Last week I picked up a copy of Atomic Habits by James Clear. As I read the introduction, it reminded me of my own journey. Whenever I'm feeling defeated or like something is beyond me, I think back to one of the most challenging years of my life.
My mother was asking the nurse for a bucket. I'd just come out of recovery with no recollection of returning to my room. The fluorescent lights above me that stung my eyes and it made the room spin. My stomach was spinning too, and enough to make me throw up all over myself, the bed, and the floor.
I was recovering from a knee operation. It was my first day in hospital —a total of six days.
The operation came as a shock. Like, I DID dislocate my knee on a jump split, but surely it was going to get better. Right?
It did not.
Ligament repair and surgically breaking my tibia and putting it back together with three screws I still feel on a rainy day.
Whenever I moved, I felt the searing pain up my leg. It was so bad I didn't eat for three days.
Everything was new and uncomfortable and I just wanted to say in bed. But even that wasn't comfortable as I had to wear a leg brace from my hip to my ankle.
I had gone from 30 hours a week of physical activity with the physio teaching me how to use crutches and get out of bed. Walking from the bed to my bathroom was an exhausting process that resulted in tears every time.
The hard part was knowing where I came from and feeling like I was never going to get back there. Before my injury, I was as fit as I'd ever been. I'd also lost 20kg. I was running three times a week, cheerleading for sport, and completing my Pilates certification that involved 16-hour weekend intensives and daily personal practice.
My knee operation was the day after my 20th birthday on September 1st, 2008. The day before was the last practical weekend for my Pilates course. I went into my op thinking I'd be better and able to complete my three hour Pilates exam by February.
I still had over 150 hours to get marked off in my logbook. Not to mention every exercise in the repertoire that I had to demonstrate and get checked off. Did I mention that I was also doing my Cert III in Fitness?
But I did it.
And less than a year later I'd finished all my study graduating with a 94% average. I had lost all the weight I had put on from being sedentary. I started my Pilates brand and opened my first physical location. All completed just shy of a year post my operation.
One whole year.
Like James in the book, my secret to getting everything done and recovering was in the creation of a goal and my daily actions around it.
At the time I didn’t realise what I was doing, I thought I was taking it day by day. I had my goals in mind, but I was only focussed on showing up that day and doing my best that day.
My life was structured between episodes of Doctor Quinn and when my parents could drive me places.
It involved physio three times a week and hydrotherapy twice a week.
I completed my physio exercises three times a day. The sheer repetition of the exercises has me remembering the exact sequence despite it being 12 years ago. In between that, I studied. Two full-time courses. When I wanted a study break I'd put on the TV and do my physio exercises. And when I completed my exercises I went back to studying. Also, having a house with stairs and navigating crutches with small animals took up a lot of time too.
And it was my life for six months.
By the end of February, I'd completed my exams and had my certifications. I was back running and training at the gym. And on the weekends I was running around The Belmore in heels. I'd also gotten into my first serious relationship with my boyfriend, Luke.
The sum of my daily habits saw me completely change my life in a short period. I then channelled that same energy into my business start-up to open my studio. Less than a year I was fully recovered and had enough clients to open my own studio.
Let's be honest, 2020 was a shit show. I spent most of it rekindling my love for corn chips and magnums. The only version I fit I became was piss fit. What else do you feel like doing when you're sucked into a news vortex?
I also had a 'fun' friend who would sit on the couch with me and we'd drink tequila with grapefruit soda. My ass became so big I could make it dance. My clothes stopped fitting. Business stress was soothed with yet another corn chip.
Some days I absolutely did not want to work. I'd lose chunks of time staring at my laptop or looking for my laptop charger and then deciding to clean out my cupboards when I saw the mess. A simple task turned into a to-do list filled with 27 items. I went to my psychologist and told her about it. She told me I needed to get tested for ADD. A task for 2021.
July to October were hard months. And I thank Stan, Netflix, and The Love Witch (that I sometimes watched daily) to get me through.
My daily habits — yet soothing at the time — were really fucking future Peta up. Every day I was getting further away from where I wanted to be. And instead of looking at what I could do each day, I was counting the steps that needed to happen for me to get to where I wanted to be and felt like I needed to get there in a single leap. So I did nothing.
Call them whatever you like — intentions, resolutions, goals — but I have them. I have two.
I went home for two weeks and felt like I sampled my way through the Hunter Valley. Two weeks of my boozy and sugar-filled vacay had me sitting at 95kg. The heaviest I've been in my life. I've not weighed myself since that day but I will have a 'weigh day' once a week. Maybe Wednesday? Wednesday weigh day.
My goal is to get back to 75kg and back in my size 10 wardrobe with my little abs back. Feeling confident is the goal and to not dread getting dressed whenever I open my closet.
This one feels weird to declare online. I think because I never want people thinking they're just a dollar sign that adds up to my goal. I want the money to be a reflection of the number of people I help who come to me because I'm good at my job. I also want to be an example to my clients of what's possible.
I plan for my business to make 300k this year.
That's a stretch goal. It will be my second year of business and a big leap compared to the first year. I'd need to check but I think my first year was a 40k year. That's a cracker of a first-year, but scaling to 300k feels... impossible.
That's why I want to do it.
I enjoy stretch goals. I think they encourage creativity and risk-taking.
From the outside, these are ambitious goals.
And I know I will be hit with the ‘We’re still in a pandemic! Be gentle with yourself!' But I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve been through more challenging things like I shared with you above. And I can’t sit around wasting my potential for life to suddenly get easy so I can start living it.
This isn’t to say I hold the same standards of others. I don’t have a rule book for how people in my life should act, but I have a rule book for myself and what I want to achieve when I am so lucky to be alive.
Here I am, declaring this on the internet documenting the day dot starting point with 364 days to go. 300k, 20kg to go.
I am using something I also have in my Membership to help — the 90-day Growth Roadmap. I find it helpful to look at the first three months and make your plan around that rather than from now until December. That is how the Roadmap is designed; to break down business goals so you accomplish everything you desire.
I then break the goals down and make them actionable and look at the habits I need to do every day so I get there. Thanks, James Clear for that one! If you're in the Membership, we have a revised Roadmap coming Monday to reflect adding habits to help you achieve your 90-day goal.
How would 75kg Peta act if she owned a 300k company?
Who is she?
What does she do each day?
How does she start her day?
What does she order in a cafe?
How does she react to things?
What would her non-negotiable habits be?
Then I act like her.
I identify the habits, and I schedule them in (I like the Habit app) to ensure it happens. The scheduling is important, it creates a routine and gives you some form of accountability — even if it's just the ping of an app.
Then I take it day by day with the goal in mind — exactly what 2008 Peta did to recover from her knee operation.
I feel talking about this online is going to spark a lot of debate. When it comes to weight loss, everyone is an expert and loves to dish out unsolicited advice so I'm conscious of how much I share on here. But to give you an idea —
+ Walking 10,000 steps per day
+ Being more discerning with my food and alcohol choices. For now, having one-two ‘off’ meal per week. Also a tip I picked up from Brooke Castillo — this is a planned meal. It won't be something spontaneous where I give in to an urge
+ Drinking at least 2L of water a day
+ Committing to three Pilates classes per week.
+ focus on my four offerings: the Membership, my Mastermind, Give Good Email, 1:1 coaching
+ Commit to lead generation activities of being VISIBLE and giving tremendous value. This means shouting myself out in FB groups, a soon-to-be podcast, regular blogging, regularly posting on social media. I plan to do a lot of collaborations which means PR and a solid strategy. As well as regular launches and A LOT of proactive activities.
+ Releasing a girthy business card in the form of a book
+ Hiring a VA/assistant to help with the growth process
+ Planning out every month and reverse-engineering goals so I get them done.
The above feels good. Really good.
I sat down typing that out today in my favourite cafe feeling excited about the future.
It's going to be a long road that I am going to get fed up with at times. But I know I am starting this journey with experience under my belt. I've had big months in business. I've lost weight. I've already done this. It's just about doing it again and making it a lasting change.
My favourite quality about myself is the unwavering belief I have in my potential and my gritty nature. I have all the tools I need inside me to make this happen.
I will be updating my blog with my wins, lessons, and everything I do to help me meet my goals. It will probably be once a month.
If you would like to be updated, you can subscribe to my mailing list as I'll let you know whenever I write something new.