Photo: Shaun T
Shaun T is best known for his killer workouts—Insanity, Hip Hop Abs, Cize, Focus T25, etc. (Don’t forget this seven-minute workout that will torch your body.) But his latest venture is more of a workout for your mindset: His book T Is for Transformation: Unleash the 7 Superpowers to Help You Dig Deeper, Feel Stronger, and Live Your Best Life and the accompanying nationwide tour is all about helping you discover what strengths you already have and what you need to work on to stay committed to your fitness or weight-loss journey.
And since achieving your resolution is more about mindset than anything, we tapped the workout king himself for his best goal-crushing tips.
1. People say “don’t look backward,” but actually you should.
“What I would like for people to do when they set a resolution is actually to go back to the year before,” he says. “Think back to last year and find out what was great about that year. Find the common denominator of everything you succeeded at—whether it was your commitment, that you were very financially stable, that you were a great communicator with your friends or coworkers.”
“Whichever resolution you decide to tackle, utilize the things you already know you did well in last year and carry them into this year to help you crush your goal,” he says. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier and you know that your relationship with your BFFs is solid as a rock, consider cooking for them or going in on a healthy eating goal together. If your goal is to work out harder and one thing you do really well is that you’re super creative, then maybe instead of just schlepping to the gym without a plan or following someone else’s workout, you focus on creating your own routine. “Find a way to make the resolution fit your lifestyle instead of trying to find a way to fit your life into a resolution,” says Shaun. (Want more guidance? Join our 40-Day Goal-Crushing Challenge with Jen Widerstrom.)
2. The two things you need are consistency and pressure.
The catch: It has to be the right kind of pressure. “A lot of people put pressure on themselves to see results every day,” says Shaun. “You step on the scale every morning, you look down, and you try to get this one ounce or one pound. But instead of putting the pressure on yourself to hit this one number at this one moment, you should put the pressure on yourself for consistency.”
Why? “Consistency over time equals trust, and if you’re consistent in what you’re doing over a period of time, you can trust that you’re going to see results,” he says. If you don’t see the scale move fast enough, you might be inclined to throw in the towel—but losing 6 pounds over a month is more important than losing 1 pound on 10 days, he says. You just have to take the pressure off, stay consistent, and trust the process. (Next up: The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts)
3. Don’t harp on failure.
“Full disclosure here, because it’s the most emotional in the topic of my life right now: It took five years for my husband Scott and I to have our babies,” says Shaun. “There was one point where I said to Scott, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I felt like I failed and that we couldn’t do it. But once I hit that rock-bottom feeling, I realized: I already know what it feels like to hit that rock bottom. It can’t get worse. So I’m going to work my way back up.”
When you feel like you’ve failed, the key is to look at it as a setback versus a failure. “If you do this, it lets you step back, survey the scene, and see what you need to do differently internally and externally to go after that goal.” Even if you don’t achieve that goal, thinking this way keeps your mindset positive.
Bonus: Steal Shaun’s Self-Care Secret
You may not know it from watching him yell “Let’s GOOOO!” mid-interval in Insanity, but Shaun is a self-professed “serial spa-day person.”
“One of the superpowers I talk about in my book is being selfish, like positively selfish,” he says. “Not in a way that negatively impacts anyone else. Your selfishness should be something that makes you feel so refreshed and so rejuvenated that everyone else feels the power of your clarity and your brain.” If this thought is blowing your mind, consider making self-care one of your resolutions.
His advice: Go to the spa, get a massage, whatever suits your mood. Just two rules: Go by yourself and leave your phone in the car. “Go where nobody knows you and totally unplug so you can really chill. Breathe, meditate, reflect on who you are, and give yourself the energy back. I promise you will come home or back to work rejuvenated,” he says. (Don’t believe it? Just check out the mind-body benefits of getting a massage.)