Turning “Hope” Into “How”

I don’t like people to put much stock in hope.

Don’t get me wrong it has its place in specific topics and circumstances.

“I hope the weather is beautiful this weekend.”

“I hope that new book I ordered from Amazon gets here today.”

“I hope that there is college football this year.”

Those are all great ways to use the word hope.

But “hope” can also be used in a dangerous way. Let me explain…

What is “Hope?”
I recently had a conversation with a Bodysmith member about her progress. She had lost significant weight and had kept it off for longer than she ever had before. I was proud of her and was surprised that she didn’t seem as excited as I was. She said: “I’ve lost this much weight several times before, but I always put it back on. I hope it doesn’t repeat.”

Fast forward another week.

This time I was talking to another member who had come back at the gym after being “too busy” to make his last few appointments. He mentioned that he appreciated a recent email I wrote about “ghosting” the gym. (“Ghosting” is when you check out of a situation or relationship by avoiding communication.) “I hope I don’t end up being a ghost at the Bodysmith,” he said.

In both situations, you can see the insidious nature of the word “hope.” Despite the fact that hope is a good thing when used in this fashion, it ends up being the harbinger of doom. So over time and repeated use, hope begins to erode the concept of responsibility in our life. We surrender our control and give our power away to some other force outside of our control. We are merely a helpless witness to our unfolding lives.

As someone who holds a degree in religion, I’m well aware of the power and place that faith and hope have in our lives. But in essence, this usage turns hope from motivation to a causal factor. Not good. I’m a big believer that language and its use can have a profound effect on our attitudes and outcomes. That’s why we need to reserve hope for when things are indeed out of our control. Now, back to where fitness and health come in.

Say It and Mean It
Hope is NOT a strategy. It’s a relinquishing of power and a quick trip to a victim mentality that prevents you from being the best version of yourself possible. You do have the power to create change in your life, but it doesn’t come from the word hope, it comes from real action.

Don’t want to gain the weight you’ve lost again? Then don’t go back to old habits and self-sabotage. A desirable outcome requires taking action, not a dream. Hope you don’t “ghost” the gym and your coaches? Then keep making YOUR health a priority and show up for your workout. Simple really.

And while you are at it, you can stop “hoping” things get back to normal with this global pandemic so you can take the time to get healthy. Regrettably, I think we are all in this for a while. Right now, make a plan, own it, and execute it. Don’t think for a moment that I am saying this is easy. Old habits die hard, but if you stick to it, you will find that YOU are in control of much more than you ever thought.

If you need help making a plan, drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to help.

–Coach Brad

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