If you’re one of those people who buy into the myth that ‘we are who we are’: buckle-up, take a deep breath, and reconsider.
Honestly, I’ve heard all the reasons for not pursuing a change for the better. The most ardent naysayers being those with the most to gain:
- You can’t fight genetics
- It’s just too hard
- I’m too busy to do anything like that
- I like cake too much
- I could never achieve that
- I haven’t got the will-power.
One excuse my clients never use is: I’m too old.
That’s because if we’re working together, then they’ve already made the decision that age isn’t going to hold them back from achieving a more healthy and fulfilling life.
You may think that taking this journey earlier in life, would have been better. OK, maybe so. But you didn’t! Or maybe you were once the epitome of good health and athletic grace, but you let it slide as life and responsibility got in the way.
Either way, I’m here to tell you that there has never been a better time to begin your journey. Don’t think of time being against you. Rather, the benefits of age are on your side.
Here’s why the Over-40’s have the best shot at success:
1. They already know what doesn’t work
Call it the benefit of hindsight; many have spent a lifetime flitting between one diet or another; abandoning one less than optimal exercise regime, in favour of the next big craze. Trust me, when you’ve had enough of wasting your time, you’re not about to throw any more of it away by going back over old ground. The Over-40’s are less bound to outmoded ways of thinking, simply because they’ve been-there-done-that already, and crave something new.
2. They don’t waste time on nonsense
Most of my clients have a highly developed bullshit-detector. That’s probably why we get on so well! They appreciate straight talking and don’t have time for gimmicks that serve no purpose. Put it this way: once you’ve been around the block a few times, you’re less enamoured with fancy talk and grand promises; preferring a sensible and realistic approach that puts you in the driving seat.
3. They have experience
This is wisdom, of a sort. We all have a back-catalogue of successes and mistakes. It’s this combination of experiences that gives us a tapestry of self-reference: everything new that we experience is measured against our past. As a coach, this is a wonderfully rich resource to tap-in to; both as a means of motivation and as a tool to identify previous unhelpful behaviours.
4. They’re resilient
Let’s be honest for a moment: life is hard! I don’t know about you, but I suspect, like me, it hasn’t all been a warm, fuzzy mix of fairy-dust and unicorns? Put it another way: what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger! So, it’s always a pleasure working with an older client-base with whom I don’t have to sugar-coat every pill (FYI, there are no pills). Not every client is aware of this level of resilience; at least not at the beginning. But it is there, and we’ll awaken it, for sure!
5. More focused/less easily distracted
This is linked to the bullshit part, in that my clientele aren’t distracted by shiny-things or abject-fluff that doesn’t serve a purpose. Once they have their eye on the prize, they have a laser-focus and an interest on what works; no whistles and bells required.
6. They appreciate the value of time
I can clearly remember, in my younger years, feeling as though I had all the time in the world: it didn’t matter if I made a few rookie-errors along the way; time was always on my side. I don’t feel that way anymore, and neither do my clients! They’re not willing to go through a lengthy process of trial-and-error, when they can just cut-to-the-chase and start making smart, result-driven changes; today! Time IS valuable. Every moment offers an opportunity to be seized and not squandered; every one of which can be directed towards your personal health goals.
7. They have a work-ethic
As the years pass, we build up a capacity to endure. We know how to get our head down, plough forward and get the job done; without fuss. Call it the daily grind, if you like. My clients aren’t afraid of hard work, and recognise that noting worth having comes easy. A life-transformation becomes VERY easy, once you get into the habit (or lose a few bad ones), but it can require a commitment at the beginning, and a desire to dig deep and put in the effort. My clients constantly impress me with their work ethic, and by matching their level of effort, great things follow.
8. They care less about outside opinion
It’s an age thing, I’m sure. Maybe there just comes a point in your life when we just start giving less of a crap about what others think? Perhaps it’s more fun being a little cantankerous without worrying about the consequences? I think it’s more about doing what you feel is right, for you; and damn what anyone else says, or what convention dictates. If age really is the factor that sets us free, then I for one welcome it.
9. They’re more open-minded
Have you ever noticed that the most successful people in life, were once views as outliers; not part of the mainstream, and often dismissed out of hand? Many of those former misfits are now lauded as geniuses and role models. And yet, the very reason they succeeded in breaking new ground, i.e. defying convention, is the one element that’s still not encouraged anywhere near enough. When you feel as though you’ve pretty much seen it all anyway, what do you have to lose by trying something new; especially if it’s going to increase the quality of your life? If you can allow yourself to believe that you do still have so much untapped potential, then you can open up a whole world of possibilities. It’s up to you.
10. They’re just more fun
Yep I said it! Call me ageist if you want, but my clients know how to have fun. And when they’re having fun, then so am I. So maybe it’s just me being selfish? I think it’s a sense of mischief that seems to build as we get older, coupled with a child-like sense of wonder at their growing achievements and transformation. Either-way, the Over-40’s have it nailed!