1) Find my why.
Everyone has an underlying reason for why they want to lose twenty pounds or gain muscle. These are arbitrary goals that typically have a deeper meaning. Maybe you were teased in high school and want to prove people wrong, or maybe you just want to feel better when you wake up in the morning. Regardless, it is important to find your underlying “why,” and let that be your true motivator. Trying to reach numbered goals has no meaning to you other than the belief that attaining these goals will give you some sort of satisfaction.
2) Do some research.
Now that you’ve established a goal you must learn about the best way in which to obtain this goal. Who are leaders in the field that you are looking to do well in? What are their credentials? Do they have testimonials or explain why they do certain things? Going in blind sets you up for failure. I find that being prepared and understanding why you are doing a certain type of training or certain exercises can enhance sessions. It’ s not just “Hey, do this…”; it’s, “Hey we’re going to this today and what this will do is attack these areas.” Having an intent not only in your research but your sessions is hugely important.
3) Set outcome and process goals.
Now that you feel you have a good base of where you should start it’s time to develop a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail! Plans create a road map and keep you accountable. First, I suggest that you create a web or list of things you need to do just to start (not in order, you can do that later). This will help you create your process goals, or steps that you take to reach your outcome goal. Then I’d suggest developing process goals starting backwards. Where do you want to be in 12 weeks? Is this realistic? Begin there and work to the start. Within your plan think of possible roadblocks that may get in your way and what you will do to overcome them. Although it may seem pretty hard to spend all this time thinking, it will save you time in the long run. Also keep your goals SMALL to start. There’s no better way to fail than to bite off more than you can chew. It could be as simple as just going to the gym and walking for ten minutes or doing just ONE push up. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your making a conscious effort to get better. All we need to do now is build upon this momentum. Remember, training and being healthy is a way of life, and life’s a marathon, not a sprint!
4) Keep a daily journal.
All you need is five minutes out of your day to reflect… on anything! How was your workout? Did it feel tougher than usual? Why do you think so? Could it be sleep/nutrition/stress? Not only does keeping a journal keep you accountable; but, it also helps you understand your body better as well as areas that you need to work on.
5) If I plateau.
The first thing I do is take a couple of days off. This IS okay to do (although we live in a society that tells us to keep pushing, pushing, pushing until we snap)! A plateau tells us something. It is our body telling us we need to either relax and take a break of reflect/ assess our program for a change. This is where our daily journal comes into play. Taking time off also gives us an opportunity to pursue other interests as well as step away from the situation. When it is time to come back to assess, you now have the ability to make logical, intelligent decisions. If you feel you are really stuck in a rut, I would refer to outside help. Think of your body and health as an investment like buying a house- you’ve got to take care of it to keep it standing, and sometimes there’s an issue too big to handle alone.
– Post written by: Brandon Drinan
Keep things simple by making your goals S.M.A.R.T and growing your routine from there- all you have to do is start!