Everyone Has a Plan Until . . .
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
2019 is around the corner, so have you set your New Years resolutions yet? For the most part there are three personalities at this time of year.
1. "I don't care about New Years Resolutions, I don't really have any goals."
2. "I've failed to hit my New Years Resolutions so many times, I'm not going to do it again. It's discouraging."
3. "Yes! I'm so excited. First I'm going to eat myself crazy over the holidays, then I'm really going to get after it! 2019 is going to be my year baby!"
No matter what category you fall into, I want to help you be successful in 2019 so I'm giving away my top 5 goal setting considerations and/or strategies to make you successful. If you don't have a goal yet, you should plan to reach some kind of achievement whether it's fitness, business or in your personal life. Having goals means growth and if you're not growing, you're dying.
Goal Tip # 1
Stop and consider that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a short time (8 - 12 weeks) and underestimate what they can accomplish in a long time period (1 year). When you set your goals, make sure they are realistic, measurable and that the length of time is appropriate. If your goal is to complete a full unassisted chin-up but right now you can't do a single chin-up with a blue band, you're probably close to a year away (depending on how hard the blue band is for you). But don't give up because:
Goal Tip # 2
Write your goal down and plan all the steps from where you are now to where you want to be. If your goal is to do a full unassisted push-up, you need to find out what angle of a push-up you can do right now. If you can only do a good push-up on an incline setting of 12 on a smith machine, you're probably months away from a full push-up. Don't write down in your goal book "work on push-up until you can do an unassisted push-up." Set your end goal for one regular push-up but also set many goals from now until then. Maybe every few weeks you will aim to go down a degree, so you go from a 12 and 4 push-ups to 11 and 4 push-ups. That should be celebrated! Every step closer to your goal should be a celebration of how much stronger you are getting. Don't let yourself be clouded by point A to B. Make it point A to Z.
Goal Tip # 3
Your mind will be your biggest challenge to reaching your goals and the sooner you take control and change your state, the sooner you will find success. The little voice inside your head will talk you into getting more sleep instead of jumping out of bed, relaxing at the end of the day instead of training, and convincing you that you're full of stress and anxiety and can't handle any more. Essentially that little voice inside your head is addicted to problems.
Have you ever had the experience when you're feeling down and discouraged, tired and lackluster and just want to be left alone? And then the phone rings and it's good news and suddenly you're full of so much energy that you've completely forgotten that you were dead to the world a minute ago? That energy is always available to us, it's our mind that blocks the path of that energy into our body. Have you noticed there are people who are always smiling and seem care-free? They are tapping into that energy and not being ruled by the voice in their head. They are so excited to be alive they spend more time than the average person in the moment.
You need to learn to recognize when you're talking negatively or counter-productively to yourself and find a way to change your state when it happens. It takes practice. Like building a muscle you have to train it for it to grow stronger. And the best part is that you don't have to think at all! In fact, the less time you spend talking to yourself or complaining about the things in your life that people would dream about having as problems, the better.
Goal Tip # 4
Fitness, mobility, flexibility - it's all for life. It's not something you do for a few weeks and stop when you've "learned some stuff." You need to keep it up almost every day for the rest of your life so that you can live happily and freely for the rest of your life. Being a healthy weight (or rather lower in body fat) shouldn't be about the aesthetic and looking good to impress someone, it should be about your health. If you're 60 lbs overweight, you're doing more damage to your body every day than you need to. Your joints are taking more abuse, your spine is under more load, your knees have to handle increased pressure and your heart and lungs are working harder to sustain your life. When you make your plan for 2019, keep looking at the big picture and include all the things an athlete needs (mobility, flexibility, strength, stability, cardiovascular) on top of all the ways that our body can move and function in.
Too many people train in the sagittal plane of movement (squat, lunge, deadlift, snatch, pull-ups) and never think about how our body is truly meant to be functional (we hinge and rotate - we can work in the transverse and frontal planes of movement).
When you find a good group to train with and the people there hold you accountable because they care, stick with it! The surgery you will need for your knees, shoulders or spine because you didn't bother to train right will cost you so much more than the monthly fee of having good people and coaching in your corner. Yes, even I offer 12 week kick your but jump-starter programs - but it's with the intention of slowly introducing your body to movements before implementing you into a long term training plan that will keep you fit for life.
Goal Tip # 5
Full circle and now I'm back to the quote, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." What this quote means is that you can take all the steps above and set fantastic goals, then nothing goes your way - and you didn't plan for that. Maybe you have the perfect diet set up and your mind is ready to go for it - then someone in your family gets sick and you throw it all away because you justify overeating to soothe the pain or stress that you feel with your family members sickness. And the real problem is that weeks after it's all over and you can eat properly again, you've already lost your good habits and patterns and won't go back to it because eating too much food is so damn delicious.
Listen, moments are going to happen when you eat too much, drink too much, and toss away a week of good nutrition. But how you bounce back is what matters. So, have a plan to bounce back should things go wrong. Take the last 3 years of your life and think about all the things that might have derailed you:
- Family member sick or death in the family
- Change of job or loss of employment
- Sick or ill
- Car accident (even as simple as a fender bender)
- Increased work load
And with that list, start making plans for how you will deal with those things. Maybe if you're on vacation your plan will be to do what you want for that vacation and then get right back to eating well when you get back. If that's your plan and it's written down and in your mind prior to your vacation, you're more likely to follow through.
If you want help setting goals for yourself in 2019, or need help planning your point A - Z with your fitness goals, the staff at Soldiers of Fitness are ready and willing to help. Through our group training or private training we can help you reach your goals far faster than you will on your own.
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