This morning I started up a new fitness program. I went “all in,” so to speak. Bought the DVDs. Did the fitness test. Recorded my weight and body fat percentage. Downloaded the mobile app. Added workouts to my calendar. There are very specific reasons why I did all of those things. The big picture reason is that I’ve been successful in the past with all of these in place and unsuccessful when they weren’t.
There will be a marketing lesson in here. I promise.
Fitness Lessons Learned
Three years ago, I was out of shape and not feeling well. My knees ached all the time and I had hit a waist size threshold I wasn’t willing to cross. I bought a fitness program called P90X. It’s an intense, 90-day program that will get you into excellent shape if you can follow it.
I recorded all of my baseline statistics and jumped into the program. It’s a highly structured, 90-day program that’s broken into three phases. Each week is comprised of 6 different workouts and one day of rest. The order of the workouts is important. If you miss a day, you can’t skip workouts or everything gets thrown out of balance. I hadn’t really planned on dieting but one I started this regimen, it seemed dumb to put all of this work in and then eat junky food.
I got great results. I lost a bunch of weight, went from a 38-inch waist to 33 inches and felt strong and fit. I followed this up with a second round and got into even better shape. Then, life happened. Vacation, injury, sickness, etc. I fell off the wagon. When I tried to get back on the wagon, I chose not to follow the program. I thought I had enough experience to pick and choose which workout I wanted and sort of construct my own program on the fly. I started and stopped a bunch of times and this weight chart shows the results:
All of those spikes represent fits and starts with my workouts. I’d work out for a week and stop for two. I’d work out for three days and stop for a month.
Does this sound like your inbound marketing? Does it sound like your blogging effort? Your social media dedication?
Inbound Marketing Fitness
When I was unsuccessful with my fitness programs, I think it was because there were three things missing: a plan, accountability and goals.
Readers of this blog and newsletter will know how insistent I am about having well developed marketing plans. I’m often heard quoting Sung Tzu’s Art of War: “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” I would never do that with a marketing regimen, so why was I doing that with my fitness? Good question. As you can see, it didn’t work very well.
This has several facets. The first is a schedule. Whenever you’re operating a fitness program or a blogging effort, if there’s no schedule, there’s no accountability. It makes it very easy to put off your workout or blog post one more day. Then one day becomes two. Two days become a week.
Something else happens when you have a plan and schedule. There are dependencies that provide extra motivation because you know there’s a domino effect to missing dates. For example, when I was following the P90X program, missing a workout day wasn’t a huge deal because you could just move your day of rest. But missing two days becomes a problem, as it pushes out the entire program since you can’t skip workouts. When you develop an editorial calendar and promotion schedule, marketing tasks become dependent upon one another also. When you miss blog posts, you can’t publish your newsletter. You also don’t have content to promote on social media.
Setting goals in and of itself is motivating. But measuring progress against them is even more motivating. Losing those pounds, increasing your repetitions lowering your body fat percentage all provide positive feedback. Setting marketing goals like conversions, subscribers and audience growth can provide the same positive feedback and motivation.
I’ll leave you with a list of Tony Horton (creator of P90X) quotes:
- Do your best and forget the rest.
- Just keep pushing play.
- I hate it but I love it.
- Don’t just “kinda” do it.
- Don’t let your ego get in the way of your success.
- Don’t say, “I can’t.” Say, “I presently struggle with.”