"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"A famous soccer superstar!"
When I was 14 I dreamed of playing soccer for Australia. I wanted nothing more than to don the green and gold and walk out onto the pitch in front of millions of raving fans.
I lived and breathed soccer. I trained 3-4 times a week, ran long distances in the early mornings before school, watched Youtube highlight videos on repeat and ate all the Weetbix Tim Cahill told me to. I became a soccer player.
Unfortunately, as time passed I fell out of love with the game, finding new interests that stole my time and attention. Although I never made the Australian team, I have no doubt that if I continued my 14-year-old routine of living out what a full-time soccer player should do, I'd be somewhat close by now.
For those headed to the World Cup, you can bet they had similar beginnings, living and breathing soccer well before they made any high-level team.
Bringing this back to you and your abs.
Ponder the following:
You don't get abs and then become the person who has abs.
You first must become the person who abs, then you get abs.
No one of the Aussie team made the squad, then started practicing, eating, training and living like a soccer star. They had to do the latter first.
Similarly, no one who has abs woke up one Sunday morning, looked down and with delight announced, "Oh, I have abs."
To get abs you must first become the person who has abs.
Think to yourself, what would a person who has abs do?
What would they have for breakfast?
Would they sleep more than you currently do?
How often would they train?
Would they drink beer, vodka sodas or pass on tonight's booze session?
You've probably heard the old phrase of 'Change comes from within.'
Before external changes begin to happen, such as losing weight or gaining muscle, your identity must reflect that change.
When you begin to identify yourself as a man who has abs you pick up the habits, behaviours and self-talk which comes with having abs.
Act as if you are the healthiest version of yourself who has already achieved your goals - would you make the same decisions?
Would you choose a double cheeseburger, fries and beer?
Or go for the grilled chicken burger, salad and water?
Would you hit snooze for the second morning in a row?
Or get out of bed, throw on your clothes and head out for a walk?
Would you make up an excuse, like you don't feel like going to the gym because work was stressful?
Or would you go anyway? Because it doesn't matter if you don't feel like going, you must go because it's a gym day.
Think about these questions. You have a goal and you've just told yourself exactly what you need to be doing to reach it.
The only thing between you and that is excuses.
So, you want abs? Act like it!
All of your actions, habits, behaviours and self-talk are the doing. They add up to who you are and what you have. Not the other way around.
This is why the journey of a health-related goal is so important, much more so than the end goal. The shift in your identity, becoming a person who has abs, is what's going to get you abs.
Acting, day in day out, as if you're the healthiest version of yourself is a shortcut to believing.
If you believe, your identity soon changes in accordance.
And when your identity shifts, out come the abs.