You want to achieve a health and fitness goal
What does it take?
Let me tell you a story, back in 2011 I had the fortunate opportunity to experience one of my “key life moments”, I took a “sabbatical”, actually I called it a “training sabbatical”. Now sabbaticals are typically reserved for the academic community but I figured, hey, why can’t I have one too, and I made it so. I took time out of my comfy day job in IT and embarked on a five and a half month journey of physical training splendour, please note I’m using the word splendour loosely – I absolutely smashed my body, but more on that another day.
A “training sabbatical”, five and a half months away from my comfort zone “unpaid”, one thing is for sure, “it better be worth it” (or my wife will make sure I didn’t forget it…love you baby!). So I need to make this experience worthwhile, hmm, what to do? OH CRAP! I need to make a “plan”, I say it that way as a plan is pretty odd for a person that kind of runs his life based on how he feels at any given moment, well, my wife Anna (the organising master!) is going to love this [intentionally write “insert squiggly face here”].
I’m a smart guy
Okay, time to Google how to write a plan?…over one million results, naturally only look at the first page results, check out some business plans, yeah ok, that seems like a lot of work! hmm, what to do? LIGHT-BULB! I’m a smart guy I’ll just create my own three step plan, simples (what Aussie TV ad’s that from?).
- Set a few goals
- Establish some tasks (dates and actions, training schedule)
- And execute
Genius! what could go wrong?
And execute…considering this is a “training sabbatical” how do I know that I’m improving? Perhaps I should be recording my progress. Sure, lets add that to the three, I mean, four step plan.
And execute…I’m home I’m training but I’m not spending much time with my girls (wife and daughter) and I really want to, perhaps I should re-assess my goals and schedule to create time with the family. Maybe it’s a good idea to review where I am every now just to make sure this thing is working for me. I guess that’s now a five step plan.
And execute…training by myself is great but maybe it would be helpful to train with a friend for further motivation, lets call on some mates. Now that was a great idea, I should plan more partner training.
And execute…I really need to sort out my eating, I do know quite a lot about healthy eating, hmm but there are a couple of things I’m not sure about, yep, lets engage an expert.
And execute…injury! bugger, disappointing, hard on oneself, pissed off, disheartening, why don’t I just alter my training will I recover? recovering now, feeling much better, ramp up again, you know its OK, why did that bother me so much and why was I so hard on myself? Mental note, sh*t happens, centre yourself, deal with it, adapt, get back on track, it will work out.
And execute…humming along, all this hard work and clean eating is great but I feel like slowing down now, enter my saviour, a pair of running spikes! can’t wait to go to the running track and try them out. Hey! rewards can help keep up your motivation, who knew?
And execute…make a few Facebook posts, let everyone know what I’m up to, catch up with friends, lots of people asking how I’m going, and they’re really interested, people finding what I’m doing “inspiring”…wow I really need to see this through, I kind of feel a level of accountability here.
And execute…working hard for a while now, not sure this is going to turn out how I wanted, running out of time, is it worth it, some family wondering why I’m doing this, lots of negative thoughts, lots of voices in my head getting in the way…STOP! Davide FOCUS! keep going persist, you can do this.
…and we’re done!
Ok Davide, nice story but how do we succeed?
So you want to achieve a health and fitness goal? Let me break it down for you:
- Vision – be crystal clear as to where you want to end up, sure it might change, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Write it down, create a Pinterest board with images even, what you’re looking for is something that’s going to set some direction.
- Planning – what tasks will get you there, start with point form and expand from there, create a schedule, create a training program, create a meal plan etc. When is it going to start and by when do you want it to finish. Also remember, its ok to enlist some help (find a trainer, dietition, coach, even a friend or family).
- Accountability – share what you are doing and enlist friends and family to keep you honest, use it as an emotional driver. You can always justify failing to yourself but its much harder to explain to others.
- Action – yeah baby, you actually need to do the work now! and give it a real go, all you’ve got, most people fail because they really don’t work hard enough.
- Record – record your progress, that’s every set rep weight etc. You need to know what you did last time so you can try to improve the next time. Even consider keeping a journal? Would you believe I can tell you every set and weight I lifted in my training, in fact I can even give you an emotional score for every day of my sabbatical.
- Review – every now and then you must ask yourself is it working? Are you still on track and remaining true to your vision?, are you happy?, how do you feel about everything?, do your think you need to make some changes? This is very important, don’t just wait to the end in hope of success be critical of what you are doing as you go, this will allow to path correction if necessary.
- Adapt – if its not working fix it, it’s not failure if it enacts change for the better. If life throws you something unexpected, deal with it. It’s going to be OK. Revise your action plan if you have to, if you have to steer off course for a while, that’s ok, just be sure to review and steer back.
- Reward – its important to reward progress every now and then to keep your motivation up. Stick it in your schedule and use it as a progressive target, something to work towards.
- Engage – the greatest success I have seen in my clients are with those that totally submersed themselves in the experience, it became so much a part of their lives that training, clean eating etc was not something new but instead something they just do.
- Persist – you’ve got to see it through. Life is full of ups and downs I know, stay steadfast, be strong, focus and forge ahead. In a lot of cases this is a life change and it’s worth it.
Thanks for coming, hope you enjoyed it,