Since I became a personal trainer and live, eat, and breathe the fitness business. This isn’t because it makes me money, although that helps, it’s because of my passion to help others with cutting edge war tested fitness info. I have trained in the hundreds and have discussed fitness with many more. I see what works and I see what doesn’t. This is a journey many will start and few will finish.
There are many reasons that someone has success, but the underlying current beneath all of them is a clear understanding that reaching your goals doesn’t happen by accident. There has been careful thought put in to the process that will yield results. I challenge everyone who is reading this article to ask themselves, “am I intentional, or am I just filled with good intentions?”
Typically the thought pattern of someone who has good intentions, but no more than that, goes something like this, “I need to get in shape. Next week I am going to start going to the gym and eating healthy.” Now there is nothing wrong with having those thoughts except they are extremely incomplete and ambiguous on how exactly the job is going to get done. I will elaborate. You the reader of this article are good at something. You could be good at anything including your occupation, your marriage, or your favorite video game. If nothing else I could commend you for knowing where to find the best fitness info on the web My point to you is that most likely you didn’t gain your level of proficiency by accident. You thought about it, you studied it, and you practiced at it. Fitness is no different, so I will digress back to my earlier quote about being filled with good intentions. The opposite is being intentional. Leave as little as possible up to ambiguity and chance, you will thank me for it. Someone who is intentional thinks more like this, “Next week I am going to the gym on Monday 6pm and will do x sets of x exercises, on Tuesday 7pm and will do x sets of x exercises, and on Thursday 6pm I will do x sets of x exercises. On Saturday I will go for a hike at 10am with my dog. On Sunday I will grill all my chicken for the week and cut up all my veggies and steam what I need for a few days. Wednesday I will replenish my supply.”
Being intentional as opposed to being full of good intentions takes more time but it doesn’t take much more time, however it does yield much better results. Here is a checklist I encourage you to take a few minutes to outline your upcoming week of getting leaner, meaner, and healthier.
1) What am I going to eat all week and when? If your goal is to drop body fat, build muscle, or both then you need to eat more than 3 times a day. This takes some thought and don’t worry if you don’t execute 100%. Life can be pretty unpredictable with meetings that run over and sick children. It’s progress we are after, not perfection.
2) Do I have the necessary food in the house to execute my meal plan?
3) When am I going to prepare my meals? Do you have 30 minutes before you go to sleep? Maybe in the morning when you wake up? Do you need to spend a couple hours on Sunday to set yourself up for the entire week?
4) When exactly are your workouts. Get out your calendar and block the time off. If you wait until you have “extra” time or until you “feel” like it, you will miss many an opportunity.
5) What are you going to do when you go to the gym? Walking in without a plan is an easy way to shortcut and compromises your training session.
6) When are you doing your metabolic conditioning? I hate the term cardio because what most people do for cardio is highly ineffective at bringing them closer to their goals. Unless of course your goal is to waste 30 minutes of your life reading about Kim Kardashian’s wedding in Us Weekly on an elliptical.
7) What strategy will you implement to help you with the times you are most likely to cheat? Will you have a container of almond butter at the ready to help you combat your craving for something sweet before bed? Maybe schedule an early Saturday morning hike to keep you from carousing late on a Friday night? If you have a particular challenge you struggle with feel free to email me with any questions.
8) When are you going to enjoy your well-deserved cheat meals? We believe if the overall pattern of your eating is a healthy one then there are definitely times you can enjoy some of your guilty pleasures.
9) How will you stay focused and motivated when you start to feel like you are waning? Do you have a workout partner to pick you up? Maybe you have a fitness book or magazine that seems to get your mind right? Maybe a dashingly good looking trainers’ blog to read? Are your goals written down somewhere you can read them and refocus?
I hope this brings clarity and execution to your greatest fitness hopes and dreams.