We all have the same 168 hours in each week. So why is it that only a small number of us achieve what we set out to at the beginning of every new quest for that ideal fit body? When it comes down to achieving any goal, most successful people go through the same thought process; whether they realise it or not:
- They set targets
- They plan on how they are going to reach those targets
- They take action, and
- They stick with their plan and see it through (big one here!)
Setting targets is the easy part; most of us know what we want and what we want to achieve – right? Believe it or not many of us skip this step and don’t truly consider exactly what it is that we want. Instead we often jump straight to the exercise part. You need to decide the “what” before you decide the “how”!
So the question is: What is it that you really want to achieve? Do you want to be leaner, more muscular, stronger, perform better (in sport or the bedroom!!), do you want to be able to run around with your kids? These are all questions we need to ask ourselves. So, take a minute and write them down.
Planning is the next step, and again this is often skipped in favour of going straight to the exercise (taking action) part. You wouldn’t build a skyscraper without first doing a little planning, so why would you avoid doing this when it comes to you and your own body?
When planning a new exercise routine you just need to ask yourself a few simple questions:
- What have you done in the past and why didn’t it work?
- Where is it that you see yourself achieving the best results – period?
- Do you need help, support and motivation or do you prefer to use the DIY approach? (Note: Psychological studies clearly demonstrate that social support, through family, friends, training groups, experts etc., result in greater adherence to an exercise programme, and therefore enable a greater chance of success).
- Do you know what you’re doing, or do you know if the programme that you are following is right for you, or who it is written by?
- What type of environment is going to ignite your passion for training and enable long-term success?
Setting personal targets and planning your journey shouldn’t take up too much of your time, and by doing so will greatly increase your chances of getting the results that you deserve. Once you can answer all of the above questions then it’s time to start taking action. If you can’t answer all of the questions yourself, then maybe consider talking to an expert to help you figure out the right plan to meet your goals.
The people that are constantly ahead of everyone else, whether it be in fitness or in business; are always planning, making decisions and acting on them. Not only do they act on their decisions, they see them through to the end. In life there are starters and there are finishers – which ones do you think are going to achieve the body they have always wanted, or cross the finish line first?
The bottom line is if you want to achieve your fitness goals you need to take action and see it through to the end.
On a side note I recently read Sir Richard Branson’s book “SCREW IT, LETS DO IT”. The take home messages I got from this book were, 1) Prepare for your goal as soon as possible and start working on them, and 2) keep going and never give up!
STICKING WITH IT
For most of us taking action is the easy part – sticking with it is the challenge. This is where planning comes back in to play. What if you took action according to your plan and could say to yourself after a short period of time:
- I have all the help and support that I’ve ever wanted!
- My friends and family are happy because they see that I’m happy!
- When I exercise I know exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it!
- I trust that the programme I’m following is the best for me given my goals!
- I look forward to exercising every day, and therefore I make time to exercise!
- I am achieving the best results of my life!
If imagining those thoughts, and the day they all paid off couldn’t motivate you to stick to your new found exercise regime then I don’t know what could. We’re all different when it comes to what motivates us, and the amount of motivation that we all require in order to see something through will vary. Sometimes you need light a whole new fire from scratch; other times you might just need to stoke up it a little. The ‘trick’ is to just find what motivates you, and then it shouldn’t be that difficult to stick with it and see it through – to the results at the end of the road.
Set personal goals, plan, take action and Ignite your passion for training!
Gareth Sapstead (MSc CSCS) is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, sports performance and conditioning coach sports performance and conditioning coach and one of the UK’s leading Personal trainers.