Strategy: The First Step towards reaching your goals in health, fitness and life in 2017!
As we begin the third full week of 2017, you have probably said ATLEAST once the same phrase I have. "Wow, this year is already flying by!". I know how you feel, and it seems like the time goes faster as you age in both years and experiences. It has been exceptionally great to meet many new faces who have joined our club this year, as well as seeing some familiar faces who weren't around as much during the end of 2016! This is always a time where I see many people's focus at the highest point in their plans to get healthier and fitter this year. The New Year brings about a sense of new beginnings, where you can make improvements on things you want to accomplish, or haven't accomplished in the past. However, the reality is that most will make small progress, but fail to make the lasting changes they are seeking. Why???? At the beginning of this year I wrote you about the 3 S's to success. Strategize, Speak, and Stick. This is a dive into the deep end of strategy, the key step to making lasting changes.
A great quote I discussed recently with a great coach is "Plans are nothing; Planning is everything"- Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Now if you need a quick refresher on American History, besides being the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II who was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. I think this makes President Eisenhower an expert resource on planning and strategy.
Everyone who makes the decision to get on an exercise program has a plan. "I'm going to lose 20lbs...I'm going to lose the fat around my stomach...I'm going to do cardio everyday." These are all plans. but the vast majority of people take little or no time in planning their plan. Why is this important?
Because the goals that we want to achieve require making changes in how we think and do things that we are currently comfortable doing.
Let's go a little deeper. Say you have a goal of losing weight. Along with exercising you make a commitment to stop ordering takeout every Friday and make a healthy homecooked meal. This goes great for a few weeks. Then you have a long week at work, and without even thinking you forgot to prepare food for the night. You can go to the grocery store afterwords, but you are tired and the takeout place is right on the way home. It's fine, ill order tonight then get right back on track tomorrow. After this you realize that you work hard and it takes a lot of time to prepare food everynight, so you go back to Friday takeout, and it feel comfortable.
Just to be clear, this little story is not me bashing getting takeout with the family, or that one night will derail everything. On the contrary, I enjoy going out on Saturday and trying new restaurants out and trying different foods. The point of the story is...these times WILL come up, and they will come up often, and if you don't plan for it, it will be difficult to resist. So planning is not about all the things you are going to do to make changes, but knowing the things that will come up in your life that will try and prevent these changes so you can strategize to defeat them. Thus begins your Strategy session.
You have a goal, you are set on achieving that goal, now you have to strategize on how you are going to achieve this goal. At HealthPlex, we call this a Strategy session. This is a time to go over all of the key ingredients needed to achieve your goal(s). These are some key questions we uncover answers to that will help you plan your strategy to complete your goals from start to finish.
WHY is this goal important to you?- This question is always number one. Getting fitter or feeling better, or losing weight, or whatever it is, why is this really important to you? When you answer this question honestly, this becomes your daily fuel. Once you answer this question, remind yourself of it everyday. Write it on your mirror so you see it when you wake up, or program it to pop up when your alarm goes off. Knowing your WHY is the best way to keep yourself motivated on the days when you want to go back to your comfort zone.
What have you done in the past to achieve this goal?- Most people that I have met want to achieve a goal that they have tried to do atleast a couple times before. The problem is that they start up again this year doing the same thing they did before. They do the same diet, the same exercises, the same schedule, convinced that it will be different this time. Take a little time and see why it didn't work before, and what are you goin to do different this time to prevent that from happening again.
What will prevent you from achieving this goal?- Making your goal a priority means you will make changes and sacrifice some parts of your life that are difficult. You might be like our friend from earlier who orders takeout every Friday, or you might have a high stress job that takes a lot of time. What happens when you have to work late and can't get in your training like you hoped for? You might be able to get in in the morning if you think there is that chance.
These are a few of the questions that will help you with getting clarity on your goals and how you can achieve them in your life. As you can see, these are not "scratch the surface" questions. Some of these have a few different answers and will take some time to fully grasp. Committing time to planning out a strategy and getting a little detail into how you will achieve this is such a vital part of this process, yet we want to jump past it and just start on the plan. Think about it, you will have 365 days in 2017. That is 8,760 hours of time. If you take one hour each month to strategize how your plan is going, and how to improve each month, that is less than .0014% of your time this year dedicated to planning your health and fitness. That is about as effective use of time that I can imagine!
I hope your year is off to a great start, and I will be checking in on you soon :)
HealthPlex Fitness: The Functional Movement Experts.