Chantal: Greg, welcome along to the show.
Greg: Thanks for having me.
Chantal: Now, I want to set the scene and give everyone a little bit of background as to how we came about to where we are today because you and I actually did a little bit of filming together at the end of 2017. We’ve worked together before. We’ve known each other for a little while now.
But when we were doing that work at the end of last year, some of the topics that we were starting to talk about really struck a cord with me. I thought this is stuff that’s totally relevant and is going to be very interesting for the FBP family. We sort of were discussing at the time, the importance of goal setting and looking at planning your 2018 and organisation for the year ahead.
So, that’s what I’m hoping we can kind of dive into today and that is having a look at what the year ahead looks like, organising ourselves, planning for the year ahead. So, do you want to get things started today by talking us through what the questions are that we need to be asking at the start of the new year?
Greg: So, I think two of the biggest questions you need to start off with is what do you actually want? Because I’ve know a lot of people just go from one year to the next and because they thinking the same way and because they typically will behave in the same way as a result of that thinking, one year just literally does become the next. You’ll have a brief break. You’ll have a Christmas. Everyone gets reinvigorated. They set all these stupid New Years resolutions that we know very few people keep. And all of a sudden come the end of January into February, you are literally living your life, operating your business in exactly the way that you did last year.
I think if you can keep coming back to the question of what do you actually want? And then that sets the movement or the action plan forward from that of, well, how are you going to get it?
Then the other big question that you need to ask is why are you actually doing it? Because there is a difference between that external motivator and that internal motivator. What I found in the past, particularly when money profits our motivator for you because it’s an external thing there is this idea that, that’s going to provide you happiness. But if you don’t have the bigger picture of what is your purpose or what is your meaning for you personally and it could be in relation to the people coming to your facility or the people whose lives you touched through training or management or as a team leader within a club.
Then if you don’t have those boxes ticked and it’s all just doing it for money or because you want to accumulate more material possessions in your life, then pretty much you’re going to end up getting to a point where you are going to become extremely dissatisfied. You get that kind of hollow feeling. Yeah. So, they for me are the two questions. What do you want? What do you actually want to achieve? That sets the action plan so it almost leads to the how. But also why are you doing it? If you can’t answer those two questions well, then I think it’s a nonstarter for change.
Chantal: It leads me to think Greg, I know that it’s an easy task to associate and to set our goals to financial markers I guess. It’s quite an easy thing to go about doing that and to set SMART goals and go. And this is the amount that I either want to earn or the budget that I’m working towards for a set period of time. But it’s not always as easy to actually identify what it is that we want and why it is that we’re doing it. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of searching to actually discover those answers. Is there any advice that you can give anyone that perhaps is struggling to actually just set that to begin with?
Greg: I think broaden your horizons and actually look at your vocabulary. Somebody asked me what is it you actually want? I came to the word flexibility. So, my financial gain, my work in the industry, the speaking that I do, the workshop that I hold, the programmes that I write, whilst they the driver or the thought process was actually initially, oh how can I make money out of these? Or how do I earn a living by doing what I love? Ultimately, I had to really sit down and think about and it was about flexibility. I wanted flexibility in my week. I wanted to be able to know that if it was a nice day, I could pop down to the beach living in Bondi and be okay with that. Come back up and get back to work with an open laptop. So, for me, my happiness if you like and I don’t like using that word because I think there’s a much bigger game to play.
But actually comes from having a flexibility in life; being able to travel, being able to meet new people, being able to influence lots of different audiences. And for me, I had to like I said, expand my vocabulary. So, may think of other words other than just the normal words that you would use to describe what you want. And you might be surprised at just by spending a couple of minutes on thinking about the question, some of the words that you actually come up with.
Chantal: So, I want to share with you a story about how I come up with I guess, my why. This is particularly, I was in a stage where I came out of 2017 and I was kind of thinking okay, what does 2018 look like? A friend said to me, “Do you have a theme or do you have a word for 2018?” I was like, “No. I don’t.” I hadn’t thought about it because I had worked with businesses before that identified a word or a thing but I had never done it personally.
For me, I started thinking about okay, what are the different roles that I have? What my life is all about and as you know Greg, so I host this podcast. I do the filming work for the Mind series, which is all about health and wellbeing and I teach group fitness. I was thinking for me personally, what’s that all about? And then exactly what you’re talking about, I kind of did the whole thesaurus and looked at a whole lot of different words.
For personally, I came up with influencing action. Influencing action is something now that I have set as my guiding light for all of the things I do. So, I think that’s along the same lines of what you’re talking about and I love the idea of just having something that really you can focus in on. That’s kind of your barometer if you will for the task that you take on or the decisions that you make for your business or in your life. Does it sound like that’s what you’re referring to?
Greg: It’s exactly the same thing. You’ll be surprised and I love the fact that you actually reached for the thesaurus because we all tend to use these words on how we describe either how we’re feeling or what we want out of life. They’re all the same. They’re all versions of the same thing. Sometimes they’re not actually accurate. When somebody says they’re angry, sometimes they’re not actually angry. It’s just the first word they reach for. But they might be a little sad. They might feel discontented. They might feel … I’m not great with the thesaurus without out … But do you know what I mean? It’s like sometimes I think we have to be a bit more specific and that comes a lot to our goal setting. It’s the first part of any SMART goal is to get specific around it. Not only around what you want but also in describing.
I mean, you would never have come up with inspired action unless you had taken the time and opened the thesaurus. You would’ve gone, oh, I kind of want more money and I want more satisfaction. And when you ask people what they want in workshops and trainings, they are typically the words that people come up with. I just think if we can take a little bit more time, if we can ask ourselves the questions we don’t normally ask ourselves and also challenge ourselves to be more specific around opening up the possibilities to what type of words we use to describe, what we want and why we’re doing things.
I think influencing action is exactly what I’m talking about. Hopefully, you’ve got those two words up somewhere prominently in front of your laptop, next to your desk, on your desk, written on the wall, whatever it is that’s going to be your thing and your theme for this year.
Chantal: I sure do. It was the first thing that I did. No, sorry. It was the second thing I did. The first thing I did was post it on Instagram to declare to the world that was my thing for the year. But the second thing I did was put it on my desk.
So, Greg one of the things that you mentioned when we first started talking about the new year is how we can so easily roll into the new year and just roll in with the same habits as we had previously without setting the scene, without kind of establishing what it is we want to achieve. So, can you maybe talk us through a few of the harmful status quos and mentalities that we’ll see your new year be the same as our old year?
Greg: Yeah. For sure. I actually think the status quo is the root of all evil. I start my keynote speeches with this little equation that says SQ = the square root of 666. For me, even like you, I always got to the end of every year and my first question is how is next year going to be different to this year? What you find is that there are three harmful status quo mentalities.
The first one is that if somebody’s challenging your point of view, they’re wrong. It leads to this idea of there is actually a right and a wrong. There has to a winner or a loser and they can’t be an opening to what are the possibilities if there is more than one way to get something done. I think we really need to trash that idea straightaway because if you can’t open yourself to the fact that other people might be right that there are other possibilities to get to a level of success then you are going to remain stuck.
The second is that you should do something that you don’t enjoy now, in order to do something that you can enjoy later on. It’s set up on this stupid 150 year old paradigm of us going to school and studying subjects that we typically have no passion or interest in. We don’t like them and then we’re advised by our parents or the careers advisor at school that, oh this is the job that you should do.
There’s no real kind of questioning around what your passions are or what do you really love to do. It’s all around academia or what would be the right thing to do in terms of society. People go and get jobs on the basis of that. They get stuck into jobs or careers that they don’t necessarily love but they tolerate it in order to earn an income. They work at it for, however many years, changing jobs in the hope that they’ll find that satisfaction. To build an massive amount of money where they can maybe retire and eventually start to relax and enjoy life. I’m like, no sorry. That’s just-
Chantal: No thanks.
Greg: No thanks. It shouldn’t be that way. I think it is one thing about that new generation coming through from Millennials and I guess the next generation underneath that. For all their problems that the older generations have with some of their behaviourism that is one good thing about what they’re coming through and their mentality is, I want to work around my purpose. So, really what you should be able to do is to try and find ways in each day to enjoy what you do and if you’re questioning what you’re doing then look to find ways to change it.
This is a big industry. I think sometimes we can get caught in the idea that I was a personal trainer. I was a group fitness instructor or I was some kind of manager. My only progression in this industry is to work up the management ladder to eventually be a club manager to eventually be an area manager to eventually be a state manager or whatever.
I’ve been so surprised over the last 25 years at the amount of opportunities that come up just from wait and wonderful places. Like my latest one is working in a pharmaceutical company who have a particular product that I did the programming for. They’ve launched an applications. It’s gone gang busters. So, we’re now looking at book opportunities. We’re now looking at holding live events. We’re now looking at the journey that they’re taking from weight loss for their customers into more of a holistic sense of well being.
Now if somebody had said to me as a glorified group X instructor for the last 25 years, you’d be consulting with a pharmaceutical company who has great budget to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do and then treating you as the resource and consultant. For a lot of that, I would’ve gone, okay great. Wait, very wait, not great. So, yeah. How do we try and expand again the possibilities? What are the greater horizons of what we can do with what we know?
Then the last one, the third one is if somebody doesn’t conform to what is “normal” and I’ll put that in inverted commas then wait once. I think we can get caught in the fitness industry of poo pooing a lot of systems of poo pooing a lot of equipment of poo pooing a lot of training methodologies that don’t fit the way we train, the weight hold systems or the equipment we work on. I found that really bizarre.
It’s almost the opposite to how I’ve operated over the last 25 years where I think as long as somebody’s moving, as long as somebody’s up motivated to exercise they will get some benefit out of it. It might be not the star of indoor cycling you do. It might not be the piece of equipment that you agree should be done for that particular movement. It might not be a method of heart rate training or a product.
I don’t know everyone gets caught I think in that idea that outweighs the right way or that is not normal and therefore it’s weird. I think once you start placing normalcy on a pedestal than we’re in a little bit of trouble because you’re trying to be, I guess in some ways accepted in the marketplace and that makes you average.
Chantal: We didn’t even talk this before the interview but I’m actually three quarters of the way through reading The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.
Greg: Yep. Yep.
Chantal: I’m assuming it’s a book you’re probably familiar with. So, I wanted to talk to you about that. About getting all your goals down to really just focusing in on that one thing, talk to us about that and about maintenance versus progress tasks.
Greg: Yeah. So, I mean, Pareto’s Rule states that we spent 80% of our time doing 20% of our tasks. Pretty much in layman’s terms that says we spend way, way, way, way too much time doing stuff that is really not going to move us forward. I always liken it to if you ever speak to retired people. They’re like, oh my God. I’m just so busy. How did I ever had time to do my job. I’m like, yeah because you’re filling your day doing maintenance tasks. It’s stuff that’s not necessarily going to move you forward in your life but then they don’t have the same goals that we would necessarily have as working people.
So, I think once you have your goals and whether they be SMART goals or whether you agree with those or whatever is almost irrelevant. It’s about whittling it down to what is the stuff you could do, what is the stuff you should do. What are essentially maintenance goals and a maintenance goal is something that if I did it, I would be no better off. I would be no more forward on the journey to change than had I not done it versus a progress task, which would be something that directly moves me towards the goal that I’m after.
So, you have to figure out in a day what is a maintenance task and what is a progress task.
Once you have all your progress tasks in a line, you then have to prioritise them. All tasks are not created equal. What are the priorities in your should do’s and then you whittle it down to, like you said that one thing that what is going to be that one task that I can do today, that by doing it is going to make everything else in my progress list going to be that much easier? For me, it would be picking up the phone. So, for me, it would be talking to people, setting meetings, and exploring opportunities for what I do or how we can work together over the next 12 months. Yeah. One thing.
Chantal: Yeah. I have worked probably for the last 12 months now I’d say, I’ve worked pretty firmly on a philosophy of setting myself three key things to do each day. I would classify those as my progress tasks. What I find really challenging and I’m sure this is common amongst most people is that it’s hard not to do those maintenance tasks because you feel as though, yep I’ve still got to tick those things off my list. But personally, I found that at least I’m a white boarder. So, I white board everything because there’s something I find really satisfying about writing something on the white board and then being able to completely erase it once it’s done. I don’t know what it is. I just love it.
But if I identify and put down those three key progress tasks as you call them, then I found I can keep bringing my focus back to that. So, every time I know that I’m going to get carried away and do some maintenance tasks in between but I can keep coming back and going have I completed, have I completed? Then for me, I mean as I said, I’m in the process of reading The ONE Thing and absolutely loving it by the way. For me, that one thing I think is like an overarching kind of like that BHAG, focus or goal that I’m working towards. At the moment, I haven’t quite been able to get it to just one key task per day. I’m still on three. Maybe I’ll progress to one. But for me at the moment I found that three progress tasks in a day and then having an overarching goal works really well for me.
Greg: Yeah. And there’s chunking and block that I find works well for me because even though you might have decided what your progress tasks are, like you said the maintenance task still need to get done. At some point, you still have to get to the post office before 3:00 if you needed to get something in the post or whatever.
So, I find for me chunking in terms of time and getting that written out on some visual display that I can see, I know very clearly throughout my working day these are my working times and these are my let’s say maintenance task times or just time to step away from the computer. I can remember working full time for somebody back in London. It was kind of when Facebook started to emerge and everybody … There were lots of reports around Facebook being on the media and how much productivity was being lost to social media.
Checking during work hours, while in actual fact, I was thinking it is impossible to sit there and stare between 9:00 AM and let’s say 1:00 PM when you leave for your lunch break at a computer screen, focusing on one thing. Then you come back from 2:00 through to 5:30 and stare at the same computer screen at the same desk if that’s part of your role.
To me, it’s just an impossibility your mind wanders you have to break the trance so almost. So, I found that permission to step out of progress tasks into maintenance tasks or just to have a complete break. Fine, in order for me to do that, I schedule those in. So, I can actually see my day with those chunked blocks out.
Chantal: Yeah. I love the sound of that especially for the visual people out there. I think writing it down like that is a really good idea. And as you say, giving yourself permission because you are in that mindset where you’re just powering on through. I think you become ineffective at some point. So, if you take that break time and then do what you need to do and come back to what you get to re-focus. So, look let’s keep moving because I would love to get your fitbizpiration as we like to call it and can you give us three quick tips for finding focus and avoiding distraction?
Greg: Okay. Well, the first is always going to be your workspace in terms of rewarding distractions. So, it’s setting up the right workspace that actually is going to allow you to be in the best space to achieve your goals. So, for me, I’ve just come out of writing this 30 day life hack programme. I know personally for me, I need silence in order to write. So, the idea that I have the TV off. I have all my alerts turned off. Again, just for those chunks of period and then I allow myself that time when everything comes back on. Getting your workspace right in order for what your personal preferences are and it might be that you need music on in the background to kill the silence. For me, it was the total opposite.
All right. So, workplace number one. Three key tips for finding focus, it’s understanding that as far as your attention goes you only have the possibility of retaining about seven plus or minus two things in your subconscious at any one given time because it’s kind of like a container. Your subconscious brain. You can’t keep piling information in, in order to have you retain stuff. So, you have to take some stuff out and with that in mind, I think knowing what you need to pay attention to versus all the other extraneous things that could be coming in.
So, if you’re in a workplace, actually letting people know, hey listen for the next hour, I really need to not be disturbed because I’m working on something really important to me is number two. So, while you’ve got the immediate work environment as number one. Number two is letting the people around you know what’s important to you in your workday, when is the right time to either be disturbed, not be disturbed, and what you need in order to move forward.
Then I’d say the third thing for finding focus and avoiding distraction would be keep coming back to the questions. So, it’s almost like the perfect kind of loop around in this little chat that we covered. Keep coming back to the questions of what do you want to achieve and why are you doing it? If you like to write it out and have it visually placed somewhere around your computer just as you’ve done, great. If it’s written down somewhere, if it’s a mantra, if it’s something that pops up when you screen every hour, if it’s a screensaver. Anything can allow you to keep focus throughout the year because I think that will provide you with motivation when the going gets tough.
Chantal: I absolutely love that one. When you said screensaver, a little bulb just went off because I’m going to whack that influencing action on my screensaver right away. I just want to mention that second one that you mentioned Greg, is actually one of my favourites. When you talk about making sure that you tell people when you might need an hour of distraction free time and regular listeners of the show will know that, that’s actually a key that I talk about. And that is having I call it tiger time. If you haven’t heard this term before, I actually first heard it from Amy Porterfield, who does the Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tiger time is basically setting a time in your day to accomplish a specific task and the reason it’s called tiger time is because it’s a time that you’re fiercely protective of.
I love the idea of naming it because I find personally and I probably use this sort of theory for about 18 months now. When I name that time and I say to my colleagues or I say to my husband or whatever it might be, “Okay I’m going into tiger time for the next 60 minutes.” Then it’s just known. It’s known that, that’s my editing time, do not disturb me. The social media goes off. The email alerts go off. Don’t knock on the door. I’m in tiger time. And I love it. So, I’m so glad you mentioned that as well.
Greg: Well, yeah. I mean the thing it also provides a little bit of clarity for those … Let’s say if you’re a manger in a club or you’re a team leader where you point yourself or you portray yourself as being open to people coming to speak to you, you want to keep your finger on the pulse. But all of a sudden, some of your behaviours when you sent out that message actually aren’t congruent to that thought process. So, if you’re saying, “Listen my door’s always open. Come and tell me everything. Blah, blah, blah.” There will be times when someone comes and you’re like no, sorry not now. That doesn’t sit well. It becomes disingenuous in terms of what you’re saying. If you’re clear with the people that you’re working for and I think it’s great you’ve described it as tiger time then expectations are meant.
Chantal: Yep. Yep. Love that. Hey Greg, very briefly in that last answer you mentioned your 30 day life hack programme. Do you just want to tell us about the life hack programme and where people can contact you to chat further or to find out more?
Greg: Yeah. So, it was a bit of labour of love last year. Like I said, I had 25 years in the fitness industry. Then when I moved back to Sydney from having been in London for 17 years, I thought, okay, what’s going to be the next thing for me? What does the next kind of 25 years look like? Having kind of experienced the industry in the way that I had. And also having a lot of personal things about, okay well I’ve changed country, I’ve left my job, I’ve set up home in Sydney. How am I going to hack my own status quo?
I went and accredited as a coach. So, I did a diploma in coaching leadership and mentoring. It just blew my mind because I was like after all I’ve seen and done, how can I take this information now, which is so revolutionary to me out to people who may never have access to this sort of stuff? So I took all the best bits, I put it into a 30 day programme, which is basically chucked into five weeks.
So, you’ve got an awareness week, you’ve got a mindset week, a health week, a performance week, and a momentum week. The whole process, although you probably won’t get it done in 30 days, it’s delivered by video and a workbook. It’s designed to change people’s thinking and behaviours to allow them to live better and succeed faster.
Now, it could be for you as an individual, as a partner, as a parent but it’s very, very specific connotations for the health and fitness industry in terms of the way we train. Being better able to get thinking of behaviour change long lasting for clients so that they’re not caught in such a fail circle. I’m really proud of it as a product. I’ve got to get it up online. That is the next thing. I actually just finished it before Christmas. I started showing it to influencers in the industry in the hope that they just have front of mind, this is what I’m now doing. My job now is to get it online in a downloadable format, which I will be doing in the next four to six weeks. It’ll all be available on gregsellar.com.
Chantal: Well, I’m sure that if people are interested in finding out more and chatting to you, they can jump over to gregsellar.com. I’m sure you’ve got an inquiry form or contact us form on there that they can leave their information. Needless to say what we will do is, we will put Greg’s website on our show notes and when that programme is released through the beauty and the magic of instant online updates, we will put a note in the show notes to put a link directly to your 30 day life hack programme. So, if you’re listening to this in February or perhaps March, maybe it not be up just yet. But if you’re listening to it later on in the year during 2018 or any time, just jump onto fitnessbusinesspodcast.com. Check out this episode and we’ll make sure we keep the link updated there or head directly to gregsellar.com. Greg, you know I’m a huge fan and I’m so, so grateful for you taking the time to come on today. Always feeling inspired after I talk to you, so thank you so, so much. And all the very best with your 30 day life hack programme.
Greg: Yeah. No. Thank you for having me. It’s always great to talk and I look forward to us next being in the same room.
Chantal: Me too. Me too.
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