Do you have a goal in mind with your training?
Maybe it’s to lose a certain number of pounds. Or it might be to increase a particular lift, such as the deadlift, to a new personal best. Or maybe you are training for a race, competition, tryout or test and want to be your best on a particular day.
That’s great if you do have these goals in mind. Because if we don’t it can sometimes be difficult to get up the motivation to train. And having that goal in mind helps us push forward ever so closer to that end result.
But here’s where most people fail.
They create a goal. They might even put it in writing. But there are no action steps along the way.
They start to believe lies such as attitude is everything.
There are a lot peolple with terrible attitudes with incredible physiques. And there are some pretty top level athletes that won’t be winnning any congeniality awards.
Likewise there are a lot people with the nicest, most sincere personalities and attitudes that have terrible health and fitness.
If their attitude was the only that mattered they wouldn’t look or perform like they do.
So let’s stop believing the crap about attitude is everything. Because it isn’t.
Secondly, anyone can dream up a goal.
Go ahead, close your eyes and envision:
* your perfect body
* your perfect competition
* your perfect athletic season
* your perfect you
Great. Good for you.
You know what you want.
But you know what’s even more important than knowing what you ultimately want?
Knowing the steps that are required to get there. Or a little something that’s sometimes called ‘process goals’.
What are the unique and specific steps that are going to lead me to my goal?
What do I need to achieve these goals?
What will I have to do differently, that I haven’t done in the past, in order to achieve my goal?
What are the roadblocks and hurdles that are going to get in my way?
Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.
#1 – What are the unique and specific steps that are going to lead me to my goal?
Let’s assume my goal was to lose 30 lbs by the end of the year. One of the things I will need to do is to initiate a consistent training program that involves intense and repetitive workout efforts.
And we need to qualify a workout as something that is intense or fast or both. So gardening doesn’t count. Nor does going for a walk after dinner. Or playing with your kids. These are called NEAP and shouldn’t be included in your count towards workouts completed.
Since my goal has a timeline of the end of the year I should know at certain intervals if I am ahead or behind the pace. For example if I shoot for 100 workouts from July 1 to the end of 2011 this works out to 4 workouts per week when you count 25 weeks.
(I know there are 26 week but you will get busy, sick, tired etc…and be glad you had an extra week in there)
#2 – What do I need to achieve these goals?
Well this one should be fairly straightfoward. Simply list everything you know to be essential for a success training program.
This includes but isn’t limited to: a periodized training program, training apparel, a training partner, a training log, a meal plan, nutritious food, possibly some supplements, adequate rest, days off, soft tissue work and a belief in the final goal.
#3 – What will I have to do differently, that I haven’t done in the past, in order to achieve my goal?
Have the heard the expression about insanity that equates it to doing the same thing but expecting different results?
If this is the case gyms must be insane asylums
Really when you think about it we’re creatures of habit. And we tend to do the same things repeatedly, especially at the gym. Yet we get frustrated with our lack of progress. And still we continue on with the same efforts expecting that one day walking on the treadmill is magically going to cause you to drop the last 30 lbs and get stronger.
But since you’re reading this I’ll assume you’re not insane.
And therefore you have to look at what you’re not currently doing to be where you’re at.
Do you have tight, restricted joints & muscles? How much foam rolling are you doing?
Do you want to increase your speed when running? How much sprinting have you done?
Take a look at your program to see where the gaps are and fill them.
#4 – What are the roadblocks and hurdles that are going to get in my way?
What has stood in your way from achieving success in the past?
Is it training knoweldge? Hire a competent strength & conditioning specialist or trainer to empower you.
Is it a varied work schedule that derails your training time? Have options for AM, mid day and PM workouts. Keep training gear at work, in your car and at the gym. Be ready to go at a moment’s notive when the opportunity arises.
Is it the nutritional end of things? Maybe you don’t know/like to cook? Or you can’t find the time to shop, prep and pack nutritious meals for the day?
If this is weak link, find a solution and address it. Maybe you have a roomate that will do the meals if you take on other chores. Or maybe there is a food delivery service in your area. You might look into some educational resources or cooking classes.
Now imagine how differently your efforts would be if you put your emphasis on the process rather than the outcome?
Megan, one of our interns this summer, has taken on the 100 workout challenge. As I was saying this means she’ll complete 100 workouts from July 1 – Dec 31.
At this point we are 7 weeks in and therefore we should be at 28 workouts.
I think Megan is at 34 which is awesome.
She is putting the emphasis on the process and not on the end goal. She is taking immediate and decisive action to get there and at this pace she could reach 100 workous by Remembrance Day.
Not too shabby!
If you want to get started on this challenge start today and shoot for 75 by the end of the year.
Because let’s face it.
Everyone wants to lose 20 lbs, look healthier, drop a belt size or two and improve their overall health.
But few will take the time to identify the various steps that will lead them to success.
ps…joining Group Fitness Training allows for upto 6 workouts per week for less than $8 per workout. How’s that for a process towards success?