forth to achieve your goals.


Why the Key to Success is Failure


Why the Key to Success is Failure

I grew up on The Fresh Prince and I’ve always admired Will Smith for the way he’s able to be real with his audience. Through his TV shows and films, I was able to connect and relate to the underlying messages in his work. Hard work and determination were always the key to his success. Of course, with success comes failure. In the video above, Smith explains that failure isn't always a bad thing. Failures and mistakes are what make us stronger. It’s okay to fail but not okay to quit.

When it comes to training...

Fail early.

When we first start exercising, whether it’s our first time or were coming back after being out of the game for a while, there will be failure. We may feel weak, feel timid, and be gasping for air, but if we don't fail at this stage, we won't have a starting point to improve upon.

Fail Often.

If we fail during our last rep or set, it’s okay - it means we’re pushing ourselves to be stronger and better than before. It’s important to push our limits and test our abilities. Failing over and over again shouldn’t and doesn’t determine our weakness, but shows where improvements can be made.

Fail Forward.

Use failure as forward momentum. Our job as movement specialists is to plan ahead, program for a goal you’ve set, and help you reach those goals. If you don’t reach those goals, remember a few things. First, you’re probably closer to your goals than you were before, so progress is being made. Second, use any anger and frustration you may feel as motivation to achieve them in the future. Finally, keep up the hard work, determination, and work ethic, just like Will Smith - who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Fresh Prince (or Princess).

Like Michael Jordan said, "I've failed over and over and over again in life, and that is why I succeed."


Why Not Now?!


Why Not Now?!

Let’s get motivated!

As the holiday season approaches, many clients will fall to the wayside only to surface January 1st, two steps back and they return with a new goal in mind. Now this may seem like the ideal client for the gym industry- it does make for a great sale- but this isn’t ideal for the person, who statistically falls off after 3 months. I don’t mean to point any fingers here, but just trying ruffle some feathers to uncover those of you who are really ready to make a serious commitment towards lifestyle changes.

Motivation is to be described as the direction and intensity of effort. The direction of effort refers to whether one seeks out, approaches, or is attracted to situations; while intensity of effort refers to how much effort one puts for in a situation (Boyd, 2014). Now everyone is different, but some of the common reasons for beginning an exercise routine are health factors, weight loss, fitness, self challenge, and feeling better. These initial reasons are a great start, but it is important that those initial reasons slide to the bottom of the list making room for reasons why individuals continue to exercise.

Not everyone is motivated the same way, some individuals might be more intrinsically motivated, while others extrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation involves participating in an activity for the reward or punishment- meaning exercising because you like to eat McDonalds on your days off (Hunter, 2008). Intrinsic motivation is derived from the enjoyment of the activity- Whaaaat, you actually like the feeling of sweat in your eyes?! Most clients start out being more extrinsically motivated, and it is our job as personal trainers to help our clients gain some intrinsic motivation. One way that Perform for Life fosters intrinsic motivation is that we are always going to provide an environment for clients to be successful and experience pride in their accomplishments.

Enough with all the words. Let’s be real, everyone is looking for the list of tips!

How to not only achieve your results during the holidays but also become more intrinsically motivated forever:

  • Set specific not general goals

Ex: General goal: lose inches around my waist

Specific: lose 2 inches around my belly button.

  • Set challenging but realistic goals
  • Set long term and short term goals
  • Ink it, don’t think it

Write it down. Take a picture! Make it fun!

  • Support!

Who supports you other than your coach with your goals?

  • Evaluation and feedback

Goals change, things happen. It’s ok to tweak things.


Give yourself some rewards every now and again. Donuts, pizza, a margarita, treat yourself! 

Now, I know all of these steps sound lengthy and intimidating, but it is our job as your coaches to help you succeed. There is no better reward than seeing a client go above and beyond their goal. Success is not going to come easy, but once fat pants become your skinny pants, you’ll forget all about the burpees and you’ll relish in the fact that you actually enjoy them now.

Happy lifting!



Boyd, M. (2014) Goal setting. [Powerpoint slides].

Boyd, M. (2014). Motivation. [Powerpoint slides].

Hunter, S. (2008). Promoting intrinsic motivation in clients. Strength and conditioning journal, 30 (1). 52-54.



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