Have you ever noticed how easy it is to plant the seed of an idea, to talk about your goals, to think about what you’re going to do?

Imaging doing something is fun and exciting.

Taking initiative? Well that’s something else altogether.

Your big and exciting idea might be to finally lose that weight. Or perhaps it’s to start a business. Or, to leave your corporate job to start your own company.

Taking initiative means stepping through mental anguish that paralyzes you, even before you take your first step. Or doubts of whether you can accomplish it. Fears of what others might think of you if you try.

Even just the physical effort involved can keep you stuck on the starting line.

When I consult with a fitness entrepreneur or company, or coach a member on our Young Living team, I focus on five steps to maximize their chance of success. If I were still training and coaching fitness clients, I would have them go through these five steps too. I even applied the principles to this website/blog before I launched it.

While all five are important, it’s really the first one that is the most important. Because that’s where you start!

The following are the five steps I take them through:

  1. Clarify your beliefs, philosophy, and purpose
  2. Match your core strengths to your beliefs, philosophy, and purpose
  3. Consistently use your core strengths to work toward your goal
  4. Identify new “stuff” you can add to or do with your core strengths
  5. Slowly, and methodically add new “stuff” in addition to, not in place of your core strengths

I’m sure I could come up with something more slick and sexy. Some kind of “get there fast and easy” nonsense. But I’m not trying to sell you something here. I’m just sharing what has worked for me and what I’ve seen work for others.

Writing Your Story – Your beliefs, philosophy, and purpose

People often begin a weight loss program without considering their existing belief system. They don’t have a deep-seated yearning to lose the weight, or a brief that it’s even possible. Or perhaps they don’t feel they’re worthy of being fit.

There’s all kinds of stuff in our minds that gets in the way of our success. That’s why this first step is so important for individual goals.

But it’s equally important for a business. I’ve known a lot of personal trainers who left a corporate fitness job and started their own independent business. But they just jump into training clients without gaining a full appreciation for what their business is all about. Whey they are different. What they believe in. How they are different.

As a result, their clients just see them as a “trainer.” Not somebody who is part of a movement they want to be a part of.

You’ll eventually find all kinds of posts about belief systems and philosophies on the blog. We don’t have to get deep on the topic, to get started, though.

Your philosophy really comes down to the story you tell about yourself, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.

We teach new business builders on our Young Living team to craft their individuals stories. Their stories follow a consistent framework that goes like this:

  • When I was introduced to Young Living, I was…
  • When I learned about Young Living, I saw…
  • Now that I’m building a business with Young Living, my vision is…

You can use this framework for any business, or really, for any major goal you have.

Example Weight Loss Story

If your goal is to lose weight, you might say something like this:

  • When I joined the gym, I knew I was too heavy. My energy level was at an all-time low. I didn’t want to buy new clothes because my others were too small. My blood sugar levels were in the pre-diabetic range. I knew I needed help.
  • I met with a fitness professional, did an assessment, and saw that getting to a healthy weight really was possible with the three-day-per-week program they offered, along with some slow changes to my diet. It was the first time in a long time I felt confident that I could finally get back to my wedding-day body.
  • Now that I’m on the right path, my vision is to bring others with me on this journey. I know others can be transformed like me, and it would be so fulfilling to pass this feeling along to others.

Example Fitness Business Story

If I were working with a fitness professional who was building his or her independent business, we might come up with something like this:

  • When I first got into training, I saw the positive influence I could be in the lives of so many people. I knew that I might not be able to change the world, but I knew I could change the world of one person at a time. I knew my influence would reach well beyond the individual clients I trained.
  • As I grew in experience and expertise, I saw that my approach to health and fitness didn’t quite fit within a corporate setting. I saw how much more there was to the puzzle of weight management and fitness, so I became an independent trainer where I can partner with awesome counselors and doctors. That way I can make sure each of my clients gets the personalized attention they need.
  • Now that I’m on my own, my vision is to create a bridge that melds the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health together. I know that each of these areas of health plays on the other, and as an independent trainer I have the freedom to refer my clients to, and partner with whomever I feel is best for my business and their success.

These are just a couple of examples of the power behind identifying your belief system, philosophy, and purpose.

My Website Story

On a personal level, this is how I applied the three-part structure to planning out my website:

  • When I first was first introduced to, and got into blogging, I saw that there was an efficient way of reaching other people. I saw that, through writing, I could educate others, and help them to change their perspective on health and wellness. It was as though I could reach hundreds, or even thousands of people, which was far more than I could ever do on a one-on-one basis.
  • As I grew in experience and expertise, and after leaving Life Time, my own perspective on “health and wellness” started to change. I came to appreciate how many challenges people face other than what to eat and when to exercise, all of which interfere with their ability to maintain health. I also saw how much their mindset and belief system, as well as their personal relationships, affected their ability to achieve spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health.
  • Now that I’ve launched my own site, I have the freedom to share my experiences and knowledge in personal development, marriage & relationships, and health & fitness to reach others with a more meaningful message. I also have the potential to reach other fitness professionals, and change their perspectives of their roles, so they can influence their clients in better ways than I was able to. As a result, my vision is to influence tens of thousands of people, and move them toward an abundance of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.

I wrote the “story” above in a few minutes, without any edits.

I think that is a really important part of the process.

Just write your story without second-guessing or making the grammar perfect. Then read it and repeat it aloud.

Tell it to anyone who will listen, and pay attention to their response.

Each time you share your story, you’ll tweak it just a little until the perfect story flows from your lips.

That will the story that moves you to initiative, to action.

And it will be the story that moves others to follow your lead.

Before long, you might have a club of can-do, influential friends to grow in success together with.

Thanks for reading. A quality life comes from making quality choices. Make good choices today.